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    Impact Media Conference: sustainability and scale for impact media platforms

    Impact Media platforms have social impact as their primary purpose.


    Over 60 people joined us at the inaugural Impact Media conference, online from 2-6pm GMT, Wed.26th January.

    People who create, lead, fund, support and enable social impact media.

    “Now is the time, while ensuring we do not lose our unique public service and commercial media ecology, that the UK can invest in growing a third layer of media — civil society media, community media, media with social impact as its primary objective — impact media.” Caroline Diehl MBE
  • Read more about our inaugural conference.

    Watch the conference videos.

    "Social impact media - TV, radio, print, podcasts, digital - can be a major driver of community, social change, democratic and civic engagement, voice and equity, education and skills, social enterprise and innovation." Caroline Diehl MBE


    Via Zoom, we brought together key people involved in enabling social impact media platforms to thrive - as media practitioners, funders, policy-makers and social entrepreneurs.


    This ‘first of its kind’ conference set out to inform, share and debate how we can grow Impact Media in the UK, learning from best practice in the US, India and UK.


    We want to grow social impact, audiences and income for impact media in the UK and globally, building sustainable and scalable models, and strengthening civil society in our nations, cities, towns and rural areas.


    The conference shared and built on the findings and recommendations of Caroline’s recent Churchill Fellowship, where she visited and researched impact media platforms and funders in the US, India and Sri Lanka.


    Caroline Diehl MBE is Founder and Chair of Together TV (The Community Channel), the UK’s only national broadcast TV channel dedicated to social action, now a co-operatively owned charitable Community Benefit Society. Caroline is also Founder of the Media Trust, the UK’s leading communications charity, and an Entrepreneur in Residence at INSEAD. Following her Churchill Fellowship, and with support from the Rank Foundation, she has recently launched Impact Media – a new resource for impact media practitioners and supporters, in the UK and globally.

      Our speakers included:

      • Daniel O. Ash, Associate Vice President, Community Impact, The Chicago Community Trust: Daniel leads grant making to community journalism, story-telling and campaigns for the Trust, and was previously VP at Chicago Public Media, responsible for massive growth in their two largest revenue categories—corporate sponsorship and individual giving.

      • Adam Cantwell-Corn, Editor, The Bristol Cable leads a cooperatively owned media platform, supported by contributions from readers, viewers and the community.

      • David Floyd, CEO and Founder, Social Spider: David launched and runs 5 local community newspapers in the UK, alongside BubbleWrap, a new London community news aggregator.

      • Sara Lomax-Reese, CEO of WURD Radio, leads one of the few remaining black-owned talk radio stations in the US, and is Co-founder of URL Media, with S. Mitra Kalita, a new multi-platform network of Black and Brown media organisations.

      • Oshin Aggarwal, Chief of Staff, The Better India, ​​the world's largest impact-focused content platform, read by over 300 million people, and driving on-ground impact every day.

      • Tracie Powell, Harvard Shorenstein Fellow and Founder of The Pivot Fund, a new venture philanthropy organisation she has set up, dedicated to investing US $500 million into independent BIPOC-led community news.

      • Padma Priya, Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief, Suno India, the award-winning podcast platform creating social impact from high quality under-reported stories.

      • Nafisa Rahimi, Co-Founder, Muslim Mamas, a UK-based global online media platform and community for Muslim mothers, selected for the Facebook Accelerator Program.

      • Vince Stehle, Executive Director, Media Impact Funders, a membership organisation in the US that advances the work of funders committed to public interest media.

      • Shamus Toomey, Editor-in-Chief and Co-founder, Block Club Chicago, a fast-growing non-profit newsroom, owned by its members and readers, dedicated to delivering reliable, nonpartisan and essential coverage of Chicago’s diverse neighbourhoods.

      • Martin Wright, Chair of Positive News, the cooperatively-owned UK magazine ‘for good journalism about good things’.

      Impact Media events are for anyone interested in independent media that has social purpose at its heart, whether local, national or global, including:

      • Impact media practitioners – editors, owners, trustees, managers, journalists, creatives, development managers, trustees, volunteers.

      • Media social entrepreneurs - building media initiatives with social impact at their heart.

      • Media policy professionals - regulators, civil servants, politicians, advisors, think-tanks, umbrella organisations etc.

      • Media funders - foundations, grant-givers, impact investors, philanthropists, funding advisors.

      Our 26th January conference tickets included:
      • Attendance at our inaugural Impact Media conference
      • Up to 4 'Follow-up Friday' weekly 1hr sessions available only to delegates
      • Conference report
      • Impact Media Research Report: Impact Media: building common cause - a review of how civil society ‘social impact media’ is funded, structured and delivers positive social change in the United States, India and Sri Lanka, with recommendations for the UK.
    • Impact Media Conference - Video Recordings

      Impact Media conference recordings: sustainability and scale for impact media platforms

      Chair: Caroline Diehl MBE


      Below are separate YouTube links to each the 5 conference sessions, followed by a YouTube link to the whole conference recording, in case you'd rather check that out.


      Session 1: Why scale Impact Media in the UK and globally?

      - Martin Wright, Chair, Positive News

      - Nafisa Rahimi, Co-founder, Muslim Mamas

      - Caroline Diehl's Churchill Fellowship: findings from the US and India, with recommendations for the UK



      Session 2: Ownership models, resources and culture to drive individual contributor income, engagement and impact:

      - Shamus Toomey, Editor-In-Chief and Co-founder, Block Club Chicago

      - Adam Cantwell-Corn, Co-founder, The Bristol Cable

      + Q&A.



      Session 3: Grants, major donors and impact investment - to scale impact media:

      - Tracie Powell, Founder and CEO, The Pivot Fund, and Harvard Shorenstein Fellow
      - Daniel Ash, Associate VP of Community Impact, Chicago Community Trust

      - Padma Priya, Co-founder and Editor-in-chief, Suno India

      - Vince Stehle, Executive Director, Media Impact Funders

      + Q&A.



      Session 4: How to build commercial income without losing social impact:

      - Oshin Aggarwal, Chief of Staff, The Better India
      - Sara Lomax-Reese, President and CEO, WURD Radio and Co-founder, URL Media

      - David Floyd, Managing Director and C0-Founder, Social Spider

      + Q&A



      Session 5: Summing up and next steps

      - Caroline Diehl, Founder, Impact Media and Together TV

      - Sara Lomax-Reese, President and CEO, WURD Radio and Co-founder, URL Media

      - Tracie Powell, Founder and CEO, The Pivot Fund, and Harvard Shorenstein Fellow

      - Vince Stehle, Executive Director, Media Impact Funders

      - Oshin Aggarwal, Chief of Staff, The Better India

      + Q&A



      The full conference recording is also available here: