The Children’s Media Conference 2019 attracted over 1,250 delegates to Sheffield on 2-4 July. #iwill Ambassadors Dan and Alvin attended as BAFTA sponsored ‘Changemakers’, two of ten young people with something to say – campaigners, entrepreneurs, activists and artists. They intervened at the beginning of several key sessions – and came together to discuss young people, politics and activism in Kids Taking a Stand.

Alvin Owusu-Fordwuo, 20, from Hackney.

Alvin started his social action journey as a Debate Mate mentor, and has since founded The Advantage Group,  a social enterprise that aims to improve the employability and change the narrative of young people from underrepresented groups. Alvin has been able to impact over 600 students by delivering events and workshops in partnership with global companies such as Google and Facebook.

“I spoke about why Global media companies should invest in underrepresented young people and tried to practically break down the steps to achieving this. I wanted these media professionals to understand that diversity is bigger than community outreach and requires a well thought out investment strategy. It was an amazing opportunity and I am looking forward to working with more media companies to build pipelines and partnerships to create opportunities for young people. Read more...”

Watch Alvin’s full speech from the event here.

Read Alvin’s #iwill Ambassador profile here. Follow Alvin on Twitter @kuameGB.

Dan Lawes, 18, from Manchester.

Dan Lawes is an #iwill Ambassador and founder and editor of Youth Politics UK. He has been awarded The Diana Award as well as a National Democracy Award from the UK Government for his work. He is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 5 Live’s Question Time Extra Time and also advised schools and corporations on how to improve their outreach to young people.

“The Children’s Media Conference was one of the most amazing experiences. Attending as young ‘Changemakers’, we were really well supported and looked after. I ended up doing a speech and sitting on two panels. I felt there was a real mood amongst the media industry of incorporating youth activism into their work!
I challenged around 600 TV Executives on the lack of diversity in the media industry and the benefits of incorporating and expanding opportunities for young people in the work place – a message, which from the comments I was met with afterwards, appeared to have been received really well!
BAFTA have also been done some exceptional work in  linking myself and the other ‘Changemakers’ with contacts. I am really hopeful that a substantial project, such as a documentary about youth social action, may come out of this!”

You can read Dan’s #iwill ambassador profile here and follow him on Twitter @LawesDan.