Shadow Culture Secretary Thangam Debbonaire to keynote at BPI's In Tune With Tomorrow conference

Shadow Culture Secretary Thangam Debbonaire to keynote at BPI's In Tune With Tomorrow conference

The BPI will today (April 22) host In Tune With Tomorrow, a half-day conference that will focus on education and the talent pipeline.

The event at Waterloo Leake Street in London will also look at how the industry can grow sustainably and equitably through creativity and innovative fan engagement. 

A range of expert speakers will cover three key strands centred on talent, fan engagement and sustainability. Each session will feature a keynote address followed by an expert panel discussion.

The timing of this event in a general election year will help the BPI to inform some of its priority objectives working with a new administration. 

Organisers have secured a guest keynote from Thangam Debbonaire MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. A former professional cellist, Debbonaire has been in the culture role for Labour since last autumn. 

The event will open with a welcoming address from BPI CEO Dr Jo Twist OBE. There will also be brief performances from BRIT School student Berry Carrier and ELAM student Melani-Maria Serban.

The first session, In Tune With Talent, will feature BPI chair YolanDa Brown OBE DL in conversation with BRIT School principal Stuart Worden and Matt Sheldon, principal of East London Arts and Music (ELAM). They will discuss the opportunities and continuing challenges facing specialist creative arts schools, as well as the important role they play as stepping stones into the music and wider creative industries.

BPI CEO Dr Jo Twist will then moderate a panel focused on the symbiotic relationship that exists between specialist education and the music and creative industries. Panellists will include EMI co-president Rebecca Allen, Dave Pichilingi, CEO, Modern Sky UK & North America at Modern Sky and founder Sound City, Elton Jackson, director artist & employee wellbeing, Sony Music UK and Kelly Betts, editor, BBC Music Introducing.

The second session, In Tune With Fan Engagement, will feature a virtual keynote by Ed Newton-Rex, founder of Fairly Trained, who will explain the company’s work verifying the use of AI.

Newton-Rex founded Jukedeck, one of the first AI music start-ups, which was acquired by ByteDance, where he then led the AI Music lab before heading product for TikTok in Europe. In 2024 he founded Fairly Trained, a non-profit that certifies generative AI models for fairer training data practices. 

As well as a presentation about fan engagement by Hanna Kahlert at MiDiA Research, a panel on superfans will feature Christine Osazuwa, chief strategy officer at Shoobs and founder of Measure of Music, Róisín Warner, head of marketing, Blackstar Agency, and Vabyanti Endrojono-Ellis, senior manager, emerging tech strategy, Warner Music International.

The final session, In Tune with Sustainability, will feature a keynote by Fay Milton, co-founder, Music Declares Emergency, followed by a panel discussion.


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