A Joint ThinkLab, BBC Enigma, and Pixar Event – Neurodiversity Representation in the Media
The University of Cambridge ThinkLab is pleased to host a roundtable discussion on November 8th, from 6:00 to 7:30 pm (GMT), focusing on the representation of neurodivergent individuals in media. This online event will highlight insights from both the BBC Enigma and Pixar, who are leading the way in promoting neuroinclusion and authentic representation in their work.

Participants of this event will be granted exclusive access to neuroinclusion-themed creative works from both BBC and Pixar. This includes a special preview of Pixar’s Loop (2020), a poignant short film that presents an authentic non-verbal autistic character, as well as BBC’s insightful Inside Our Autistic Mind documentary and the adaptation of A Kind of Spark. The panel will share key learnings from each of the projects and discuss what is being done across the media sector to fully embrace neurodivergence.

Key Themes:

We will also delve into topics ranging from the removal of ableist assumptions and stereotypes in media, the media’s role in promoting neuroinclusive practices, to the importance of audience engagement. Our panelists will unpack neuroinclusion from different angles and address a selection of themes including:

Authentic Representation in Media
The Role of Media in Fostering Neuroinclusion
Challenges Faced by Neurodivergent Individuals in Media
Collaborative Innovations for Neuroinclusive Practices
Audience Engagement
About the Contributors:

A panel of experts from across the BBC will offer insight and learnings on neurodivergent representation from across BBC content including the Head of Creative Diversity, Jessica Schibli who contributed to the hugely successful TV adaptation of A Kind Of Spark novel and is responsible for increasing diversity and inclusion on and off screen/ air across the BBC. Our second panellist, Nick Ransom, is an on-screen journalist who has been featured on the BBC, ITV, Channel 5, and Sky. In 2022, he collaborated with Chris Packham as an assistant producer on BBC Two’s “Inside Our Autistic Minds”. Nick currently leads the Neurodiverse Media Community group, which supports individuals with conditions such as autism and dyslexia. Moreover, in his role as a neurodiversity consultant, he actively addresses challenges within the industry pertaining to working conditions and accessibility.

Our Pixar panelists include Erica Milsom and Krissy Cababa. Erica, who joined Pixar in 2002, has worked on projects such as the documentary series “Inside Pixar” and the SparkShorts film “Loop”, a short film featuring an authentic non-verbal autistic character, a portrayal that is a stride towards realistic representation of neurodiversity. Her portfolio also includes behind-the-scenes content for films like “Ratatouille” and “Inside Out,” as well as projects with Khan Academy and NASA. Krissy Cababa, starting at Pixar in 2005, has been involved in various departments and has contributed to the SparkShorts films “Float” and “Loop.” She also served as the Production Manager for the feature film “Luca.

Who Should Attend?

This event is exclusively for members of Pixar, BBC, and Cambridge. It’s tailored for media professionals, academics in neurodiversity and media representation, neurodiversity advocates, and those keen on deepening their understanding of neurodiversity in media within these institutions.