September 19, 2019

Over October the United Kingdom is celebrating Black History Month and Wayra UK – Telefónica (O2 in the UK)'s global innovation arm– will be hosting a series of trailblazers from some of the world’s most admired and valuable companies, including Facebook, Microsoft, Barclays, Bloomberg and UBS. All events will be hosted by Gary Stewart, Director, Wayra UK, who is on the Daily Mirror Black Powerlist 2019.

The series begins Tuesday, 1st October at 6pm with Anna Bofa, Facebook’s Global Head of Community Partnerships. Anna is responsible for building and scaling Facebook’s initiatives around the world. Facebook is the world’s largest social media network and it has set goals to increase its number of black employees after an internal report in the U.S showing they represented 3.5% in 2018.

Wayra’s “Black is the New Black” continues on the 10th October with Pamela Hutchinson, Bloomberg’s Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion. Pamela has been responsible for diversity in large enterprises for over 20 years, which made her the most respected thought leader for diversity within the private sector.

The third event will be on the 17th October with Kwasi Affum who is Vice President of Regulatory Impact Assessment for Barclays Investment Bank. Kwasi will share his experience working in the financial world as well as a property investor and an entrepreneur. He is the founder member of SlowMoneyClub, an online community which helps people to improve their financial literacy.

The 24th October is a highlight of Black is the New Black, as Gary Stewart will be hosting Jacky Wright, Microsoft’s Corporate VP and also Chief Digital and Information Officer of HM Revenue & Customs, where she is currently leading one of the largest digital transformations in Europe. In 2018 Jacky won Computer Weekly’s UKtech50, which crowned her the most influential person in the UK’s technology sector. She is a daughter of a Windrush immigrant and a native of North London and will share her successful life story with the audience.

The series finishes on 31st October with Darren Allaway, who is Managing Director and founder member of the UBS Global Family Office Group for almost 20 years. “Black is the New Black” aims to promote success stories and to reflect on building a more diverse technology world, as the latest research by Wayra showed London’s technology startup ecosystem was 79% white people.

All chats will be hosted at Wayra/Telefónica's office located in Piccadilly Circus. The entrance is free but due to limited capacity, pre-registration is required at the respective Eventbrite page. The audience will be able to ask questions during the chat and all sessions will be followed by drinks, food, music and networking.

Alongside with this tech A-list series, Wayra has invited founders of ChargedUp and Mobilius, two of most their most innovative startups, to come over for a fireside chat with Gary Stewart, followed by a networking lunch. On the 8th October, Jordan McRae from Mobilus will share his stories about creating a wearable voice platform that connects teams. Mobilus was on the Wayra London 2018 cohort and has already raised £1m in funding. On the 23rd October it’s time for Hakeem Buge from ChargedUp to share his experiences founding a mobile charging network and raising £1.2 million in seed investment this year.

WHAT: Series of chats with industry leaders and entrepreneurs in order to celebrate Black History Month.

WHO: Wayra UK, Telefónica's open innovation hub

WHERE: 20 Air Street, London, W23BA (except the 17th event). Pre-register at Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/wayra-uk-2918697863


1st session: 1st October at 6pm with Anna Bofa at 6pm at Wayra

2nd session: 8th October 12pm-2pm with Jordan McRae from Mobilus at Wayra 3rd session: 10th October with Pamela Hutchinson at 6pm at Wayra

4th session: 17th October with Kwasi Affum at 6pm at Barclays Bank, 1 Churchill place, Canary Wharf, London E14 5HP.

5th session 23rd October 12pm-2pm with Hakeem Buge, ChargedUp at Wayra 6th session: 24th October with Jacky Wright at 6pm at Wayra

7th session: 31st October with Darren Allaway at 6pm at Wayra

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Victor Aloi, victor.aloic@wayra.org or

+44 7716 912 117.


At Wayra UK, we democratise entrepreneurship. We do this by providing unparalleled access to networks and capital that turn start-ups into scale-ups while ensuring that our cohorts reflect the diversity of the UK and, indeed, the world. Our 188 portfolio companies have a combined valuation of close to $1 billion and have generated $18 million in revenue via contracts with Telefónica.

Add to this a further 7 programmes that have supported 87 start-ups in 6 cities throughout the UK, and it becomes clear why it is said that Wayra UK is Great Britain’s only truly national innovation programme. We bring world-class start- ups not only to Telefónica globally and O2 locally, but also to our network of partners, including Cisco, Novartis, Ferrovial, Hyundai, Bosch, Innogy, Network, Rail and the British Government via the GCHQ and NCSC. In each case, our primary aim is to find new sources of revenue and/or innovation.

We are part of the larger Wayra network. At Wayra, we scale start-ups. We offer start-ups access not only to investment but also to business development opportunities with some of the world’s largest companies, including our parent company, Telefónica. Wayra operates in 10 countries, mostly in Latin America (i.e., Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela) and Europe (i.e., Germany, Spain and the UK). This makes us one of the world’s most global, connected and technological innovation hubs.

Follow Wayra UK on Twitter Follow Wayra UK on Linkedin


Telefónica is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world by market capitalization and number of customers with a comprehensive offering and quality of connectivity that is delivered over world class fixed, mobile and broadband networks. As a growing company it prides itself on providing a differential experience based both on its corporate values and a public position that defends customer interests.

The company has a significant presence in 15 countries and over 352 million accesses around the world. Telefónica has a strong presence in Spain, Europe and Latin America, where the company focuses an important part of its growth strategy.

Telefónica is a 100% listed company and its shares are traded on the Spanish Stock Market and on those in New York and Lima


Gary Stewart is the Director of Wayra UK and Telefónica Open Innovation. He is also an associate professor and the Entrepreneur-In-Residence at IE Business School in Madrid. Gary co-founded Nuroa.es, a Barcelona start-up that raised over €4M in funding before being sold to an Australian competitor.

Before becoming an entrepreneur, Gary worked as a lawyer at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in London, and Freshfields Brackhaus Deringer in Spain. Gary graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Yale University and was the Executive Editor of The Yale Journal at Yale Law School.


Cited as one of the most respected thought leaders and vocal advocates for diversity within the private sector. Supported by 20+ years deep subject matter expertise across the globe both from a strategic as well as an operational perspective. Providing a pragmatic and engaging narrative, which has inspired to action leaders and employees.

Partnering closely with HR and business leaders to facilitate the integration of D&I into people and business processes and practices, whilst holding the organisation and business leaders accountable for progress in meeting established goals.

With D&I expertise spanning across Organisational Design, Learning and Development, Training, Recruitment, Corporate Social Responsibility, Supplier Diversity, Employment Law, Finance Engineering, Technology and Media.

Accolades include European Head of Diversity of the Year, inclusion on the Powerlist recognising the top 100 most influential people of African and Caribbean heritage and the Top 50 Diversity Professionals in Industry.


Kwasi is Vice President of Regulatory Impact Assessment for Barclays Investment Bank, a Director of Viable Enterprise. He is also a founding member of the SlowMoneyClub, and board member for charities and local community projects.

Career-wise, over the last decade Kwasi has gained distinctive experience at several Tier 1 Investment Banks. By working in a diverse range of roles across operations and technology, he has developed a range of skills. These range from implementing technology changes, to writing policies and procedures relating to global financial regulations and performing an analysis.

He currently performs a strategic regulatory role, which involves accessing the impact of upcoming  regulations  on  commercial  activities.  The  unique  position gives him an insightful view of what regulations are coming further down the line.

SlowMoneyClub is an online community focused on the slow and steady path to financial  independence.  We  help  people  find  freedom  by   helping   to  improve financial literacy.


Jacky Wright is a transformational global leader, innovative technologist and recognized STEM advocate.

She is a senior executive whose extensive career spans multiple industries. Jacky inspires and leads teams to drive innovation, develop enterprise technology solutions, and transform business models.

As a Microsoft leader, she has created deep partnerships between IT and product engineering to drive digital transformation of customer experiences leveraging Microsoft Azure, Power BI, O365, and Skype for Business, among others.

She has been widely recognized for her many contributions in technology and diversity, including an honorary doctorate from Aston University, and inclusion on the Britain’s Powerlist 100 of Most Influential People, the Top 100 BAME Leaders in Business, and Savoy Magazine’s Top Women list. She has also been featured in numerous publications, including CIO Magazine, “Meet a tech industry pioneer who leads by example” and the Wall Street Journal – CIO Journal.

Jacky is a member of the Board of Trustees for Harvey Mudd College and Prostate Cancer UK, and serves on the Board of Year Up – Puget Sound Chapter. She also serves on various advisory boards, including the HP Women’s Innovation Council, the Demo CIO Council and the CIO Winmark Advisory Panel. She is currently seconded to the UK Government, where she is driving one of the largest digital transformations in Europe.


Darren is a Managing Director and founder member of the UBS Global Family Office Group, based in London.

He currently advises a number of international family office and multi-family office clients on structured finance transactions, portfolio construction, and investment selection.

After playing professional basketball in Spain, he joined the Investment Management Division of Goldman Sachs International in 1998 as a Financial Analyst and in 2000 he was promoted to Associate, assuming co-responsibility for managing multi asset-class portfolios as a member of the UK, Ireland and Israel coverage team. Darren joined UBS Wealth Management in 2001, and is approved by the FSA as an Investment Adviser.

Darren graduated in 1996 from Stanford University (Palo Alto, CA) with an AB in Human Biology and holds the (CISI) Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment‘s Private Client Investment Advice & Management Diploma.

Darren is active with The Golden Co. and the West London Basketball Project, organisations which both facilitate inclusion of at-risk youth and incentivize social, athletic and academic achievement.


Jordan McRae is an Inventor, Engineer, and Citizen Scientist with a passion for technology development in clean technology, clean water, and ocean conservation and exploration. With backgrounds in Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering, Underwater Robotics, and Innovation of Sustainable Technologies his skills and interests span multiple areas, such as Robotics and Intelligent Systems; Ocean Conservation; Modular Design; Research and Development of new technologies; Energy systems and resource modeling and analysis; Intellectual property and Business strategies.

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