Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Working across more than 40 industries and all business functions, Accenture helps clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With 449,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, and about 4,000 people in Canada, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives.
Accenture is one of JHR’s strongest supporters. With JHR, Accenture and its design agency Fjord have created www.dibaajimo.ca for JHR’s Indigenous Reporters Program. Derived from the Ojibwe and Cree word “dibaajimowin,” meaning a story or a narrative, Dibaajimo is a free digital learning platform designed to give Indigenous people from across Canada the skills to become journalists.
The platform contains a 22-module training course on basic journalism skills, and also helps journalists pitch stories to editors and access story archives. To date, emerging journalists from 21 First Nations in Ontario have been trained using Dibaajimo, leading to award-winning stories and helping the program win a prestigious 2017 Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Award for Excellence in Conservation. The award recognized JHR’s Indigenous Reporters Program for its success in improving the quality and number of Indigenous voices in Canadian media.
Accenture believes that it has an organizational responsibility to improve the communities in which its people live and work, and uses technology to improve employment and entrepreneurship outcomes at scale through its corporate citizenship initiative, Skills to Succeed. Accenture aims to equip 3 million people by 2020 with the skills to get a job or build a business; Accenture’s corporate citizenship strategy impacts communities through programs in volunteering, mentoring, pro bono projects, and hiring opportunities within Accenture.
The company’s unwavering commitment to diversity, inclusion, and corporate citizenship has led it to partner with many Canadian charities, companies and organizations,such as JHR, to advance community impact.
Theresa Ebden is a Board member for JHR and Co Chair for Night for Rights 2018. She leads Accenture’s media relations in Canada. As a former journalist, she has reported and produced news coverage with Business News Network, Bloomberg News, The Globe and Mail, The Telegram in St. John’s Newfoundland, and the Toronto Star. Ebden is also the chair of the Ryerson School of Journalism’s Industry Advisory Board. She holds a degree in Journalism from Ryerson University, and trained as a photojournalist at Loyalist College.
We ask her about Accenture and her personal support for JHR:
Why does Accenture support JHR and its Indigenous Reporters Program?
From a mile-high view, I’d say it comes down to ideas: Accenture people are passionate about innovation driving results – and JHR has some fabulous, impactful programming that has great potential for amplification with the use of technology. Also, we are passionate about our goal to equip three million people globally with the skills to get a job or build a business by 2020. The energy on the team that worked on this, including our Fjord design team, was infectious and seeing the great results for JHR’s trainees only made it better.
How did the partnership between JHR and Accenture to create Dibaajimo come about, and how does it relate to Accenture’s values?
It all started back in 2012 – I met Rachel at Night for Rights, and we spoke at length about their skills focus, and the people they were helping around the world – including right here in Canada. As a former journalist I could see exactly how powerful their mission was.It’s the ability to effect change, and when we harnessed Accenture’s skills to succeed program and our technology capabilities, we knew there would be no stopping us.
We had a number of ideation sessions, brought in various skill sets, and created Dibaajimo. We did it twice: first as a classroom computer tool – and later as connectivity and technology evolved, we redesigned working with Fjord: we did a “mini-rumble” to explore the experience of an Indigenous media trainee. We found they needed mobile, they needed offline capability, they needed all sorts of things that only design thinking could bring to our attention. To date, journalists from 21 First Nations in Ontario have been trained on Dibaajimo and we are so proud.
How long have you been supporting JHR and the night for rights gala, and what inspired you to begin doing so?
It really just comes down to JHR’s great skill-building programs which are supported not only by Accenture, but governments and organizations around the world. JHR is exporting something very special in Canada: our particular brand of human rights journalism, and our way of thinking about the world. It’s part of that national identity which makes Canadians so well-received on the world stage. We are strong, capable, connected – and we want to help improve the lives of the people who live and work in our communities, and around the world. This is very closely aligned with Accenture’s core values. We love a good idea that is well executed. For these reasons, Accenture is very proud to be a Partner sponsor for Night for Rights.