Margaret Totten

clock • 2 min read

What has been your personal highlight of 2020?

Getting ADI, our diversity and inclusion teams app on the market, completely free. It has been a driver since we set up Akari to use our work in technology for good, to help kids and adults with hidden and situational disabilities find the answers they need so that was a huge highlight for me.

On a personal note it was getting to finally see my grandmother four months into lockdown. She is my rock and inspiration and I missed her smile, but as her care home was in lockdown we had only been able to do calls, so getting to see her again was amazing.

Which three celebrities would you invite to a Zoom party?

Gillian Anderson, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Emily Deschanel. I grew up with these kick-ass ladies and still adore them.

What has been your guiltiest lockdown pleasure?

Netflix! From Ozark to David Attenborough it has kept me highly entertained.

Which tech figurehead has inspired you most this year, and why?

Microsoft's chief accessibility officer Jenny Lay-Flurrie. Her drive to push more inclusion and break down barriers with technology motivates me. This pandemic has opened up a whole new way of working for people with disabilities and her passion and evangelism to open doors for people and drive this through is inspiring.

What piece of technology, or app, have you not been able to do without during the pandemic?

Teams! I know it is a predictable answer for anyone who knows me, but literally it has saved my life, sanity and productivity during this lockdown.

If you could be anyone else for a week, who would you be and what would you do?

I wouldn't, I love people watching and imagining what their lives are like but I love my life, the things and the people in it so I wouldn't swap it.

Do you miss face-to-face events?

Yes, one hundred per cent. I miss interacting with people and catching up, although I have been amazed at how well virtual events are going.

How will COVID leave its mark on the way the channel operates long term?

I think like elsewhere it will show how we can open up to new markets and experiences. We have been through lockdown but have become ever more connected and I think (hope) that will continue. I think the channel has really leaned on each other during this time and it has built some really strong and defining partnerships, so I hope that continues.

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