London, 19th September: Over October the United Kingdom is celebrating Black History Month and Wayra UK – Telefónica (O2 in the UK)'s global innovation arm – will be hosting a series of trailblazers from some of the world’s most admired and valuable companies, including Facebook, Microsoft, Barclays, Bloomberg and UBS. All events will be hosted by Gary Stewart, Director, Wayra UK, who is on the Daily Mirror Black Powerlist 2019.
The series begins Tuesday, 1st October at 6pm with Anna Bofa, Facebook’s Global Head of Community Partnerships. Anna is responsible for building and scaling Facebook’s initiatives around the world. Facebook is the world’s largest social media network and it has set goals to increase its number of black employees after an internal report in the U.S showing they represented 3.5% in 2018.
Wayra’s “Black is the New Black” continues on the 10th October with Pamela Hutchinson, Bloomberg’s Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion. Pamela has been responsible for diversity in large enterprises for over 20 years, which made her the most respected thought leader for diversity within the private sector.
The third event will be on the 17th October with Kwasi Affum who is Vice President of Regulatory Impact Assessment for Barclays Investment Bank. Kwasi will share his experience working in the financial world as well as a property investor and an entrepreneur. He is the founder member of SlowMoneyClub, an online community which helps people to improve their financial literacy.
The 24th October is a highlight of Black is the New Black, as Gary Stewart will be hosting Jacky Wright, Microsoft’s Corporate VP and also Chief Digital and Information Officer of HM Revenue & Customs, where she is currently leading one of the largest digital transformations in Europe. In 2018 Jacky won Computer Weekly’s UKtech50, which crowned her the most influential person in the UK’s technology sector. She is a daughter of a Windrush immigrant and a native of North London and will share her successful life story with the audience.
The series finishes on 31st October with Darren Allaway, who is Managing Director and founder member of the UBS Global Family Office Group for almost 20 years. “Black is the New Black” aims to promote success stories and to reflect on building a more diverse technology world, as the latest research by Wayra showed London’s technology startup ecosystem was 79% white people.
All chats will be hosted at Wayra/Telefónica's office located in Piccadilly Circus. The entrance is free but due to limited capacity, pre-registration is required at the respective Eventbrite page. The audience will be able to ask questions during the chat and all sessions will be followed by drinks, food, music and networking.
Alongside with this tech A-list series, Wayra has invited founders of ChargedUp and Mobilius, two of most their most innovative startups, to come over for a fireside chat with Gary Stewart, followed by a networking lunch. On the 8th October, Jordan McRae from Mobilus will share his stories about creating a wearable voice platform that connects teams. Mobilus was on the Wayra London 2018 cohort and has already raised £1m in funding. On the 23rd October it’s time for Hakeem Buge from ChargedUp to share his experiences founding a mobile charging network and raising £1.2 million in seed investment this year.

WHAT: Series of chats with industry leaders and entrepreneurs in order to celebrate Black History Month.
WHO: Wayra UK, Telefónica's open innovation hub
WHERE: 20 Air Street, London, W23BA (except the 17th event). Pre-register at Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/wayra-uk-2918697863
1st session: 1st October at 6pm with Anna Bofa at 6pm at Wayra
2nd session: 8th October 12pm-2pm with Jordan McRae from Mobilus at Wayra
3rd session: 10th October with Pamela Hutchinson at 6pm at Wayra
4th session: 17th October with Kwasi Affum at 6pm at Barclays Bank, 1 Churchill place, Canary Wharf, London E14 5HP.
5th session 23rd October 12pm-2pm with Hakeem Buge, ChargedUp at Wayra
6th session: 24th October with Jacky Wright at 6pm at Wayra
7th session: 31st October with Darren Allaway at 6pm at Wayra
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Victor Aloi, victor.aloic@wayra.org or +44 7716 912 117.