James Stewart


James Stewart is as an independent consultant supporting senior leaders in a range of sectors to embed modern technology and security in their strategies, and helping organisations with digitally-enabled transformation. He’s a regular speaker, appearing at events around the world covering topics from technical architecture and modern development techniques to digital transformation.

Previously James was a co-founder of the Government Digital Service and Deputy CTO of the UK Government. He was responsible for the technical architecture of the award-winning GOV.UK, building the acclaimed team behind it, supporting the delivery of dozens of projects across government and transforming the UK Government’s relationship with open source by “coding in the open.”

Working across government, he helped make the move toward a more user-centric and platform-based architecture for government services. He’s been instrumental in the UK government’s move to use of public cloud, reform of network policy and coordinating the network of senior technology leaders across government.

The technical work he has led has underpinned solutions that have won a variety of awards including the Design Museum’s Design of the Year and a D&AD Black Pencil. The work of GDS was described by O’Reilly Radar as “the default for how government should approach their online efforts in the 21st century”, has inspired similar initiatives around the globe and has been widely celebrated.

James has advised a number of startups, was a member of GitHub‘s Customer Advisory Board and represented the UK government at the W3C. Prior to joining the civil service James ran an agency providing websites, business tools and product development to a range of small businesses, charities and entertainment industry clients.


Revolution NOT Evolution: UK Government's Digital Transformation Journey

35' Talk

Governments the world over are beginning to recognise the need to embrace digital change and transform how they provide services. A pioneer of that was the UK which in 2011 began an ambitious programme of digital change, led by a new unit called the Government Digital Service. Over five years they transformed users’ experience of dozens of government services, saved billions of pounds in the process, and embedded significant new capabilities across government. James Stewart was one of the founders of that unit and led much of its work on technology and security. He’ll share some lessons from that journey and how they can be used for others on a similar journey in any complex organisation (not just governments).

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