About this speaker
Beena Puri is the Innovation and Partnerships Lead at Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA)and part of the team leading the Digital Blueprint for Greater Manchester. Beena leads the GreaterManchester Cyber Advisory Group and the Digital Inclusion Agenda for Change with a Taskforce of over 250 global, national and local organisations from industry, local and national UK government, academia and community convened with a vision to fix the digital divide for residents and ensure public services work for all. Beena had convened a National Digital Inclusion Forum with Combined Authorities and Local Authorities across the UK to share resources, learning and best practice to address shared challenges around digital inclusion.
Greater Manchester Combined Authority won the Digital Leaders’ Founders Award 2022, the Royal Geographical Society’s Geography in Government Award 2022 for our Digital Exclusion Risk Index and I have been Shortlisted for the Northern Power Women Levelling Up Leader Award 2023 for work to fix the digital divide in Greater Manchester and beyond. Greater Manchester Combined Authority has been featured in the national Digital Inclusion Charity, the Good Things Foundation’s Digital Inclusion Roadmap for Combined Authorities. GMCA was the first UK region to develop a GMDatabank, part of the National Databank by the Good Things Foundation, which has supported 22,858 people across 130 community organisations in the region with free data sims. GMCA have piloted Europe’s biggest digital inclusion programme in social housing working with 5 national telecoms organisations to evidence the link to connectivity uptake for people living in low-income households.