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News - 7 March 2018
Rifa Thorpe-Tracey

Brighton celebrates women in tech as Spring Forward festival returns for a fourth year

Spring Forward, Brighton’s month-long celebration of women in digital culture returns to the city for its fourth year.



Running in March to coincide with International Women’s Day and Women's History Month, the programme of events focuses on supporting and celebrating women in digital. The festival’s ongoing mission is to encourage women to take a greater role in tech by creating a range of platforms that promote digital community events with women at their centre.


Spring Forward launched in 2014 by Jenni Lloyd and Viviana Doctorovich and for the past two years has been organised by Rifa Thorpe-Tracey and Jo Summers.


Organiser Rifa Thorpe-Tracey said: “It’s fantastic that Sussex has become not just a hub for the UK’s tech industry and digital arts community, but also a pioneering region for women operating in that world. Spring Forward is a key part of that success. The local tech and arts sectors are hugely supportive and I think we can be optimistic about our region.”


Highlights for 2018 include the popular SheSays Brighton event, which will be held on International Women’s Day and include a panel of speakers discussing the benefits and challenges of the social media revolution.


Another key event for this year’s festival is #BelongCon, which will see an all-female line-up talking candidly about issues that impact women, including imposter syndrome and post-natal depression.


Programme highlights include:


This year our hugely successful SheSaysBrighton gang are once again at the heart of Spring Forward with a fascinating one-off panel event focusing on the benefits and challenges of the social media revolution.


The Belong Conversation – or #BelongCon for short – is a unique event that provides a safe space for people to share their stories and be open, honest, and vulnerable with each other. At each event, we welcome several speakers to talk about their journey to finding belonging and acceptance, and through authentic, unscripted conversation, our aim is for everyone who attends to feel less alone, and more connected.


Back by popular demand! Unity has teamed up with Spring Forward Festival to host another Girl Game Maker Day. Learn to make video games and get hands on with code, art, and making games fun. Are you a girl between 9-14 years old interested in making games but don't know where to start? Or maybe you just love playing games and would like to learn more about how they’re made? Then Girl Game Maker Day is for you!


A full list of Spring Forward events can be found at
 - with more events still to be announced soon.

Spring Forward festival would not be possible without the help of partners and sponsors. Many thanks to:


Key partner: University of Brighton – Brighton Futures
Brighton Futures use research and enterprise to tackle global challenges, solve practical problems and improve lives and environments. They describe who we are, what we do and the futures we are helping to build – they are Connected, Creative, Healthy, Radical and Responsible. Connected Futures harness innovation to build trust in the digital infrastructures that underpin modern lives and explore new discoveries with transformative potential.


Gold sponsors: Pragmatic, Clearleft

Silver sponsors: Dabapps, MAG interactive, Ocasta, Unity


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