When George Floyd, an unarmed African-American man, was murdered in Minneapolis on May 25th by police officers, the Black Lives Movement was thrust back into the spotlight, taking over our collective consciousness.
Since then, protests in response to his death and growing frustration have spread across the US and, subsequently, the world. We’re bearing witness to one of the most confronting and mobilising social justice movements of our generation – one that will shape our future and be taught in schools and universities in years to come.
Racism and discrimination is a global issue that we all must face head-on. Our story is shared and interconnected, and we must dismantle the systemic and historical oppression that many people face across the world – and at home in the UK.
Here at FutureX, we’ve been listening, learning and reflecting on how our actions match our values. At the heart of FutureX is our commitment to inclusion. We believe that, in diversity, there is strength in ideas, innovation and change. However, we’ve recognised, and it has been brought to our attention, that our events don’t currently represent the diversity of experiences in the entrepreneurial community.
We acknowledge that we could and should be doing more. With just 7% of speakers at Impact Summit this May and 9% at Future Business Forum in June identifying as BAME, we must improve our representation. Globally, the entrepreneurial ecosystem is still stacked in favour of white people. This has to change.
So, we’re committing to do better. We have a duty to do so and the platform to do it: to ensure that everyone has the same access to social, economic and business opportunities.
- Work towards a goal of at least 30% BAME speakers at our major events
- Give a number of free exhibitor stands at our major events to BAME businesses
- Provide a number of free FutureX Plus subscriptions to BAME entrepreneurs each year
- Amplify and champion BAME voices through our social media channels and resource hub
- Continue to release regular reports on our diversity to be held accountable to this pledge
This pledge is very much a work in progress, and is by no means comprehensive, but sets out our intentions. We’re currently reaching out to and working actively with groups to deliver this pledge, and will make a full announcement once we’ve finalised the details. We’d love to hear from you if we can work together to open our platform to you or your network!
Together, we can break down barriers for BAME people, help dismantle systemic racism in the global entrepreneurial ecosystem and act as a catalyst for transformational change. This pledge is our first step.
– Paul McMillan, Head of Operations, FutureX