MIPCOM is the year’s most anticipated global market for entertainment content across all platforms, geared primarily towards the television industry. Each October, the industry’s major players converge in Cannes for four days of meetings, screenings and conferences, where deals are made – from blockbuster programming that just might be coming to a TV screen near you, to ground-breaking new partnerships.

The 2016 edition kicked off yesterday, Oct 17, and will run through October 20.

Of interest to this blog, MIPCOM is launching an inaugural Diversity Summit this year, which includes a series of talks and panels to explore issues of diversity in entertainment, both on-screen and in the boardroom. The inaugural event is being held in partnership with A+E Networks as the premium sponsor, with additional sponsorship from Afrostream and Sonar.

The inaugural Diversity Summit was held today, Tuesday October 18, with around 100 leading international content creators and talent in attendance.

Speakers featured include names and/or brands you’ll certainly be familiar with:
— Mo Abudu, CEO, EbonyLife TV, Nigeria
— Michael Armstrong, EVP and General Manager, International Brand Development, Viacom International Media Networks, USA
— Tonjé Bakang, CEO, Afrostream, France
— Paul Cabana, SVP Programming HISTORY channel, A+E Networks, USA
— Sean Cohan, President, International and Digital Media, A+E Networks, USA
— David Ellender, President Global Distribution and Co-production, Sonar, USA
— Keith Le Goy, President, International Distribution, Sony Pictures Television, USA
— John McVay, Chief Executive, Pact, UK
— Guillaume Morel, Head of Consulting, Nielsen Entertainment, France
— Euzhan Palcy, Director, Screenwriter, Producer, France
— Nick Smith, SVP Format Production, all3media International, UK

Via a series of conversations with the above executives, the MIPCOM Diversity Summit set out to develop concrete and measurable outcomes regarding inclusion of under-represented groups in television, and not simply to identify issues already known to exist. They touched on areas such as the business case for diverse content and how diverse programming can be made more commercially successful on a global level; and ways to identify, cultivate, encourage, and promote diverse and recognizably talented individuals both on-screen and at all executive levels.

“The first edition of this Diversity Summit is a key step for the industry, and MIPCOM can build on its position as the largest international business platform for the television industry to drive this agenda forward. The content industry should reflect the reality of our societies, and provide opportunities for each individual, for every talent to find his or her place,” said Laurine Garaude, Director of Television Division at Reed MIDEM, organizer of the summit.

The entire series of conversations has been compiled into one video, and made available online. Totaling about 90-minutes, watch below as leading international content creators and talent meet, for the first time, to find positive, commercial ways to increase inclusiveness, both on and off screen. We typically talk about diversity/inclusiveness within an American context; this MIPCOM Diversity Summit examines it from a global POV.