Open Rights Group is an essential organisation in today’s connected world. With so much of our lives conducted or mediated by technology, human rights and civil liberties in the digital sphere need to be defended and promoted. Increasingly we are seeing how important this is to the health of our democracies – I am looking forward to putting myself in the service of this cause.
This was my statement to the electors (the members):
I’m Tom, I work with digital media and film to help empower citizens when they vote, and to help companies and charities communicate effectively.
A proud ORG member since 2009, I’ve long been passionate about how the Internet and social media enable diverse creative voices: freedoms we must defend. Only people who understand the power of the Internet can help ensure it serves society and does not oppress.
I co-founded Swap my Vote as a direct, practical response to our iniquitous electoral system. Public and press alike have responded tremendously, tens of thousands of people signing up to collaborate and help each of their votes count: a simple action enabling real change. Interviews with high profile press and TV outlets have given me valuable insights into dealing with media.
Managing creative teams at award-winning agencies, I have produced and/or devised social and digital strategy for projects including Downton Abbey, Magnum Photos, and Unreported World; producing Shorts for Channel 4, I worked with Scope to shift attitudes towards disability. As Director of Media at Blurrt, a Cardiff startup, I sat on the company’s board and led its Media offering. I am currently training clients including the BBC on digital engagement strategy and skills.
With social media and video such important channels in reaching and shaping public opinion, I would love to offer my experience to the ORG board and team, helping us to continue to communicate important messages simply and relatably, and further deepen our positive social impact.
Addendum: as an extra bonus, the election (the first I have stood for) was under Single Transferable Vote (STV), by most accounts the best system of PR, as recommended by Electoral Reform Society.