Proposers: Mark Lewis and Martin Drake
I run a successful Games Design course at Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton. The course is designed to be unique, with a focus around Games for Good, Games for Positive Change and a working strategy to increase diversity in game-making. Last year, our students rated the course 100% satisfied after 3 years of study, and our alumni achieved 100% professional employment. I am the Creative Research Engagement fellow for the University’s Research Institute in Arts and Humanities.
I advise on the University’s Digital Education strategy. I am a Senior Personal Academic Tutor, working with all staff on pastoral support for undergraduates, which has provided me with a particular understanding of young people. I have managed teams of over 20 staff and student cohorts of over 200. I have a high level of experience within large organisational structures.
I offer professional organisational and critical thinking skills from dedicated, systems-orientated leadership in Higher Education over twenty years. I bring knowledge and understanding of technology and how people use it and can advise on systems and approaches to connect people in meaningful ways. I want to help the DTB to think dynamically and question the status quo. I want the DTB to be brave.
I have held the role of Chief Technical Officer at the request of a start-up, hiring, creating organisational processes, and compiling reports to bring new digital services to the d/Deaf community. I can support the work of making our governance structure more streamlined and agile.
I am standing for the DTB as I want to help the club move to the next level. To retain and grow the best talent, both on and off the pitch, we must increase our club’s overall revenue. I have already brought considerable funding to WISH by leading the devising and creation of a prototype Augmented Reality game which pits players against historical goalkeepers. It uses Machine Learning to train the virtual Dave Beasant to react as the real one would to your penalty shots.
I propose several other ways to increase revenue. Firstly, we must enshrine fan ownership. And in doing so, we will be clear about where we stand. This, I believe, will help secure with integrity new types of sponsorship and partnerships with companies that align with our ethos. It will involve taking our brand forward by pitching to new types of organisations in new ways. I would look to support this by auditing companies that would align to our brand and start seeking new connections to add to some I can leverage myself and some you already have. Drawing on my experience working with final year projects and start-ups to brand and market games, apps and experiences, I would propose a series of workshops and outcomes to build up the club ethos for staff and the DTB. This work would align with that of the volunteers in Graphic Design and Content Creation the club is currently seeking, alongside current writers and content creators.
Secondly, we need to generate revenue every day at the stadium. We have already done well with the local food trucks and the education hub, but there is more to do, attracting new groups and events to our stadium. I work with eSports organisations including Women in Games eSports and I am keen to pursue eSports events with the club. The eSports business in the UK is huge. The sector has grown at an annual average rate of 8.5% between 2016 and 2019. It supported over 1,200 jobs in 2019 and represents just under 8% of the global market. It supported £111.5 million in Gross Value Added (GVA) in 2019. A major global esports event could generate 238 full-time equivalents (FTEs) of employment and £12million in GVA for the UK economy. (Figures quoted from the UKIE (United Kingdom Interactive Entertainment) 2020 report.)
I know that when you choose to be different, you can achieve fantastic things. AFC Wimbledon’s next big step is to stay different by choosing to be different.
Please use the Dons Trust Pro Boards to reach out to me openly. I am an advocate of transparency and open working practices. To support inclusion, I have also uploaded a recorded audio version of this text with captioning onto YouTube. https://youtu.be/YHhGfARhZzg