Ukie CEO Dr Jo Twist awarded OBE
10 June 2015 - London, United Kingdom – Dr Jo Twist Awarded OBE for services to Creative Industries in 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours
Ukie is delighted to announce that its CEO, Dr Jo Twist, has been awarded an OBE in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours for her services to the Creative Industries.
Jo has been CEO of games trade body Ukie since January 2012, where she has worked tirelessly to make the UK the best place in the world to make and sell games. In this capacity, she has been instrumental in the introduction of Video Games Tax Relief, commissioned the 2015 Blueprint for Growth Report, successfully lobbied for outdated ICT in schools to be replaced with the new computing curriculum, and is integral to the formation of Games London, a three-year scheme to promote London as the games capital of the world, which was launched this year with the introduction of the new London Games Festival. She is a passionate advocate for diversity in the Creative Industries, and also for creating the right environment for skills and talent to develop within the sector.
Jo is also Deputy Chair of the British Screen Advisory Council, a London Tech Ambassador, sits on Bafta Games Committee and Bafta Learning and New Talent Committee, as well as a number of other boards and advisory groups.
Earlier this year, she won the Outstanding Contribution at MCV’s Women in Games Awards. She is also a proud Vice President for games and accessibility charity, SpecialEffect.
Jo’s background is in digital media, education and creative technology, and has a wealth of experience in all aspects of interactive entertainment. Previously, Jo was Channel 4’s Commissioning Editor for Education, where she commissioned Digital Emmy-winning Battlefront II, a social media campaigning platform for young people, amongst many free to play browser and iOS games. Before this, she was Multiplatform Channel Editor for BBC Entertainment and Switch, BBC Three Multiplatform Channel Editor, and in a former life was a technology reporter for BBC News.
Chair of the Ukie Board, Noirin Carmody, said, "Since Jo became CEO at Ukie she has worked tirelessly as ambassador for the entire games and interactive entertainment sector, which she cares so much about. Jo has transformed Ukie from an organisation of 40 members to a body with close to 300 members that are representative of the diverse UK games industry. Jo’s drive and passion in promoting the UK games sector to policy-makers, the creative industries, media, and Government have been of enormous benefit to the UK and beyond. This is a much-deserved recognition, and I am proud to be working with Jo as she continues to be a huge asset to our sector.”
Jo added, “This is an incredibly humbling honour. I’m truly grateful to have worked with so many incredible people throughout my career, all of whom are dedicated to making the UK a global leader in the creative industries, and am very proud to be a part of this sector. I want to continue to campaign for the recognition of games, in particular, as part of our cultural story and I hope to see more young people from all backgrounds finding their place in this wonderful sector.”
Seema Malhotra MP, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said, “Jo has made an outstanding contribution to the Creative Industries, and I congratulate her for this well-deserved honour. She is a champion for the UK games industry and a passionate advocate for diversity across the creative sectors, especially getting girls into computing education. It is important that talented women like Jo are recognised for their achievements, and I hope this accolade grows to inspire other women working in the sector.”
Ed Vaizey MP, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, said, “Huge congratulations to Jo for this well-deserved honour for her services to the creative industries. Jo works incredibly hard to promote games and the wider creative sectors, and has had an immeasurable impact upon getting games recognised as the creative powerhouse that it is.”
Chris White MP, Chair of the APPG for Video Games, said, “I am absolutely delighted to hear Jo’s news. She is most deserving of this award – genuine recognition for what she has achieved in this important and developing sector.”
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The Association for United Kingdom Interactive Entertainment or Ukie (pronounced YOU-KEY) is a trade body that aims to support, grow and promote the whole of the UK’s games and interactive entertainment industry. Founded in 2010 (although formerly known as ELSPA), Ukie’s membership includes all the major UK and global games publishers and the best of UK development talent - from promising start-ups to some of the biggest, most successful studios operating in the UK today.
Ukie works with government to champion a range of issues including age ratings, education and skills, access to finance and protecting intellectual property rights. It also works with the media to ensure true and accurate representation of the sector by raising awareness of the industry’s positive economic contribution and the societal benefits of gaming to policy makers, regulators and consumers.
Some of the campaigns Ukie has been working on include the next gen skills campaign which pushed for computer science to be put back onto the national curriculum, Askaboutgames.com - a website where families can learn about playing games safely and sensibly and Ukie Student Membership which bridges the gap between education and industry for students leaving higher education.