Current Initiatives 



The WePROTECT Global Alliance to End Child Sexual Exploitation Online is an international movement dedicated to national and global action to end the sexual exploitation of children online.

The Global Alliance have assembled, for the first time, the influence, resources and expertise to transform how this crime is dealt with worldwide, to deliver a vision of more victims safeguarded, more perpetrators apprehended and an end to online child sexual exploitation.

The WePROTECT Global Alliance Board are focused on four key areas to help deliver this vision:

  • securing high-level commitment by governments, the technology industry and international and civil society organisations to tackling this crime;
  • support comprehensive national action, through the WePROTECT Model National Response and the Fund to End Violence Against Children;
  • galvanising global action by catalysing and driving critical interventions needed to end online child sexual exploitation;
  • strategy and governance, including securing a long-term future for this initiative and a clear and stable governance structure

WePROTECT Global Alliance to End Child Sexual Exploitation Online combines two major initiatives: the Global Alliance, led by the U.S. Department of Justice and the EU Commission and WePROTECT, which was convened by the UK. This new, merged initiative has unprecedented reach, with 70 countries already members of WePROTECT or the Global Alliance, along with major international organisations, 20 of the biggest names in the global technology industry, and 17 leading civil society organisations.

Read Baroness Joanna Shields' speech at the Summit here.

Child Dignity in the Digital World, Partnership with WePROTECT and the Centre for Child Protection

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Children and adolescents make up over a quarter of the more than 3.2 billion Internet users worldwide. This generation of over 800 million young users is in danger of becoming victims of sextortion, sexting, cyberbullying and harassment.

This global problem calls for a global solution. We need an open and thorough discussion to build awareness, and to mobilize action for a better protection of minors online.

‘Child Dignity in the Digital World’ is the first world congress of its kind that brings together key stakeholders and international leaders from all relevant areas.

This pioneering congress hosted by the Centre for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome sets a milestone in the international fight against digital sexual child abuse.

The invitation-only congress brings together distinguished academic experts, business leaders, leaders of civil society, high-level politicians and religious representatives from across the globe. This provides a historic opportunity to set the global agenda for the fight against online sexual child abuse and for child protection in the digital world.

Council on Foreign Relations


The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries.

Founded in 1921, CFR takes no institutional positions on matters of policy. CFR carries out its mission by maintaining a diverse membership, including special programs to promote interest and develop expertise in the next generation of foreign policy leaders and publishing Foreign Affairs, the preeminent journal of international affairs and U.S. foreign policy.

5Rights Supporter


5Rights is a civil society initiative that seeks to make the digital world a more transparent and empowering place for children and young people (under 18) by delivering a universal framework of digital rights, in order that young people are able to access digital technologies creatively, knowledgeably and fearlessly.



The UK digital economy continues its rapid expansion with growth projections of 11% a year through 2016, creating an Internet economy worth over £221B.  The UK is the most digital nation in the G20 with a greater percentage of its GDP attributed to tech and digital businesses than any other country, currently 10% of GDP.  The combination of great talent, world leading academic institutions, comptetitive tax incentives and pro business environment means that more businesses are setting up and growing in the UK than ever before.

Tech City


Tech City was created in 2010 to transform East London into a digital hub.  In 2012, Joanna was invited by Prime Minister David Cameron to become Tech City’s CEO.  Since then, the UK has become a global digital powerhouse and Tech City became TechCityUK, a national organisation that promotes the development of digital businesses and entrepreneurs all across the country. In 2014 Joanna hired Gerard Grech in January 2014 to lead the organisation and remains its Chair.

Tech Nation


Tech Nation is an interactive data project that demonstrates the growth of digital clusters across the UK. It brings together extensive data via a report and interactive online guide. From East London’s Tech City up to Edinburgh and beyond, digital businesses increasingly choose to work near each other, creating dynamic tech clusters up and down the country.

The UK’s digital economy is thriving. Venture capital investment in London’s tech companies alone is 20 times what it was five years ago. Cities as diverse as Cardiff and Newcastle now boast growing digital tech economies. Now is the right time to shine the spotlight on this exciting network of digital clusters, and map out the prospects for professionals and investors. Tech City has become one of the UK’s greatest success stories. Now it’s time for Tech Nation.


It’s very un-British to brag but nowhere beats the UK as an international hub for business.  With our dynamic and highly educated population, specialist tech capabilities and great infrastructure, the UK is a true tech powerhouse.  We have created the best conditions for business builders anywhere in the world.  We are an innovation-driven, knowledge-based economy made of creators, innovators and groundbreakers.  We listen to the needs of the  ecosystem and create policies that help our businesses flourish and lead on the international stage.


Digital skills are the most acute need of businesses in the UK, with 746,000 additional job openings expected by 2017. To meet this growing need we launched the Digital Business Academy (DBA) on November 17 of this year. The DBA is a free digital platform offering courses for UK residents on how to start or join a digital business. Powered by Tech City UK, this initiative offers unique content from top UK universities such as UCL and Cambridge Judge Business School, on topics as varied as setting up a digital business, creating a marketing strategy, or mastering finance for your business - for free. Thirty industry partners including the BBC, Twitter, O2, and Microsoft Ventures are offering rewards to completers of the course in the form of paid internships, mentorship, and free start-up support and working spaces.

Future Fifty


The UK is now known for its start-ups but it was our high growth scaling businesses that contributed the most to the economic recovery.  High growth companies are the engine for job creation.  In 2012, recognising the huge potential of a growing cohort of companies in the UK, Tech City and the Chancellor of the Exchecquer launched Future Fifty to nurture and support fifty of the fastest growing business in the UK. The Future Fifty programme connects businesses with experts in capital markets, mentors, government programmes and investors.  It provides support on a range of fronts, from obtaining visas for top talent to negotiating with regulators and tax authorities.  Future Fifty accelerates the growth of UK-based businesses by creating a community of support from institutions and markets in the UK.  From Edinburgh to Norwich, as well as London and the South East, Future Fifty companies have generated £2.1 billion in revenue since entering the programme, with an average revenue growth of 60%. In the last 10 months alone, four Future Fifty businesses have gone public - Just Eat,, Zoopla and Horizon Discovery with a total value of £4B.

Hour of Code, a non-profit has launched a global campaign to bring its ‘Hour of Code’ to 100 million people later this year. This is the biggest ever initiative that gives anyone the opportunity to experience and understand coding, whilst also furthering digital literacy. To date over 40 million people have tried an hour of code including over 3 million in the UK.

The Hour of Code introduces individuals to coding in an engaging way through very simple and fun tutorials such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft’s Bill Gates teaming up to encourage learners to program their very own Angry Bird. The campaign culminated in a global week-long focus on coding between 8th – 12th December, in which Prime Minister David Cameron participated.

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