Department for international Trade

A view of signage for the Department for International Trade in Westminster, London.

I don’t think it’s imposter syndrome but I am in awe of big organisations, especially government departments. They bring with them a sense of the power and the authority they convey. I can’t say why, as when I meet the people they tend to be as normal as you or I.

When Rachel asked me to present to a delegation from the Department for International Trade I was filled with all of my usual trepidations. She asked me to talk about the local cyber security sector as well as adding something on FinTech but what could I tell them that they didn’t already know? Who am I to talk about such subjects? It’s nothing that I haven’t done a thousand times before.

I had my slides ready, on my ChromeBook and on a memory stick. I’d mailed them to Rachel in advance just in case and so I had all the bases covered. When I arrived at the Catalyst in Newcastle they were running a few minutes late which gave me a chance to sit down and centre myself. Having taken a Neuron five kilometres across town I needed the break.

When my time came, my presentation went well and the questions followed. They made me appreciate the makeup of the team. Not all were employees of central government, there were people from industry as well. 

Their questions also emphasised how different the UK clusters are. Some have formed around a specific building or development package whereas CyberNorth has formed more from a desire to  build a belief first.  Questions around specific business support reminded how much more there is to be done. I guess we all start from different places.

I met some of the delegation again the next day at Thinking Digital. I went over and said hello and had clearly got over my reservations. Let’s see what comes of it all.

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