We have already lined up some of the most inspirational, influential and in-demand speakers from across the media and technology sectors to be part of the Summit. Those currently announced are:

Jeffrey D. Dunn

President and CEO Sesame Workshop

Biography

“At Sesame Workshop, we have always used the latest technology to advance our mission of helping children everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. When we started out, that cutting edge medium was television. Since then, we’ve embraced every advance in order to reach and teach children around the world in new ways—and the recent proliferation of digital platforms has brought opportunity and challenge in equal measure.

I look forward to sharing Sesame stories and strategies—including lessons learned over nearly 50 years—with colleagues across the industry at the Children’s Global Media Summit. I hope that we can start a broader conversation and find ways to work together to ensure the production and protection of safe, quality Children’s Media in years to come.” 

Jeff Dunn has spent his career leading brands and organizations through times of significant change, financial growth, and societal impact.

As President and CEO of Sesame Workshop, Dunn leads the nonprofit educational organization in creating content that helps children grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. Dunn directs Sesame Street’s global presence as well as Workshop initiatives addressing a wide range of issues for children and families alike.

Dunn served as a 2014 Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellow at Harvard University. Before that, he was President and CEO of HiT Entertainment, from 2008 until 2012. Prior to leading HiT, Dunn was COO of the Nickelodeon Networks group and President of Nickelodeon Film and Enterprises.

Before Nickelodeon, Dunn ran marketing for The Bank of Boston. He began his career at Time Magazine in marketing and general management positions.

Dunn graduated with honors from Harvard College and received his MBA from Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, where he was named one of the top leaders of his class.


Dr Maya Göetz

Researcher in the area of children/youth and television, International Central Institute for Youth and Educational Television, Germany, and of the PRIX JEUNESSE Foundation

Biography

“As a consequence of changing media usage habits, content and the way children consume it is changing. Many problems are new, but other areas of concern like gender stereotypes are widely known and are getting worse due to the large range of devices. 

There is an urgent need for action in terms of content-related orientation for media professionals and this Summit will bring us an important step further in shaping the future of quality in children’s media.”

Maya Goetz, Ph.D., is Head of the International Central Institute for Youth and Educational Television (IZI) at the Bayerischer Rundfunk (Bavarian Broadcasting Corp.), Munich, Germany, and of the PRIX JEUNESSE Foundation.

Her main field of work is research in the area of “children/youth and television” and gender-specific reception research. She conducts empirical studies such as, “Gender representation in children’s TV and its meaning for girls and boys”, “Fear and nightmares from TV” or “What’s so funny?” and over 180 studies to foster quality in current TV programmes.

She published more than 240 articles and 13 books in the field of children, young people and television. She is married and is mother of two girls age 8 and 12 years.


Tony Hall
Lord Hall of Birkenhead

Director-General BBC

Biography

‘Nothing matters more than shaping a better, safer and more creative digital world for children. That’s why I’m really looking forward to the Summit – and all of us getting together to make a difference for generations to come’

Tony Hall – Lord Hall of Birkenhead – was appointed Director-General of the BBC on 22 November 2012. He is the 16th Director-General of the BBC.
Prior to this, Tony was Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House from April 2001 until April 2013.
He joined the BBC as a news trainee in 1973 and during a 28 year career at the Corporation he held roles including Senior Producer at World at One, Assistant Editor of the Nine O’Clock News, Output Editor for Newsnight, culminating as Chief Executive of BBC News from 1996 to 2001.
While at the BBC he launched Radio 5 live, BBC News 24, BBC News Online and BBC Parliament. He was Deputy Chairman of Channel 4 Television and he is a Trustee of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the Foundation Years Trust . Passionate about education and skills within the cultural industries, he was the founder Chair of Creative & Cultural Skills, Chairman of the Musical and Dance Scheme, Chair of Stratford East Theatre, and he was Chair of the Cultural Olympiad Committee and a member of the London Organising Committee for the 2012 Olympic Games.
He was appointed a CBE in 2005 and in 2010 was created a life peer with the title Baron Hall of Birkenhead. He sits on the Crossbenches in the House of Lords.


Anne Longfield OBE

Children’s Commissioner for England

Biography

“Digital technology and media in all its forms now play a core role in the everyday lives of children and young people across the globe and as Children’s Commissioner for England,

I have made improving children’s rights in this space one of my key priorities.

In my recent report Growing Up Digital I advocated for a shift away from a protectionist approach to one which empowers children to be active citizens in this fast developing world.

It is critical that all children, no matter what their circumstance, have equal opportunity to not only access digital media but to challenge and change it.

I want all children to be equipped with the knowledge and tools needed to be creator’s not just consumers and I look forward to exploring this further at the Children’s Global Media Summit.”

As Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield OBE, is tasked in law with working on behalf of all of England’s 12.5 million children and particularly those who face the most challenges and difficulties.

Anne is a passionate champion for children and a strong advocate of early intervention with over 30 years’ experience in developing, influencing and shaping the national policy agenda for, as well as leading the delivery of services to, children and families. Prior to taking up the post of Children’s Commissioner in 2015, she was Chief Executive of a national charity which ran ground-breaking services for children and families. Anne also worked in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit in the Cabinet Office for a period of time.

Anne launched Growing Up North, in December 2016 to examine children’s aspirations and progression in the North.  Growing Up North puts children at the heart of the regeneration debate looking at the opportunities and developments needed to help children realise their potential in the new northern settlement.


Sugata Mitra

Professor and Principal Research Investigator at the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences at Newcastle University, UK

Biography

“We are all very nervous about children with smart phones. The Internet with social media enables them to know just about anything. We, adults, don’t like that and go into denial.

We must learn to understand that they are in their time, unlike any we have known. We cannot afford to live comfortably in our past anymore. We need to go with them. They will show us the way.

This summit is important.”

Sugata Mitra is Professor and Principal Research Investigator at the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences at Newcastle University, UK.

He conducted the Hole in the Wall (HIW) experiment, where in 1999 a computer was embedded within a wall in an Indian slum at Kalkaji, Delhi and children were allowed to freely use it. The experiment was aimed at proving that kids could be taught computers very easily without any formal training. Sugata termed this as Minimally Invasive Education (MIE). The experiment has since been repeated at many places. He is the recipient of many awards from India, the UK, USA and many other countries in the world.

His interests include Children’s Education, Remote Presence, Self-organising systems, Cognitive Systems, Physics and Consciousness.  He is a PHD in Physics credited with more that 25 inventions in the area of cognitive science and educational technology. He was conferred the prestigious Dewang Mehta Award from the Government of India for Innovation in Information Technology in the year 2003. Amongst many other awards, he was awarded the 1 million dollar TED Prize in 2013.

The Hole in the Wall experiment has left a mark on popular culture. Indian diplomat Vikas Swarup read about Mitra’s experiment and was inspired to write his debut novel that went on to become the Oscar winning movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire’.


Aaron Haroon Rashid

Created Burka Avenger, about a Pakistani teacher with secret martial arts skills tackling social issues like gender discrimination and lack of proper education

Biography

“A summit like this is more important than ever considering the huge influence children’s shows can have.

I am very excited to attend and showcase Burka Avenger, one of Asia’s most popular indigenous superheroes. “

Haroon is an award winning director, producer, social-activist, and singer/composer. As a music star in Pakistan he has a fan following in the millions. Haroon is the creator and director of the hugely successful and internationally acclaimed multi award winning Pakistani Animated TV Series the Burka Avenger.

Burka Avenger is Pakistan’s first ever animated TV series and has won several major international awards including the following:

–   Peabody Award Winner (New York)

–   Nominated for Int’l Emmy Award (New York)

–   Int’l Gender Equity Prize at Prix Jeunesse (Munich)

–   Asian Media Awards: Best TV Show (Manchester)

–   Canada Int’l Film Festival: Rising Star Award (Vancouver)

–   Award of Merit – Accolades Global Film Competition

–   Best Animation (Int’l) – LUMS Int’l Film Festival (Lahore)

–   Time Magazine: “One of the most Influential Fictional Characters of 2013”

The animated TV series features Jiya as the inspirational school teacher and her alter ego, the super-heroine Burka Avenger. Her use of books and pens as projectile weapons is symbolic on many levels. The Burka Avenger fights for Justice, Peace and Education for all. Each episode focuses on a separate social message such as gender equity, free and fair elections, anti-discrimination, importance of education for girls, child labor etc. These messages are wrapped in action, comedy and adventure.

Throughout his successful music career Haroon has regularly produced songs and videos with socially conscious messages such as the anti-corruption hit Mr. Fraudiay and Ghoom Ghoom which has a message of inter-faith. He has sold over five million albums worldwide and the audience at his shows often number in the tens of thousands.

Haroon is the co-founder of Pakistan’s All Music Performers Pakistan Society (AMPPS) which focuses on rights for musicians. Haroon is also a board member of Pakistan Copyright Board, working closely with IPO Pakistan (Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan) and WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) to help set up Pakistan’s first royalty collection organization.

Recently Haroon launched Pakistan’s first of its kind digital content delivery platform called Taazi.com that aims to combat piracy in a country where music and movies have a piracy rate of 100%. Taazi.com (which is also content based social network) has developed a unique mobile telecom integrated billing system, which allows users to pay via their mobile phone balances for online music, TV shows and movies.


Andreas Schleicher

Director for Education and Skills, and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Biography

“Great technology will never replace poor teaching, but technology can hugely amplify great teaching and help ensure that all students have access to excellent teaching.”

Andreas Schleicher is Director for Education and Skills, and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). As a key member of the OECD’s Senior Management team, he supports the Secretary-General’s strategy to produce analysis and policy advice that advances economic growth and social progress. In addition to policy and country reviews, he oversees the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), the OECD Skills Strategy, the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), and the development and analysis of benchmarks on the performance of education systems (INES).

Before joining the OECD, Mr. Schleicher was Director for Analysis at the International Association for Educational Achievement (IEA). He studied Physics in Germany and received a degree in Mathematics and Statistics in Australia. He is the recipient of numerous honours and awards, including the “Theodor Heuss” prize, awarded in the name of the first president of the Federal Republic of Germany for “exemplary democratic engagement”.  He holds an honorary Professorship at the University of Heidelberg.

 


Bobby Thandi

VP Digital, Dubit and CEO, XRGames

Biography

”We’re eager to share our findings about how young people will use virtual reality to experience, engage, play and learn.”

The Children’s Global Media Summit is ideally timed for deep and diverse conversation about how young people will use virtual reality to experience, engage, play and learn.

As a strategy consultancy and studio, Dubit has been focused solely on children for almost 20 years. When new technologies emerge, we’re perfectly positioned to consider their potential for kids from multiple perspectives – rigorous research, innovative application and market insight coming together to result in developmentally appropriate experiences that kids love and parents trust. In 2017, Dubit has dived into testing and creation of VR for children in all its divisions.

We’re eager to share our findings and exchange ideas with others at the CGMS, toward fulfilling the potential of this exciting medium

As VP Digital at Dubit Bobby develops strategies and oversees development of digital entertainment apps, VR, and games for kids. Dubit has experience of working with leading children’s entertainment companies as well as innovative start-ups from around the globe. Clients include Mattel, PBS KIDS, DreamWorks, Disney, Cartoon Network, and others. As CEO at XRGames (a Dubit subsidiary) Bobby has raised a seven-figure investment round to spend directly on developing a suite of VR apps for established IPs. Bobby is also a BAFTA VR Advisory Group member.

 


Dr Dylan Yamada-Rice

Senior Research Manager at Dubit and Senior Tutor in Information Experience Design at the Royal College of Art

Biography

My academic research focuses on children’s engagement with digital media, working with industry to help shape the best experiences for children. 

At Dubit we have been undertaking research looking at the type of VR content that engages children. As well as working alongside specialists in vision, cognition and balance at the University of Leeds to consider health and safety aspects of the technology. 

I look forward to sharing what I have learnt. 

Dr Dylan Yamada-Rice is a Senior Research Manager at Dubit and Senior Tutor in Information Experience Design at the Royal College of Art. Her current work is primarily concerned with the research and development of VR content for children. She has an academic background in Childhood Education and serves as the academic-industry link for the European Cooperation in Science and Technology-funded research network DigilitEY, an EU-wide group that studies the potential of digital tech for kids.


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