CFC Big Ideas is an international communications consultancy headquartered in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates and Kyiv, Ukraine. Established in 2002 as CFC Consulting, the company has made its name by implementing BIG IDEA international projects: international conferences, country presentations, special events, and advocacy campaigns in more than 40 countries across the globe. Some of the most successful projects, carried out in collaboration with the Ukraine Crisis Media Center, were recognized by Bronze Cannes Lion in 2017 and Gold SABRE Award in public affairs in 2015.

The idea of a Global Inclusion Online Forum was sparked by Anna Krys, CFC Big Ideas Head of Diversity & Inclusion, who joined CFC in May 2019. At that time, Anna had just returned from Ireland, where being a part of Dogpatch Labs team she had implemented the Diversity in Tech Week initiative aimed at bringing more diversity into the startup ecosystem. The project was selected for the ‘Diversity & Inclusion Award’ by Google for Startups. When Anna came back to Ukraine, she realized there was little to no talk about the issue in her home country. “There’s lagging infrastructure, no corporate policies, no Diversity & Inclusion professionals, and no understanding of the benefits the concept can bring to a company. People tend to think it’s just charity, but it’s a very stereotypical way to look at that. Most of the world’s best practitioners look at it as a development and growth tool” — Anna said.

As COVID-19 hit the planet, CFC team realized there was an opportunity to do something about diversity and inclusion on a global scale in an online format. The goal of the new initiative was to bring together leading practitioners to share their knowledge with corporate executives, senior leaders, and board members all over the world.

Global Inclusion Online Forum is the first online event of such a type and scale designed to bring together world’s leading diversity and inclusion executives, HR consultants, and D&I activists alongside business owners and managers who are looking for ways to make their businesses more inclusive and, as a result, more profitable and more successful.

Among the 2020 Forum’s speakers and attendees were representatives of such world’s biggest organizations engaged in the fight for human rights and diversity as UN Women, the United Nations Foundation, International Labour Organization, Human Rights Campaign, Women in Tech, Wikimedia Foundation, and others. There is a number of world’s leading corporations who delegated their senior diversity leaders to speak at the forum: Amazon, Bloomberg LP, Danone, Deloitte, EY, IBM, IKEA group, Pfizer, SAP, Sodexo, Wipro, and others.

The Forum’s topics also revolve around the global influence of COVID-19, namely the effect it caused in the Diversity & Inclusion field. Quarantine and social distancing have put us all in conditions, similar to those in which many people of minorities and underrepresented groups find themselves throughout their lives. As the statistics show, in comparison to the global average, COVID-19 exposed the underrepresented groups to a much higher risk of not only being infected but also facing unemployment. With this in mind, CFC Big Ideas believe the lockdown must become a new boost to discuss and improve corporate inclusion strategies.