After attending the Thinking Digital conference last year, I was moved to declare it “The UK’s answer to TED.” The speakers really were of a super-high quality, and even those who weren’t big names had truly fascinating stories to tell. As a way of expanding your mind, there’s little quite like it in the country.

Today, Thinking Digital is announcing its speakers for 2013. The conference, which takes place five minutes’ walk from Newcastle-upon-Tyne city centre, in Gateshead, takes place on 21-23 May and The Next Web is a media partner. The speaker list this year features names from the worlds of tech, science and media – some may be familiar to you, others maybe not so, but we’re looking forward to sitting back and hearing them all.

Here are a few highlights, but you can read about them all on the conference’s new website.

  • Aza Raskin: The co-founder of the Massive Health startup that was recently acquired by Jawbone. Aza was formerly the design lead for Mozilla. His father, Jef, started the Macintosh project at Apple in 1979.
  • Horace Dediu: Horace was declared “the new king of Apple analysts” in 2010 by Fortune Magazine. While most of his competition come from richly resourced firms such as Morgan Stanley or Credit Suisse, Horace’s analysis is completely independent and self-financed. Horace’s Asymco blogs and charts on the smartphone and personal technology market have built him a huge readership.
  • Aral Balkan: Aral is well known and liked experience designer who was recognised by Microsoft and .Net Magazine as one of the top speakers of 2012.
  • Dr. Sue Black­: Dr Black rose to fame helping spread the word to save successfully Bletchley Park, home of the world’s first programmable computer and the epicentre of the UK’s WWII codebreaking efforts. Currently, she is very active in helping encourage more women into technology.
  • Maggie Philbin: The former presenter of the BBC’s Tomorrow’s World and current presenter on BBC One’s Bang Goes the Theory, Maggie is a very well known face for UK science and technology enthusiasts. What’s less well known is that Maggie’s a Director of TeenTech which she co-founded with IOD Chairman, Chris Dodson. TeenTech is busy inspiring Tomorrow’s Generation of young scientists, engineers and techies.
  • Jack Andraka: A 16 year old scientist who won the 2012 Intel Science and Engineering Fair for creating a pancreatic cancer test that is estimated to be 168 times faster, 26,000 times less expensive and potentially almost 100% accurate. He’s spoken most recently at the TED Conference in Long Beach, California.
  • Mike Bracken: Formerly the Digital Director of Guardian News & Media, Mike was named the Director ofDigital for the Cabinet Office in 2011. He leads the Government Digital Service (GDS) which aims to make the government’s digital presence much easier to find and use. His team has led the launch of the Gov.UK portal.

Tickets for Thinking Digital 2013 are available now, priced at the earlybird rate of £225 + VAT until 28 March. See you there!

➤ Thinking Digital

Image credit: AFP / Getty Images