Accelerating Innovation Through Inclusion – 24 March 2020

The games and immersive sectors play a significant role in the Creative Economy. Businesses in these sectors have considerable opportunities for development, support and investment. Yet these growing sectors also face significant challenges in relation to recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce. If you are running a business in this space, you can probably relate to the challenge of attracting and keeping the best talent.

A lack of diversity in these sectors not only hinders recruitment, it also negatively affects the image and public perception of the industry. What’s more, it seriously hampers audience reach. Is your company missing out on a huge potential audience for its products?

On the 24th March, the University of Nottingham, in partnership with the Creative Quarter, will host this free event on accelerating innovation through inclusion. With so much opportunity available for games and immersive companies to reap the bottom-line benefits of a more diverse workforce, this event will explore how we can get there.

Public talk: accelerating innovation through inclusion

Professor Helen Kennedy will open the event with a public talk, outlining how these challenges are being addressed through creative and innovative strategies nationally and internationally.  Helen will share some key recommendations that can be taken forward by attendees in their own working practices and environments.

Dr Megan Ronayne will then briefly outline the impact of diversity on the productivity of a business – and ultimately, its bottom line. Megan will provide an overview of the practical support available to address this through the University of Nottingham’s Productivity Through Innovation programme, which can provide a postgraduate student to work on a project for a company for up to 200 hours.

Workshop: strategies and practices

Following the public talk, participants (businesses only) are invited to stay for this workshop session.

Drawing on a five-year international research project aimed at tackling diversity within the games and immersive sector, this hands-on, practical workshop will take participants through a series of activities to

  • identify the key barriers to diversity they face in their organisation
  • design programmes of activity tailored to address their specific challenges
  • identify the resources needed to implement these activities
  • design a mechanism for measuring the success of these initiatives.

Talk to us!

Representatives from the University of Nottingham’s business engagement team and the Creative Quarter will be available throughout the day, to help you to explore the support available to your business to address these challenges.

Our speakers

Professor Helen W. Kennedy
Professor of Creative and Cultural Industries

Professor Helen W. Kennedy’s career has been characterised by her passion for the integration of research, innovative curriculum development and collaborative and creative partnerships. She has an international reputation for her research and advocacy work in Game Studies and for her leadership in the development of the field. She spent ten years at the University of the West of England developing the Play Research Group and the Digital Cultures Research Centre, followed by a period at the University of Brighton, where she led an international project aimed at supporting innovation in games through diversity and inclusion. She took up her post as Professor of Creative and Cultural Industries at the University of Nottingham in 2019.



Dr Megan Ronayne

Programme Manager – Productivity Through Innovation

Dr Megan Ronayne’s career has been characterised by her passion for the competitiveness of UK manufacturing and technological firms. She has a reputation for championing and supporting the UK Industrial Strategy and firms with their strategies to improve productivity, recruitment of the next generation and the skills agenda. Megan is responsible for managing the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) Productivity Through Innovation programme, run by three local universities: the University of Derby, Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham. Productivity Through Innovation is a three year programme that will provide productivity support through postgraduate placements and hiring of graduate students for 181 Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire to improve their competitiveness.


The programme

08.30 – 09.00      Arrival, registration and refreshments
09.00 – 10.00      Public talk: accelerating innovation through inclusion – Professor Helen Kennedy

10.00 – 10.10      Public talk: the link between inclusion and productivity – Dr Megan Ronayne
10.10 – 10.30      Break
10.30 – 12.30     Workshop: strategies and practices to accelerate innovation through inclusion in your business – Professor Helen Kennedy
12.30 – 13.30     Lunch and networking
13.30 – 15.30     Overflow workshop – subject to demand, we will repeat the morning workshop session to accommodate additional participants.

State Aid

This event is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020 and is part of Productivity Through Innovation. This event is classed as State Aid to participating businesses, the value of which is up to £291.65, but is delivered completely free of charge to participants.

The venue

Broadway Cinema, 14-18 Broad Street, Nottingham, NG1 3AL. View on Google Maps. 

Book your place now…

What are you doing with my data?

We will add the data you provide on this form to our Customer Relationship Management system for the purposes of administrating this event, communicating with you about it and facilitating your company’s relationship with the University. We may also contact you about similar events in the future. This event is delivered as a partnership between the University of Nottingham and the Creative Quarter – as such, your data will be utilised in this way by both organisations.

We are required by our funders (the European Regional Development Fund) to report which companies have attended our events as part of Productivity Through Innovation, so your data will also be used to comply with the reporting and monitoring requirements of our funders.

For further details on how your data is used and stored visit:

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