Culture and digital minister Matt Hancock is to give the keynote speech at the 2017 Building Inclusivity in Publishing conference.
Run by London Book Fair and the Publishers Association, and chaired by BBC journalist Razia Iqbal, the focus of this year’s event is Reflecting All: Effecting Change. The conference will highlight the action currently being taken to improve diversity in the creative sector, while exploring what more needs to be done to ensure equal representation.
Hancock is the minister of state for culture and digital. He was appointed to the Cabinet Office in July 2016, and since then has served at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), where he has responsibility over the creative industries, broadcasting and the technology industry. He was elected in the 2010 general election and has served in a number of ministerial roles, including skills and business. He recently vowed to "do all [he] can to support" authors' rights.
Hancock said: "Our world leading creative industries are at the heart of our economic and cultural life. It's absolutely vital that the sector is open to people from all backgrounds. The Publishers Association is taking strides to address diversity and it's great to see their members’ commitment to tackling this issue."
Further additions to the conference include Abir Mukherjee, bestselling author of the Sam Wyndham series (Vintage); Alicia Wood, head of public affairs at not-for-profit learning disabilities organisation Dimensions UK; and Nancy Adimora, founding editor of online literary magazine AFREADA.
Orna O’Brien, conference manager of The London Book Fair, said: “The Building Inclusivity in Publishing conference is unique in the publishing calendar. It tackles some of the most important and pressing issues around diversity, accessibility and equality. For this second instalment of the conference we are delighted to welcome Matt Hancock MP and our other high profile speakers who will be fantastic additions to the programme and will add a great deal to the debate.”
Emma House, deputy c.e.o. of the Publishers Association, said: “Increasing inclusivity has been a central aim for the publishing industry over the past few years, with the industry making a public commitment to tackle this issue with the launch of the inclusivity plan and targets this year. Given the efforts publishers have made in this area, we are thrilled that Matt Hancock has agreed to give the keynote speech this year. I hope the debates and insights shared at this conference help to continue to drive real change in this area.”
Tickets are now available from the London Book Fair website.