Dynamic, factual television, public forum events, corporate and media training

Tim Sebastian and Tanya Sakzewski specialise in current affairs formats that shape the conversation on vital, controversial issues, promoting transparency and accountability. For more than a decade we have set up and run free speech projects amid the political turbulence and violence in the Middle East. We have won awards and audiences world-wide.

OUR SERVICES    LEARN MORE

DEBATES AND DIALOGUE

In many parts of the world, conflict has made it impossible for people of different political and social factions or religious beliefs to talk to each other in public. We produce forums – debates and discussions – to change that situation. Our debates and discussions promote free speech, dialogue and conflict resolution by strengthening political participation and awareness through the balanced examination of key issues. By providing a platform for people of influence to present and defend their opposing viewpoints in front of audiences, we allow ordinary people a unique chance to see their leaders engaging in real, substantive discussion.

With a focus on fact-based questioning, our debates and discussions encourage transparency and accountability by holding people in positions of influence to account.

We produced and managed the New Arab Debates (NAD) – established in 2011 to promote debate and free speech in the Middle East and North Africa following the Arab Spring. The debates helped open and keep open the space for unbiased debates in the region, bringing a highly professional approach to how debates can tackle controversial and important issues while including the active participation of the general public, including youth. http://newarabdebates.com

Our team has been directly responsible for eight seasons of the high acclaimed The Doha Debates broadcast on BBC World.

ON THE BRINK - CRISIS SCENARIOS

Supposing that ..

A terror group detonates a bomb in a major city killing hundreds of people, then threatens more attacks unless their members are released from jails around Europe
An internet virus causes massive disruption to the world-wide web and chaos on financial markets

How certain can you be that governments, multilateral organizations and corporations will know what to do? What will drive their responses? Who is in control?

To test our “systems of last resort” we stage public “war games” or “crisis scenarios” with the very officials who, until recently, would have been tasked with handling such emergencies. They include key figures from a range of backgrounds, including politics, the military, intelligence, and business.

The events, played out in real time before an audience, present them with rapidly developing crises, forcing them to take vital decisions under intense pressure.

Each scenario is minutely plotted and relies on expert advice and guidance in its preparation.

On The Brink was first staged at Cambridge University in October 2015 in cooperation with Corpus Christi College and The Department of Politics and International Studies. Our participants were Sir Malcom Rifkind, former UK Defence and Foreign Secretary, Sir Richard Dearlove, former head of MI6, Jonathan Haslam, former Chief Press Secretary to John Major, and Ambassador Stephen Evans, former NATO Assistant Secretary General for Operations.

EVENT FORMATS AND MODERATION

As well as debates and discussion, we produce original formats for conferences and forums. We develop and host events with audience involvement that move away from the traditional or standard panel discussion.

Our events offer real engagement with experts and audiences, on the spot feedback and differ by examining solutions and possible outcomes to key problems and issues. Our team develops specialised formats to meet client needs.

TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

We offer specialized media and skills development workshops for corporations as well as training for television stations and journalists. Our sessions focus on learning through practical exercises and feedback.

For more than 10 years we have targeted youth in the Middle East, including the Gulf, North Africa, Jordan, the West Bank and Tunisia.

The workshops focus on question-asking – how to hold politicians and other officials to account, using facts and framing effective questions – developing topics through research, putting facts in context, and presentation skills.

Each programme, devised by our team of journalists and media practitioners, is tailored to participants’ needs.

CRISIS MANAGEMENT SCENARIO TRAINING

To put crisis management skills into practice, we develop and run “crisis scenarios” for corporations and organisations. Focusing on likely crisis incidents, the “crisis scenarios” test decision making under pressure, allowing corporations to analysis their readiness for crisis management situations.

Thorough research is behind each scenario, which is tailored to meet the needs of the client. The training sessions compliment crisis management training.

COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY

With extensive international experience, our team can develop and implement media plans to attract media coverage and broadcasters. We have extensive experience generating media coverage of our debates. Our most recent debate project was broadcast internationally and is available on a number of online and social media platforms.

With a broad international reach we can guide strategic thinking in the following areas:

  • Development of communications strategies and crisis communications
  • Management of corporate reputation
  • Public relations
  • Development of outreach activities
  • Event management
  • TV production with an emphasis on dialogue and debating programs, and campaigns related to changing behaviour

We also offer analysis and assessment of communication projects and programmes. We have worked successfully with multi-national teams in a number of different countries.