BMC are very proud to welcome Shirish Kulkarni to our Board of Trustees!
Shirish is an award-winning investigative journalist, researcher and community organiser, with 25 years’ experience working in all the UK’s major broadcast newsrooms. More recently he’s worked on a variety of journalism innovation and inclusion projects, and on the People’s Newsroom Initiative at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
Shirish took part in a Q&A session with us below, so you can get to know him and find out why he is interested in working with BMC:
Q: What’s your professional background?
I’ve spent 25 years working as a journalist – initially in London newsrooms at ITN and Sky, before going freelance and returning home to Wales in 2014.
In recent years I’ve focused on investigations, including uncovering the British Steel Pensions Scandal. I’m currently working on a range of innovation and inclusion projects, including The People’s Newsroom Initiative at The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. I’m also researching new forms of news storytelling through the Clwstwr R&D programme, and am a member of Collective Cymru – the team producing GALWAD, Wales’ project for Unboxed: Creativity in the UK.
Q: What brought you to BMC?
In my professional life, I’ve realised that it’s not enough for journalism to simply tell people that something’s happened. We all need to understand how things can change, and how we can be part of that change. Similarly, journalism’s focus on “breaking” news, means it’s very bad at dealing with long term, systemic problems which develop over a long period of time.
For me, these are some of the challenges that Black Mountains College is addressing head on, simultaneously aiming to better understand the interlocking crises we’re facing, and providing practical pathways to addressing them.
Q: What do you hope to bring to BMC?
I hope that I can help BMC tell a compelling story, both about its own ground-breaking work, but also about the bigger picture that it’s a part of. I’d also like to help make BMC as open and accessible as possible to all of Wales’s people and communities. In my work as a community organiser, I’ve built relationships with a range of organisations doing brilliant work to support people who may not have the privilege of being able to think about the future. I’m hopeful that more of those communities can benefit from and contribute to BMC’s work.
Q: How do you see the climate crisis unfolding now, and in the future?
I think the answer to that question depends on how quickly society as a whole gets to grips with the urgency of the problem. I think more enlightened journalism has a huge part to play in that, but I think we all have a responsibility to keep telling that story. However, these aren’t crises we can solve individually, and we also need to understand how the problems are deep, systemic and persistent and can only be addressed by governments, corporations and communities working together.
Q: What can we do to best prepare ourselves?
In a sense, my personal reflections on this mirror the work BMC is doing. For me, it’s all about learning more, addressing the systemic questions and understanding that business as usual isn’t going to fix the climate crisis. We need to work thoughtfully, radically and collectively to understand and build a world that may look very different.
We are really happy to have Shirish join the Board, and are looking forward to what the future holds!