Games are increasingly being used as a vehicle to achieve social impact. Game developers seek to harness themes that speak to the social issues of the day, while employers are placing greater emphasis on creating a more inclusive workforce and work environment. Still, for the video game industry, these efforts are in their early stages. This panel will examine the challenges and opportunities in seeking to advance social impact and inclusion through games...
Social Impact Through Games
Dr. David Washington is a former aide to President Obama and serves as Senior Advisor for Philanthropy & Policy to 15-time GRAMMY winner musician Alicia Keys. While in the Obama Administration, he served as Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement where he oversaw the philanthropy, business and entertainment sectors portfolio. He is also founder/CEO of Partnerships for Purpose, having advised everyone from Lady Gaga to the Walt Disney Company, and Unity to E3 in the gaming space, amongst other leaders in the entertainment, policy, foundation and corporate sectors on how to leverage their unique super powers for maximum social impact.
Dr. Washington, who goes by DWash, has joined forces with NBA champion Rick Fox, game master Jace Hall and veteran game developer Anthony Castoro at HiDef. Dr. Washington brings decades of experience working for philanthropic and social good across the political and entertainment landscapes. He is overseeing the game publisher’s mission in developing programs for social good by creating a “cultural delivery platform” that will expand across titles and help under-served game developers find an audience, while creating interactive experiences for diverse audiences.
For more than 15 years, Jessica has been a champion for Social Impact, working to improve learning outcomes and earning potential worldwide at both for-profit and non-profit organizations like Unity, Common Sense Media, GlassLab, Scientific Learning, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. In 2012, Jessica started using Unity as a platform for social impact and fell in love with the power and scale of the platform as a means for making change. As the Vice President of Social Impact at Unity, Jessica leads the Social Impact division for Unity, focused on empowering Unity creators and employees to make the world a better place through real-time 3D (RT3D). Jessica has spent extensive time in India and Asia working for global NGO’s prototyping new approaches to solving the challenge of illiteracy for our most under-served youth. Jessica serves on the Advisory Board of the GSV Ventures Fund and is an Aspen-Pahara Fellow. She is a graduate of the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, where she received a Masters in Business Administration with a focus on entrepreneurship and education.