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Video gaming as a catalyst for learning innovation in Gen Z women (CIMR Debates in Public Policy)

Venue: Online

This event has ended.

Join us for a lunchtime webinar examining to what extent gaming technology can provide a catalyst to adult learning, especially in that hard to reach demographic group termed the “NRS cohort” (DofE 2020) i.e. young adults (GenZ) in insecure employment and hard-to-reach through formal training and education institutions (NESTA 2020).  

Ironically, the NRS cohort are major users of gaming, a crucible of AI and cloud-based technologies (UKIE 2019).  Women make up 48% of the 32 million UK gamers (and 46% of 2 billion worldwide), and while still underrepresented, are a growing force in the game design industry (CIC 2019).

We hope this CIMR webinar will help fuel the public debate, highlight some options and point towards further research.


  • Usman Salim, Founder and CEO, Liontech Studios
  • Dr Andrew Atter, Founder and CEO, Pivomo and Visiting Fellow, CIMR

Chair: Dr Rebecca Whiting, Birkbeck, University of London

Discussant: Dina Mansour, Birkbeck, University of London

Please sign up via the link above by 5pm on Tuesday 2 February. You will be sent the link to join on the morning of the event.


Usman Salim

Usman is founder of Liontech Studios, a video game development studio based in West Yorkshire. After graduating from the University of Bradford having studied Interactive Systems and Video Games Design, Usman founded Liontech Studios in 2016 and has gone on to create a client base from around the world, providing game development and post launch optimisation services.

He has launched many self-published titles on mobile, most notably “FOLF”, a blend of football and golf, released in July 2020 and featured by Apple in 133 countries, then went on to get over 100k downloads. Usman also landed a marketing deal with Channel 4 for his mobile game, “Tuk Tuk Trials”, which saw a tv trailer ran on the C4 catchup platform, serving over 2 million impressions.

Usman is now focused on creating educational gaming content for various age groups. Most recently, Learning Lions, a mobile game with an accompanying cartoon animation designed to teach young children the English alphabet and simple word spelling. 


Dr Andrew Atter

Andrew is a board consultant, executive coach and founder of Pivomo, an online social learning platform for entrepreneurial leaders and innovators. Andrew is involved in various employment-related social enterprise projects, such as the Clocktower Project in Liverpool; and Cradle To Career, a youth employment charity.

Andrew’s research interests include the future of work, informal learning, innovation and entrepreneurship. He is a contributing author to the recent “Informal Learning, Practitioner Inquiry and Occupational Education” (Loo and Sutton 2020).

Alongside corporate change projects with companies such as Mercedes-Benz, Heineken and Kantar, he works extensively with university-based entrepreneurship projects.

Together with Usman, Andrew co-designed and published the Pivomo Startup Simulator game, designed as an educational tool for early phase entrepreneurs:

Andrew holds DProf from the Institute of Work-based Learning, Middlesex University; and an MSc from both the London School of Economics and Ashridge.


Dr Rebecca Whiting

Rebecca Whiting is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Organizational Psychology at Birkbeck, University of London where she leads the Department’s Qualitative Research Group. She is interested in a wide range of qualitative methodologies, including the use of digital and visual data, and research ethics. She has published journal articles and book chapters on aspects of qualitative methods, including in The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Business and Management Research Methods and the OUP volume, Unconventional Methodology in Organization and Management Research. Her research topics include the discursive construction of work identities (including for social entrepreneurs), work-life boundaries, diversity (particularly age, gender and class and how they are socially constructed) and invisible work.


Dina Mansour

Dina is an Egyptian national who is finishing her PhD at the School of Business, Economics and Informatics (BEI) at Birkbeck, University of London. She has a master’s degree from the University of Porto in Portugal. Her thesis examined the entrepreneurial marketing for high-tech entrepreneurs, conducting a comparative study between Egyptian and Portuguese IT startups. Her PhD thesis explores the triad relationship among institutions, high-growth entrepreneurship and institutional intermediaries in a developing country setting (Egypt). Dina is planning a career in public policy advocacy, especially in the entrepreneurship field in the MENA region.

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