Industry experts to lead BIMA's new councils.

12 Jul 2018

Posted by Rachel Johnson

“Our councils are the engine room of BIMA’s work. They are where we take the issues of greatest relevance to digital Britain and apply our members’ expertise and understanding to create real thought leadership that benefits the entire UK.” Tarek Nseir, BIMA Co-president

BIMA’s councils and think tanks are at the heart of BIMA’s work, informing its thought leadership and driving the national digital agenda on issues ranging from young talent, universities and diversity, to Ai and emerging technology.

On 12 July 2018, BIMA announced the latest additions to its roster of councils at an event, held at the Century Club, 61-63 Shaftesbury Ave, Soho.

Although full details of the new council’s remits and the complete list of chairs will be announced on the night, BIMA can reveal the five new councils and the topics they will be addressing. They are:

Blockchain – Wirehive’s Rob Belgrave will chair the council, which will be raising understanding of this misunderstood technology, demonstrating its potential for business and informing the wider blockchain debate.

Data - Improving data standards, enhancing data’s profile within the industry and focusing on key growth topics such as personalisation. Chaired by Anna Gevorgyan, Expedia.

Startups – Chaired by Friday Club co-founder and leading tech investor Richard Fearn, the councils' aim will be the improve the working connections between corporates, start-ups and agencies with a view to helping to drive the faster uptake of innovation.

‘We all pay lip service to the benefits of corporates, agencies and start-ups working more closely together but the reality is often frustrating due to poor levels of understating of how best to engage. My core focus for the council will be helping to improve this.’

Richard Fearn, The Friday Club

Charities – Co-chaired by Cancer Research UK’s Chris Flood and Giulia Merlo, this council will connect third sector organisations who want to be more digital with best-in-class agencies and private sector companies.

“The depth of digital knowledge, skills and expertise in our sector is growing all the time. And we’re delighted to be co-chairing the BIMA third sector council to help share the knowledge, advice and leadership third sector organisations need to turn their digital ambitions into a reality.”

Chris Flood, Cancer Research

Apprenticeships - Euan Blair of Whitehat will chair this council which will be working to protect the digital talent pipeline by ensuring more young people can take advantage of digital apprenticeships.

"This is a fantastic opportunity to show how apprenticeships can broaden access across the digital, media, and tech sectors. We are looking for tangible commitments from employers to take on apprentices and we will use the evidence from early pioneers to increase awareness around the ability, talent, and commitment they provide. We're excited to drive this initiative to increase the diversity of future leaders throughout the BIMA network and beyond."

Euan Blair, Whitehat

Tarek Nseir, co-president of BIMA, will announce more details of the councils at the launch event.

“Our councils are the engine room of BIMA’s work. They are where we take the issues of greatest relevance to digital Britain and apply our members’ expertise and understanding to create real thought leadership that benefits the entire UK.”

Tarek Nseir, Co-president of BIMA

Natalie Gross, BIMA co-president, explained the rationale for expanding the network of councils.

“Each new council enables BIMA to extend its reach, ensuring that we are able to make a greater impact across more disciplines and in areas which reflect our growing membership.”

Nat Gross, Co-president of BIMA

“We’re working with more startups and charities, so the new Startup and Charity Councils enable us to develop thought leadership in those specific areas, with chairs chosen for their industry expertise and profile."

When BIMA asked its members to nominate their preferred councils, Nat, Tarek and the selection team received many more applications than they could ever launch at a single time. More councils are planned, but these five are being launched first for two reasons:

“They arrived fully formed and launch ready,” explains Tarek, “but also, they address five areas of digital receiving a great deal of attention at the moment and building our understanding in these areas is vital for Britain’s digital future.”

For more information, please contact

Rachel Johnson
Posted by Rachel Johnson

Rachel has recently joined BIMA having worked for more than 20 years in the world of Marketing. Rachel has many impressive client, charity and agency-side results to her credit and stories to tell. As both a team player and independent advisor, Rachel loves to see the bigger picture and is a strong strategic thinker. She has led ambitious projects for start-ups, worked alongside growing businesses and has been fortunate to work with some of the UK’s most respected and renowned agencies. A self-motivated original thinker, Rachel is also an extremely able marketer. She brings out the best in people at all levels. Her wealth of transferable skills includes project management – often with direct budgetary control - results-driven commercial awareness, proven networking strengths, digital marketing expertise and broad IT literacy. However, her achievements do not end there! In her spare time, she makes full-use of her Cumbrian home-town environment, walking, biking and running, and spending time as an enthusiastic side-line rugby and football mum for her two boys – Louie and Harley.

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