Brighton Digital Festival may be grassroots in origin but it is global in its outlook.

The UK’s number one celebration of digital culture puts industry conferences to shame with its innovative take on a whole spectrum of subjects.

With the city’s creative, digital and technology hub continuing to thrive, this year’s edition promises to be better than ever.

Business editor Finn Scott-Delany previews some of the highlights as organisers prepare to launch next week.

Conferences If you are passionate about the craft that goes into your work, then conference Reasons to be Creative could be for you.

Bringing together the world’s most talented designers, coders, creatives, film-makers, animators, installation builders, illustrators and artists, attendees of the three-day event will walk away inspired and enlightened.

Designed for web designers, coders and anyone with a creative mind, the conference takes place on the first Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of September at Brighton Dome and MyHotel.

The event is designed to motivate on the wonders of code – with practical training as well.

Innovation happens when things are brought together in fresh ways and Dots is about connecting ideas.

Ideas from outside the box can make a profound impact when brought into step with existing practice.

Dots (September 3) is about sharing and celebrating ideas that have been created by connecting things in new ways, as well as the people who connect them.

The one-day conference will include talks from Russell Davies, award-winning creative director at GOV.UK, John Willshire, radical innovator and founder of Artefact cards business, Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsinoa, a designer for the Internet of Things, Ian Crocombe, formerly of Saatchi & Saatchi and American Express, Nathan Guerra, head of creative agency partnerships at Google and Maddy Cooper-Wood, a founding partner of Brilliant Noise.

Leading voices from critical design, electronic music, contemporary art and politics will converge at one of most provocative cultural events, Improving Reality.

This year's theme Visibility is a Trap (September 4) is about the tension between the tendency to share our lives in public and our desire and right for more privacy.

With a line up of acclaimed international speakers and performers Improving Reality addresses the coming of immediacy, the aesthetics of disappearance and the performance of visibility.

Lighthouse’s one-day conference will include art and music from composer Holly Herndon, a new AV word by Design Studio Metahaven, Professor of media arts John Armitage, artist Jananne Al-Ani, writer, editor and film curator Basia Cummings, New York-based Social Media Theorist Nathan Jurgenson, founding director of Edgeryders Nadia El-Imam and groundbreaking artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan.

Supersmart people will provoke, entertain, and stimulate with thoughts on this year’s theme of “Living With The Network” at dConstruct.

Artists, writers, hackers and coders will talk surveillance, connected devices, big data and everything the network touches.

Not your typical technology conference dConstruct, at the Dome (September 5) is about the meeting of technology, culture and society in a fun, non-pretentious way.

For any companies wanting to upsell and maximise online conversion, customers must be targeted with the right content.

Nowhere is this personalisation more relevant than in the travel industry which will be the focus of Bright On Travel (September 11).

Personalisation refines customer experience by appealing to their personal preferences and making their web time more focused and productive.

Speakers include digital heads and directors of Travolution, Virgin Holidays, Verticly and Designate.

Development Monthly get together Brighton ALT.NET is a show-n-tell for software developers and anyone interested in programming.

A special festival event (September 2) will showcase members’ work and side projects.

Previous events have included ‘How to predict the stock market with Twitter’ IndieWebCamp is a gathering those involved in building and sharing open web technologies to advance the indie web.

The weekend event takes in discussions on how to empower people to own their identities and data – followed by a day of hacking and creating.

Posting content on third-party content farms is discouraged in favour of ownership of created content.

The weekend is at the Clearleft offices in Brighton on September 6 and 7.

Smartphone and tablet use has overtaken computers with businesses no longer able to neglect the new channel.

Vida is presenting Mobile Application Development for Businesses, an uncomplicated approach to meeting this complex challenge by designing and building, clever and intuitive mobile applications.

For more information visit

An overlooked element of the modern day cloud ecosystem is the interlocking web of dependencies hidden and unknown to clients and customers.

Jonathon Wright, with 5 years of commercial automation experience, presents Ha(API)y testing in the Hybrid-Cloud and Beyond, which aims to get to the bottom of these new-fangled problems (September 18).

Technology If you want a share of the £11 billion the UK Government spends each year on IT, cloud and digital services then G-Cloud comes to Brighton is the place to start (September 7).

Hear what the future holds for G-Cloud, Government digital service and what the delivery of a new world-class digital marketplace for IT services means to you.

Small business owners will get a chance to understand what’s behind the SME engagement programme and cut through procurement bureaucracy.

Speakers include Tony Singleton, responsible for government digital service G-Cloud, Stephen Allott, SME Crown Representative.

The Technology Strategy Board Information Day will give details of what funds are available from the UK Government’s innovation agency for creative and digital businesses.

Wired Sussex has got together with the board to offer organisations and companies working in digital, media and technology a chance to hear from decision makers.

Short talks will hear programmes which the board funds such as the Knowledge Exchange Network, IC-Tomorrow and the Digital Catapult, on September 15.

International expansion will be the topic for a half-day seminar run by Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce. With global e-commerce is on the rise year on year Ecommerce – How to make your online business international will give lessons on e-marketplaces, managing international payments, the logistic of selling abroad.

Speakers are from the UKTI,, Swipezoom, Grow Global and HSBC (September 24).

Innovation Managing Innovation: Taster and Innovation is a practical two-hour taster based on research by CENTRIM (The Centre for Research in Innovation Management).

It will identify the best practices of successfully innovative organisations and leaders, with exploration of the ‘avatars of innovation’ and the mind-sets and skills.

For more information contact Jennifer Wells, of the University of Brighton, on 01273 642748.

Could businesses and consumers benefit from the use of bitcoin?

This question will be investigated at Bitcoin, related technologies and the local economy.

It will also look at cryptocurrencies in general and consider the latest developments in the exciting technological space of de-centralised applications, including projects like Ethereum and their impact on future economics (September 11).

Whether you already operate within the digital sector or are a bit of a Luddite, New technology: What’s good for business and what’s just hype? promises to bridge the technological gap (September 10).

A group of future technology ambassadors will demonstrate the technology that means most to them, answer questions and establish what’s hot – and what’s not. The hype that underpins the world of technology will be tackled.

Speakers include Jenni Lloyd, strategy director at NixonMcInnes, Mike Herd, managing director of Sussex Innovation Centre and Adam Lee of No Pork Pies will introduce eye-tracking technology.

Entrepreneurs How To Create A Successful Tech Startup could help get business ideas off the ground.

Crunch’s Darren Fell, who built Brighton-based email marketing firm Pure360 in his front room all the way to a multi-million pound exit, will help get your entrepreneurial juices flowing.

There will also be talks and workshops on online marketing, bootstrapping your business and advice from seasoned developers on using the right tech to get a competitive edge (September 18).

Another talk Starting a new business? will share experiences in online technologies available to smooth and simplify the process.

From setting up email and creating a web page, to global collaboration, there are tools available which allow you to focus on the day-to-day business rather than establishing infrastructure (September 12).

A camping retreat to unplug, get inspired and meet like minded people is Happy Startup Summercamp (September 19 to 21).

It will bring together an impressive line-up of thinkers, doers and makers to inspire, help you lead a better life, get more from your work or business and make the most of your time in this world of ours.

Workshops include pitching and product design, skills sessions from barista to bushcrafting and drop-in clinics in accountancy, law, funding and PR Meanwhile Startup Weekend Brighton EDU is for those with an idea on how to improve education (September 26 to 28). The event is opportunity to transform education ideas into action in 54 hours, by finding people with complementary skills, passion and dedication to build a start up. Participants can test their ideas with real potential customers, with coaching from experienced education entrepreneurs and industry professionals.