Riposte Presents...Tech & Innovation

26th October 2016

Last night we hosted our October edition of Riposte Presents and welcomed to the floor five fascinating women who are working with tech to drive change and innovation across a range of disciplines.

First up we heard from Tabitha Goldstaub who is a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Cognition X. At Cognition X they pair the best software developers and programmers with businesses who want to apply AI to their output or organization. Tabitha gave a funny and inspiring insight into the world of AI. Far from being something to fear or relegate to the world of science fiction movies, Tabitha shared real examples of why it’s an exciting world and how we could all utilize it in everyday businesses. She recommended Riposte develop chatbots who could work out which guests of Riposte Presents would be best to sit next to each other to network and connect.

"Without women there's no way AI can be better than society at the minute. We need to be involved in the programming."

Tabitha Goldstaub


Marisol Grandon was up next. Marisol is head of creative content at the Department for International Development and is also the founder of VR Women. She shared some of the work she has done with the UN in VR including the film Clouds Above Sidra. The film gives a 360 insight into the life of Sidra, a 12 year old girl who is living in a refugee camp in Jordan.  

Marisol talked about the need to educate girls young, citing the Camfed model which outlines that if young girls are well educated, they go onto become young women in leadership which in turn leads to systemic change. 

Before the break Katri Salminen talked us through some of the brilliant projects that the Fashion Innovation Agency has produced. The agency works at the intersection of tech, innovation and fashion, teaming cutting edge designers with brands and developers to create astounding wearable technology.  Katri saw VR as playing a huge part in the future of fashion weeks.

During the break we served Tanqueray and tonic and a tasty Pumpkin Spiced Baileys over ice. 

"It's our role to ensure the organisations we are working for are supporting women everywhere"

Marisol Grandon


Maxine Mackintosh left everyone inspired after her talk on health and technology. She began by pointing out that our current health system was fit for purpose 100 years ago but was now incredibly outdated. She pointed out that innovation in health wasn’t digitisation of the status quo. This wasn’t an attack on the NHS or just pointing out the current failings; Maxine discussed how we could utilize tech to empower patients, how a more diverse range of people is need to be involved in the designing stages of future health systems and she sees consumerization of the health care as an inevitable next step – not one that needs to be the death of the NHS, rather something that sits alongside it.

When discussing how the boxes we put people in aren’t helpful and don’t paint a full picture of that person, she said something that is one of our favourite quotes from any event, “My gender is only a fly in my societal ointment.”

Afsa Akbar drew the evening to a close with a brilliant introduction to the important work of Chayn – an open source platform that uses technology to empower women against violence and oppression. Chayn organize hackathons to find solutions for refugee women and one of their most used tools is an actionable guide to help women who are suffering from domestic abuse. Designed and written by survivors of abuse and legal professionals, the guide gives advice and options – a mental and legal toolkit on how to deal with certain situations.

The whole evening was hugely inspiring and left us with lots of ideas and even more questions about how we can incorporate tech in a meaningful way throughout everything we do.

A huge thanks to everyone who came down, to our partners Tanqueray and Baileys and to our brilliant speakers. We’re back on the 23rd November for more Riposte Presents…