Driving Digital Diversity — the List

Why we created it, by Dr David Dunkley Gyimah

Image for post
Image for post
Super selfie is about 2 metres in size

‘Striking and original’ is how the the Secretary of State Matt Hancock MP described its ambition.

Sir Lenny Henry gave his backing. Former OFCOM senior executive and ITN CEO Stewart Purvis congratulated us, saying ‘it is a terrific piece of work’, whilst Margaret Hill, former Chief Adviser Editorial Policy at BBC at the BBC said the event was ‘well done’.

The TVC Leaders’ List profiled sixty extraordinary people, black, Asian or from ethnic minority backgrounds in a series of portraits, a super compositional selfie, behind-the-scenes photos and cinema projected interviews in a gallery setting, and then a book. How and why did we do it?

Discussions about diversity and inclusion in society are much needed, more so now given current trends. They inform, change policy and set strategies in using the full talent of our workforce, and the narratives that frame our understanding of the world.

And in the world of A.I. there are worrying signs e.g. har cascade scandal and bias. This isn’t just a tech problem but a sociological one with input from diverse experts

Our idea was to stage a multi-verse event celebrating BAME’s contribution to Britain’s multi-million pound television industry. It would draw focus to talent, generally unknown to viewers, and be used as a marker for young people as the next generation of television producers who will shape our world via television.

From organising the talent, inviting them to a photoshoot, filming them, designing the book, and staging the portrait event in a gallery, inviting UK BBC Voice finalist Emmanuel Nwamadi to open the event and Glenthorne School inspired by Gospel songs to to perform a dance, we pulled it off — all the while between our day jobs.

Academic Interests

Universities reveal a betwixing achilles, which we aim to fix. As centres of study delivering exemplary research findings and prepping the next generation for industry, arguably who can fault them, but engagement of a kind in which rich creative ideas can be turned into popular public-facing media spectacles that have a huge impact — they’re found wanting.

Uniquely, on this occasion I would manage to find funding from my university and a forward looking Dean on diversity and inclusion. She’s since moved on as I have to a Russell group university. This support meant several new parties could engage with the project.

The Mayor’s office hosted part of the exhibition for Black History month celebrating powerful black women in London. We’ve started an itenary for it to tour schools.

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

Phase one of this project is physical. The second phase involves A.I and a digital presence. We’ve had a good meeting at google and I hope to report its future status soon. Meanwhile this is what we’ve achieved in phase one.

  1. Giant sized selfie group photo
  2. Images from the film ( see trailer below)
  3. The 120 page book
  4. Gallery Room showing cinema documentary portraits
  5. Tour schools and Mayor’s office
  1. Letter from Minister of Culture Matt Hancock MP about the event

The Leaders list was co-produced by Dr David Dunkley Gyimah and Simone Pennant. David has been a media practitioner, educator and advocate of diversity and inclusion for many years.

David Dunkley Gyimah is a top writer in journalism on @medium and publishes www. viewmagazine.tv . He is the recipient of awards in Innovation and Media e.g. Knight Batten Awards. He’s a visiting professor at the University of British Columbia and from setting up the digital LAB at the University of Westminster is currently at the University of Cardiff. A former artist in residence at the Southbank, David’s work includes President Obama and Nelson Mandela. He’s been a creative storyteller and journalist since 1988 working for the likes of Newsnight, ABC News and Channel 4 News ( see David’s reputation here).

Written by

Top Writer & Creative Technologist, Int. Award Winner. Cinemajournalist. Cardiff Uni @jomec. PhD (Dublin). Visiting Prof UBC, Ex BBC/C4News. Apple profiled.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store