Prof Sue Black is the Professor of Computer Science and Technology Evangelist at Durham University, a digital skills expert, social entrepreneur, consultant and internationally popular keynote speaker.
She holds a PhD in computer science, management experience, and is passionate about sharing her knowledge about the opportunities being in a STEM industry offers.
Prof Sue Black is a successful social media campaigner heading up the campaign to save Bletchley Park, with expertise in leadership and the equality challenges faced by the tech industry.
It’s true to say that Sue Black didn’t have a traditional start to her career. She left home and school when she was 16, was married at 20 and had three children by 23. A single parent at 25 years old, she decided to go to University, gained a degree in computing and went on to gain a PhD in software engineering.
Prof Sue Black is one of the leading tech personalities in the UK today; named in the list of top 50 women in tech in Europe and winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Lovie Awards in 2018. She has worked for educational establishments such as London South Bank University, University of Westminster, Cranfield University and Lucy Cavendish College, large companies including IBM, NESTA, Google and the British Computer Society, and has advised the likes of the European Commission, Bletchley Park Trust, the Foreign Secretary’s Advisory Group on Freedom of Expression and Comic Relief.
Prof Sue Black is a champion for women in computing, and founded BCSWomen, the UK’s first online network for women in tech, Sue Black ltd where she carries out her speaking engagements, the ‘goto’ foundation which helps inspire young people through technology, and #techmums, a social enterprise aimed at empowering mums and their families through technology.
Sue has written and contributed to over 40 academic publications on the theme of technology and computer science. Sue is very much an avocado for the positives of social media, often discussing key topics with her ever-growing following over 66,000 people on Twitter; she even credits the site as being the primary force in her campaign to save Bletchley Park.
Sue’s first book Saving Bletchley Park (2016) – the story of how social media rescued the home of the WWII Codebreakers, explore the successful campaign that she led to save Bletchley Park becoming an Amazon bestseller, and is one of the fastest crowdfunded books ever.
See a short video of the story below:
Her impact on the STEM world and on the Bletchley Park project has won her many an accolade including the Social Impact ABIE Award at the Grace Hopper Celebration in 2017, and an OBE in the New Years Honours list of 2016. She also sits on the UK Government’s advisory board for improving digital services and the Board of Comic Relief.
In addition to being the Daily Mirror tech agony aunt and regularly writing tech columns in The Guardian, Sue is a passionate speaker, and has spoken at many events worldwide, including to the United Nations, Google, the Civica, BETT Education Technology Expos, Bath and Oxford Literary Festivals, Townley Grammar School and Surbiton High School, the Women’s Aid, Housing Technology, Zendesk Relate and Stack Overflow Conferences, as well as at the Women of Silicon Roundabout event, Asian Women of Achievement Awards, UCL Professional Women’s Network and InspireFest.
Sue’s motivational keynote speeches focus on her determination to bring her family out of poverty to build a successful career through education, technology and a drive to succeed.
– Technology and Key Tech Trends
– Social Media
– Women in Business
– Empowerment Through Technology
– Digital Economy and Digital Skills
She was a guest on Desert Island Discs covering all things tech and how to “be your best self on social media” and appeared as a panellist in the special edition of Woman’s Hour recorded live at the British Science Festival in Brighton.
She has appeared on shows for the BBC, Sky and ITN; appeared on radio panel shows including Infinite Monkey Cage (2009-) alongside Brian Cox and Dave Gorman; appeared in the BBC Three documentary Girls Can Code (2015) to encourage young women into the tech industry; and was the focus of a film made by Universal where she tells her story and shares her advice for being successful.
Sue is a delight to work with, full of enthusiasm, extremely knowledgeable … one of the most inspiring people I’ve met in a long time.
Dr Sue Black’s brilliance and determination resonate with her audiences in a humble, motivating and inspirational way. While most of us will never earn a doctorate in computer science or save a historical site, you can’t walk away from Dr Sue’s message without being motivated to make a difference in your business, family or community.
Dr Black is an amazing public speaker. Funny, captivating, and most importantly educational and informative. One of the best speakers I’ve seen in years.
Whurley, Founder and CEO, Honest Dollar
Dr Sue Black is always a riveting speaker, with informative content and a personal warmth which makes her a pleasure to listen to. She has a clarity and an ability to get to the heart of something and in simple language which makes her a rare person.
House of Lords
Sue is a phenomenon: she brings to life social media and IT.
The Open University
If I can do it, so can you!” This was the opening line of Prof. Sue Black’s speech at the second annual Girls in Tech Catalyst Conference in London on 4th September. She took us along on her incredible journey from a fascination with technology to saving Bletchley Park, becoming a catalyst for change for equal rights, paying it forward through #Techmums, and inspiring the next generation of computer scientists as a professor at Durham University. Sue had a profound impact on all of us through her contagious passion, optimism, and “prescription for success.” Professor Black is not only an extraordinary academic, technology evangelist, and social entrepreneur, but she is also a warm, open, and friendly human being who inspired and motivated our attendees not only on stage, but also off.
CEO at Girls in Tech, Inc.