From Representation to Inclusion: Global Black Impact Summit (GBIS) to Explore Diversity in Media and Entertainment

todayFebruary 20, 2024 26

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The media and entertainment sectors are undergoing a transformative shift in their approach to representation. While there has been notable progress in showcasing diversity – with policies implemented at both company and national level to ensure different groups are granted the same opportunity in the industry – society is now calling for a shift towards genuine inclusion. By going beyond mere representation to ensure the integration of voices, media companies stand to expand the mainstream narrative; drive business growth and profitability through shared perspectives; while contributing towards a more inclusive society.  

Against this backdrop, the Global Black Impact Summit (GBIS) (https://apo-opa.co/3T0P3Qt) – held in Dubai on February 27 – will unite diverse groups of people globally to discuss the role of representation and inclusion in the media and entertainment industries and celebrate the achievements made when inclusive practices are followed.

GBIS – hosted by the Black Impact Foundation and organized by Energy Capital and Power – is an annual event that celebrates the achievements of the Black community, promotes excellence, and explores untapped potential across various fields. This year’s summit – taking place on February 27, 2024, in Dubai – is set to be a transformative experience, featuring influential speakers, engaging panel discussions and networking opportunities.

Research suggests that integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) principles into the media and entertainment industry yields greater profitability. Amazon’s 2023 Higher Impact Report reveals that 79% of consumers exhibit a preference for brands whose values resonate with their own, with DEI increasingly prominent among these values. Additionally, nearly half (45%) of consumers are willing to pay a premium for products that embrace and advocate for DEI, while 46% actively seek out brands that demonstrate corporate commitments to DEI.

In addition to its profitability, diversity and inclusion are essential for shaping perceptions and attitudes. Providing diverse voices with a platform to share their narratives not only promotes unity but also dismantles barriers and nurtures understanding. Representation serves as a catalyst for empathy and connection, bridging cultural divides and fostering a sense of inclusivity that resonates with audiences. Central to this narrative shift is the recognition that inclusion surpasses mere adherence to regulations; it necessitates a continual dedication to amplifying diverse viewpoints. It’s crucial, therefore, not only to integrate previously excluded individuals but also to spearhead discussions and shape narratives proactively.

Among those leading this discussion are Arno Peperkoorn, Co-Founder of Include Now, a foundation advocating for diversity and inclusivity. In his role as Chief Talent Officer at Omnicom in the Netherlands, he recognizes individual’s strengths and bridges barriers to include more diverse perspectives. Similarly, OCTET Productions’ Chief Creative Officer Bree West and CEO Chuck West prioritize diversity and inclusion in their company’s endeavors, encouraging an environment where diverse perspectives are valued and integrated into their creative projects. Peperkoorn and both Bree and Chuck West are speaking at GBIS this February.

Another notable advocate for diversity in media and entertainment is Mindy Kaling. As an actress, writer, producer, and director, Kaling has been vocal about the importance of representation both on and off-screen. Through her work on projects including ‘The Office,’ ‘The Mindy Project,’ and ‘Never Have I Ever,’ Kaling has consistently pushed for more diverse storytelling that reflects the complexities of modern society. She has also used her platform to advocate for greater opportunities for women, people of color, and other underrepresented groups in the industry.

Similarly, Trevor Noah, South African comedian and host of ‘The Daily Show,’ has garnered acclaim for his insightful commentary on global politics and social matters. Noah’s upbringing as a biracial individual in apartheid-era South Africa lends a unique perspective to his commentary, offering audiences a distinct lens through which to engage with contemporary events.

At the upcoming GBIS 2024 event, these themes will take the stage, spotlighting the crucial role of authentic representation and inclusivity in media. Going beyond superficial visibility, the focus will be on amplifying diverse voices and narratives. By prioritizing inclusion and diversity, GBIS acknowledges the media’s integral role in driving societal change toward a more inclusive future for all stakeholders.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Energy Capital&Power.

About Energy Capital&Power (ECP):
Energy Capital&Power (ECP) is the African continent’s leading investment platform for the energy sector. Join us at our world-class investment-focused events in Africa and worldwide. ECP’s events, reports, content and other services are built to serve the African energy community.

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