UrbanGeekz CEO Kunbi Tinuoye Joins Consumer Electronics Show Advisory Board
In January 2018, more than 180,000 technologists convened in Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show, one of the tech industry’s oldest and best-known trade shows.
There was just one problem.
Among the show’s keynote speakers, there were no Black people, no women, “not a single person who identifies as LGBTQ, nor any other attribute that places them outside the dominant culture of tech,” Recode reported at the time.
Just six white men.
The Consumer Technology Association, CES’s parent company, attempted to justify its choices, claiming the number of qualified women speakers was simply too small for their needs, wrote Brenda Darden Wilkerson for Recode.
In the year since, the organization has done some soul-searching.
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In October, UrbanGeekz founder Kunbi Tinuoye announced that she had joined the 2019 CES Conference Advisory Board “as the largest and most influential technology event steps up efforts to diversify speakers and programming.”
An award-winning British-born journalist and broadcaster, Tinuoye is based in the U.S. She founded UrbanGeekz.com, a groundbreaking video-centric digital news platform focused on tech, science and business. Tinuoye moderates conferences around the country. Ovation International Magazine named her one of the 50 most influential Nigerians in the diaspora.
Tinuoye will be moderating the “Bias in Al” session at CES 2019. She’ll explore how we address bias or blind spots in artificial intelligence, why bias exists and the opportunities for change in AI apps and software to recognize skin tones, gender and more. The session will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 7 in Las Vegas.
Excited to be a Featured Speaker representing @UrbanGkz at the upcoming #CES2019 alongside the CEO of @Verizon and Ginni Rometty CEO of @IBM https://t.co/Ukg294sQnv Looking forward to seeing you there! ⚡@CES pic.twitter.com/HWKCWLkJUK
— Kunbi Tinuoye (@Kunbiti) November 30, 2018
The Consumer Electronics Show Conference Advisory Board counsels its parent Consumer Technology Association on strategic direction for the conference program, speaker recommendations and content themes and provides insight into the research community. Board members include “the industry’s most credible and distinguished thought leaders throughout various areas of technology,” CES says on its website.
In recent years CES has faced backlash over its lack of diversity, UrbanGeekz reported. That backlash in 2018 has been centered on the absence of female keynote speakers.
Less attention has been focused on the giant tech event’s own advisory board members.
The tech trade show turned 50 this year. The CES board has been in existence for more than a decade, Tinuoye said in an email to Moguldom.
“I think I’m the first ever Black woman to join the CES Advisory Board,” Tinuoye told Moguldom.
CES did not respond to an email request for information from Moguldom as of this writing.
The 2019 CES show is scheduled for Jan. 8 thru Jan. 11. CES won’t be repeating its keynote speaker lack-of-diversity mistake. It has tapped two female CEOs of Silicon Valley giants to deliver keynote addresses: Lisa Su, CEO of AMD, and Ginni Rometti, CEO of IBM.
In addition to Tinuoye, other members of the 2019 CES Conference Advisory Board include editors and media heavyweights from Engadget, USA Today, TechCrunch, Digital Trends, and The Hollywood Reporter. Here’s a full list of advisory board members.
CES is the world’s premier event for the business of consumer technologies. It has served as the go-to event for innovators and breakthrough technologies for 50 years, where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace. Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), it attracts global business leaders and pioneering thinkers.
Each year the event attracts more than 180,000 people from 150-plus countries, representing the entire tech ecosystem. More than 6,500 members of the world’s media and 65,000 senior-level executives attend.
CES has thousands of exhibitors. Big tech firms and startups showcase their work. CES has served as the launch pad for many companies that are now household names. Attendees get to hear from industry leaders on the latest trends and big developments in the tech industry.
CES features more than 250 conference sessions featuring more than 1000 leaders and innovators.
“To identify and recruit the most compelling technology subject matter experts, we seek the advice of our CES conference advisory board,” said Kara Dickerson, VP of strategic partnerships and conferences at CTA, in an interview with UrbanGeekz.