Mixing it up: diversity breathes life into ideas and problem-solving
Friday, 4th of December
It’s not just the Victorian architecture and wild nightlife that impresses visitors to the great city of Glasgow. Glaswegians exhibit boldness and ambition and take pride in their home which is famed for its ‘creative buzz’ and enterprise.
Take for example the Scottish Youth Theatre, located in the city centre, which provided the setting in November for the final 4Talent Pop Up of 2015. The organisation typically offers dynamic drama workshops for under-25s to help them explore and reach their creative potential. So the venue provided an ideal environment for Channel 4 to give 150 talented young Scots a taste of the magic of working in television.
Of all the campaigns we work on at MyKindaFuture, this has been one of the most satisfying to coordinate and deliver because of the large numbers of young people we have reached, and the buzz generated by the events. Our 750 participants across five regional pop ups have experienced industry insights from local independent producers, inspirational show-reels, captivating talks by award-winning personalities and stimulating, hands-on challenges.
The quality of the work and highly intelligent contributions from the students in the marketing, digital and TV production workshops should make the city of Glasgow proud to the hilt. It also demonstrates what can be achieved when you have a high volume of diverse talent.
Each workshop divided into 8-10 competing groups to take on a challenge based on the themes of the Rio Paralympics and equality. And like elite athletes striding confidently out into the stadium, they took to the contest with great gusto, proving themselves to be highly motivated and resourceful.
When we broke for lunch and a networking session, we were wowed by the enthusiasm of the Glaswegian contingent. The dynamism generated in the room was accompanied by a fervent exchange of introductions and stories. Several of the industry representatives from Channel 4 and local ‘indies’ commented on how enervating the session was; in the most positive sense of the word. They were truly impressed by the people they spoke to and their commitment to heed the lessons of the morning session – ‘to put yourself out there’.
In creative industries like television, self-motivation is very definitely a most necessary quality. The brilliant, bearded duo Jordan and Ian of production company Something Something, drummed home this point. Their unqualified message was delivered loud and clear: start out for fun; just make stuff – and to coin a phrase: “just do it”.
Ian Greenhill (left) and Jordan Laird presenting their YouTube show, Something Something Internet
Taking us through their career journey, the beards worked the room like a stand-up double act, narrating us through a series of expletive-laden cartoon sketches that bore all the hallmarks of the cheeky yet brazen Scottish sense of humour.
Channel 4 leads the field for pushing the creative boundaries in UK television broadcasting. In order to remain at the forefront of challenging ideas and ground-breaking programming, they believe they must attract diverse groups of young people of all backgrounds and abilities who are representative of the whole nation. These are values which many in the MKF office hold dear and so we are proud to have led the outreach for the five Pop Up events over the last year.
In fact, we have just released a white paper on the importance of responsible recruiting. The paper identifies that while many corporate front-runners have established diversity initiatives we need to go further in an increasingly competitive marketplace for talent.
At MyKindaFuture, our work with many of the biggest brand names has proven time and again that a mix of backgrounds, values, experiences, and influences brings contrasting perspectives to generation of ideas and to problem solving. This helps to drive innovation and competitive advantage.
Working with Channel 4 to promote the Pop Up opportunities to the regions, MKF branched out well beyond our national network of 4,500 schools and colleges and 50+ universities. In order to communicate the opportunity to socially disadvantaged groups we established relationships with local ambassadors eager to champion our cause across their networks.
In all five cities, we were encouraged to find that local MPs' offices and the councils’ community engagement officers were keen to help us reach far beyond local youth clubs. We connected with churches, synagogues and mosques, disability charities, LGBT clinics and many more groups. We are truly grateful to these local champions whose good will and support ensured a resounding success for all of the C4 Pop Up events. We easily surpassed our targets in the range of diverse backgrounds when compared to the regional and national statistics for each city.
We extend our sincerest gratitude to Nadir Amouri (Bournemouth), Angela Hoyle and Andy Philips (Wolverhampton), Cllr. Geoff Driver (Lancashire) and Lawrence O'Neill (Glasgow) for your support and connections.