Thursday, 8 May 2014

A new start.

Oh how things have changed in the past two months. After 4 weeks of intense interviews and a move to another city, I have finally settled into my new life of living Manchester working for TBWA. It feels like a new world jumping from a 5 person agency to 75 people but one that was definitely made for me. The last few weeks have been spent learning about the company, getting to know the team and attending my first ever advertising awards evening. Nominated for the final and biggest award at the Prolific North Awards, I was very proud to have joined the team on stage when they announced that we won the 'Best Integrated Agency' award. Followed by glasses of champagne and some shameless photo booth selfles, the night was huge success and a great way to enter the agency.

For those of you that aren't familiar of the wonderful work TBWA Manchester have produced, we are proudly responsible for the latest Wilko ad, Neil the Sloth, Smyths, Manchester United and many more amazing pieces of work.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Design for education

It feels like the weeks are passing me by and keeping up with posts never feels easy, but every now and then I get a trigger or a reason to write something and today it was down to Emily Pilloton. As I sat and started watching her TED speech this morning, I wondered where she going but within seconds I was hooked on everything she was saying and trying to do. In a small town in Carolina, Emily and her husband along with the help of super intendant Dr. Chip Zolanger are changing the broken school system and community of Bertie Town through Project H. Emily is the founder of the non profit project, which encourages students to design their future through creativity and practical processes to give them real life skills. 

She recognised that there was a need and an opportunity to bring design as an untouched tool and to usher that into Bertie Town. The initial goal was to use design as part of the education system but beyond that they realised they needed make education a great vehicle for community development. She explained that their approach consisted of three different routes: 

Design for education 
the physical construction of improved spaces and materials and experiences for teachers and students 

Redesigning education itself  
system level look at how education is being administrated and what is being offered to whom 

Design as education 
teaching design within public schools, learning design thinking coupled with real construction and fabrication skills put before a local community. 

I think why I found this talk so inspiring is it's genuine approach to improving education and communities. There was a desperate need for Emily to transform and offer hope to Bertie Town which in many cases are neglected or overlooked. The idea of teaching children maths through homegrown outdoor activities just demonstrated how well she understood the children and their ability and how the simplist ideas can make such a vast improvement. It's projects like these that we need to sharing with the world and thinking of more ways to embed this into not only struggling towns but cities worldwide.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Emotional correctness

With the help of my new iPad mini and my 45 minute commute to work, I've had the opportunity to become slightly hooked on TED Talks. So over the next few weeks I’m going to blog about the talkers I have found to be the most inspiring, starting with Sally Kohn. In this video, Sally Kohn a progressive lesbian talking head for Fox News talks about the importance of emotional correctness. She highlights that for years we have spent so much time worrying about political correctness and not focussed on what is emotionally correct. With a huge opinion and a challenging career, Sally Kohn finds herself dealing with large quantities of hate mail whether it is an abusive letter or a nasty tweet she’s heard it all. But as she explains the numerous times she’s been labelled a dyke she discusses her frustration of the use of the word not the word itself. She explains emotional correctness is the tone in which you voice your opinions, and that if you want people to change you need to give them a reason to listen your view in the first place. And the only way of doing that is through emotional correctness.

I think what I found most interesting about this talk was the simplicity in what Sally is trying to explain; it seems so obvious yet we as a society don’t put this into practice. We spend so much time talking past each other and not enough time talking through our disagreements which makes influencing change  harder than it should be. When listening to this talk it made me think of animal right activitists PETA and there extreme approaches to trying to convert meat-lovers into vegans. But if PETA were to consider this idea of 'emotional correctness' they would work towards finding the common ground with non supporters and exploring ways to build conversations. With the hope that one day people will say I’m not a big fan of animals but I’m a big fan in what PETA stand for.

I think if more brands and individuals put this theory into practice you would see less conflict and an increase in positive change.