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In this episode we took to the stage to record a special edition of The ZX Spectrum at The Children’s Media Conference 2019 in Sheffield. We were joined by four hugely inspirational young people as panelists, each of them an activist in some shape or form.

How are young people and the media responding to a new sense of purpose and action amongst the young? How can media organisations build activism into the content they are creating int his rapidly changing landscape? Should they be responding to the changing landscape?

In the session (edited for the podcast) called “Kids Taking A Stand”, the panelists covered a range of topics, including:

- What is activism, and why does it matter?
- How young people are responding with a new sense of purpose and of activism to issues and problems they are inheriting
- If activism has a stigma in the mainstream media, and how working with young people can help change in that perception
- We also discussed wider issues around visibility of diverse young people in front of and behind the scenes in media - including young people from working class backgrounds.

Our panellists were:

  • Alvin Owusu-Fordwuo: As well as being a university student and an intern at Google Android Marketing, Alvin also run a social enterprise, called the advantage group. It’s aim is to transform the lives young people from underrepresented groups.
  • Ella Meek is a 13-year-old plastic waste activist and campaigner for her charity, Kids Against Plastic. She’s also presenter of Sky Kids programme called FYI.
  • Dan Lawes is founder and CEO of Youth Politics UK, a national organisation with the main aim of giving young people the skills to bring about positive social change.
  • Noga Levey Rapoport is an environmental campaigner and an active member of the UK student climate network. 

For Brandon and I, it reinforced our belief that we need to include diverse young people in many more discussions and ideas, especially as it is they who are going to have to deal with the consequences of the decisions taken by older generations.

The Children’s Media Conference is the only gathering in the UK for everyone involved in developing, producing and distributing content to kids and young people, and we’re really grateful to the organisers for giving Brandon and myself the opportunity to bring The Z-X Spectrum to this major event. 

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