About - Nathaniel

 

Stories for a fairer world

Detective Dot was created by Bright Little Labs, a children’s media company that makes educationally valuable, gender-neutral, and ethically sourced kids’ stuff like books, apps and games.

Wait but why?

We were fed up. In today’s kids’ cartoons + TV shows, 0% of princesses are coders, boys are twice as likely to take the lead, less than 3% of characters are people-of-colour and 92% of females are underweight? And not one superhero recycles.

Kids aged 5+ are now learning to code in school. It’s an important life skill, but there’s a huge lack of diversity in STEM (science, tech, engineering, maths). Less than 13% of the UK workforce are women or from ethnic groups. In fact, fewer women take computer science degrees today than they did 10 years ago! By the time kids are 8, they think tech is ‘more for boys’. This is partly due to a lack of role models. Also, too many kids think everything comes from shops. A recent survey showed that 40% of kids don’t know that milk comes from a cow.

Stories teach children what to think about themselves and the world around them. And kids are constantly bombarded with subtle and not-so-subtle messages - for up to eight hours a day. So in a world where silly cartoon princesses are the norm, we set out to create cool, bright, diverse characters that have interesting and challenging adventures across the world. And as we’re techies, we use technology to engage kids in fun, new ways. 

 

How we started

It all kicked off in the summer of 2015. Our Detective Dot Kickstarter reached 30+ countries, and was featured in places like the Himalayan Times, the Hackney Gazette and the Guardian. We even got on the telly, AND we spoke to the Norwegian Government. Winning. We’re now BGV alumni and fortunate to be mentored by lots of lovely people, including the Salesforce Foundation. Yasss!

 

Meet the team

A small team of British creatives, united by a passion for a fairer world and toilet humour.

Sophie Deen, CEO

Paul Kirby, NED

Sharna Jackson, NED

Louise Bloom, NED

Computer Weekly's Rising Star + Top100 influencer in the British digital industry, Deen was a lawyer, techie and school counsellor, before introducing the new coding curriculum with  Code Club, Google and the Dept. for Education 

Former Head of Policy at 10 Downing Street + Global Head of Public Sector at KPMG, Paul's now a non-exec member of the Cabinet Office (fancy!) and a visiting proff at the LSE (clever!). Importantly, he knows more about Sesame Street than anyone else on the planet.

Webby Award-winning, triple-BAFTA-nominated Sharna launched Tate Kids before working at Hopster + LostMyName. On the advisory committee for the Children's Media Conference and BAFTA kids, Sharna is basically a big kid. 

Ex IP lawyer at Olswang, Louise now lawyers for a leading international licensing team. Sophie and Lou first became friends aged 6 at a disco, so it’s pretty cool that Lou can now advise on more than the best dance moves. 

 

Advisors 

 
Graham Brown-Martin, Innovation -  Founder of Learning Without Frontiers, a global education-technology think tank, author of Learning {Re}imagined, and TED talk man, 'G' helps us to push boundaries for the greater good.
Laura KirsopEducationFormer teacher, school governor, ex-Code Club, and currently at Futurelearn.... Laura’s famous! She’s been on TV, radio, in Wired + the Guardian and she's in a (signed!) band. An edtech fanatic, LK offers her pearls of wisdom on our educational stuff.
Jess Wade, Education - Jess is our resident physicist. She makes STEM education exciting for kids with her organisation Making Physics Fun, is on the board of the Wise Campaign and is involved with Research in Schools. 
Rick Jones, CommercialRick heads up Adform in the UK, and is an online guru. Most recently heading up BD at Google’s Doubleclick, Rick brings a wealth of commercial experience from Camelot, John Lewis and Sony. He’s as passionate about education as his kids are about Minecraft.

Turgay Oktem, DesignUX designer for Penguin Children’s Books, Turgay works on way-cool-apps (including Peppa Pig, the Beano, Ladybird, Moshi Monsters and Noisy Nee Naw).

Katherine Crisp, Child Rights - Head of Strategy & Innovation at UNICEF UK