As part of this year's AGM, we're hosting a panel about wins and setbacks for the games industry, inclusive working practices and how the post-lockdown world will shape how we make, sell and play video games.
The panel will take place after the main meeting at 3pm on Thursday 16th September.
We're excited to announce that the panellists will be:
Kish Hirani, BAME in Games
Kish Hirani brings with him 25 years experience in the games industry. He started as a software engineer, swiftly attaining technical director or equivalent roles at development studios and publishing houses like Acclaim, THQ, BBC Multimedia to name a few. The second half of his career he moved to platform holders starting with Microsoft then settling at Sony PlayStation for 8 years as their Head of Developer Services, developing and managing resources for all developer facing technical activities. Currently, he is the CTO of a start-up as well as a consultancy and sits on multiple advisory boards. He has taken up the voluntary position of the first Chair of the advocacy group BAME in Games (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic), promoting diversity in the industry. He was listed as one of 'The Top 100 most influential BAME leaders in UK Tech' 2019 in the Financial Times; awarded the ‘Diversity Star Award’ at the Develop:Star Awards 2019 and listed as ‘The Top 100 Asian Stars in UK Tech’ by Diversity UK in 2018.
Dr Mark Taylor, University of Sheffield
Mark Taylor is Senior Lecturer in Quantitative Methods at the University of Sheffield, UK. He is an expert in survey methods, and in diversity in cultural and creative industries. He is the author of the UK Games Industry Census: Understanding diversity in the UK games industry workforce (Ukie, 2020), and (with Orian Brook and Dave O'Brien) Culture Is Bad For You: Inequality in the Cultural and Creative Industries (Manchester University Press, 2020).
Samantha Ebelthite, EA
Samantha Ebelthite joined EA in 2018 as Head of Sales for UK&I. The following year she was promoted to Country Manager for the UK&I, EA’s largest market outside of North America and most recently has been appointed Commercial Markets Director. Previous to EA, Samantha held a number of Commercial, Marketing and Category roles within Unilever, Birdseye and GlaxoSmithKline.
Samantha is passionate about diversity, inclusion and raising the profile for underrepresented groups in both EA and the video games industry. She played a lead role in EA becoming a founding partner of Ukie’s #RaisetheGame pledge, through driving the delivery of the pledge and continuing to drive the pledge’s objectives to create a more inclusive video games industry. Samantha also championed EA as a sponsor for the MCV’s Women in Games awards and within EA, Samantha is a European Chair of EA’s Employee Resource Group for women, Women’s Ultimate Team (WUT).
Alongside her roles at EA, Samantha sits on the board of UKIE. Samantha loves being involved in raising the profile of the UK video games industry, tackling issues that arise, promoting D&I initiatives, and driving continued growth and opportunity for this innovative sector.
Rose Buahin, Xbox
The current Games Category Lead for Xbox UK & Ireland, Rose Buahin is an industry senior marketing veteran with over 17 years of experience holding key positions at Eidos, Novologic, Warner Bros, Sony PlayStation and Curve Digital. Rose Buhain has worked on a number of ground-breaking software and hardware campaigns including Batman: Arkham City, PlayStation 4, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End and Human: Fall Flat. She also works to drive initiatives and industry activities which assist marginalised groups, appearing on Gayming podcast and website as well as being an active member of Women of Xbox UK. In 2019 she recieved an MCV/Develop "Special Recognition" award and was named as part of the GIBiz Top 100 Women in Games 2019.
Tamsin O’Luanaigh, nDreams
Overseeing Company Secretarial; HR; Recruitment; Operations, Tamsin O'Luanaigh is well aware these are all areas which are constantly evolving as we continue to grow in an emerging tech industry. Passionate about education and encouraging young people into video games careers, she champions #womeningames and diversity in the industry.
Tamsin O'Luanaigh is a Mental Health First Aider with #MHFA, the G into Gaming Diversity Award Winner 2018, Gamedevheroes Awards 2018 Diversity award finalist, and featured on the GIBiz Top 100 Women in Games 2019.