Developing creative talent at Digital Shoreditch
Tech City is the largest cluster of creative tech businesses in Europe. The Digital Shoreditch Festival is their two-week celebration of tech, creative and entrepreneurial talent with a programme of keynotes, lightning talks, workshops, panel discussions, debates, experimental installations and networking events.
Creative Skillset and Hiive came together as key sponsors of this year's festival, with a range of sessions and events aimed at developing and celebrating creative talent – with the Tick centre stage.
One of our most popular sessions was ‘Talent Tales’, featuring a panel of creative and digital media heavy weights – including design guru Malcolm Garrett, Nicole Yershon of Ogilvy Labs (leader of Ogilvy’s innovative “Rough Diamond” talent incubator) and rising star and Rough Diamond alumni Will Harvey of VCCP. Their job was to discuss issues highlighted in stories of successful talent development – creatively told by award winning spoken word artist Femi Martin and brought further to life by the employers and new entrants themselves, who then joined the panel.
Femi performed two stories – one on apprenticeships and the other on a journey from a Ticked degree course to Trainee Finder, then onto starting a promising career in the creative tech industries. This was exemplified by Kath Shackleton of Fettle Animation, and former Trainee Finder trainee and now full time employee Ryan Jones, who did his traineeship with Fettle on their award winning production Children of the Holocaust. They joined a lively and illuminating discussion with the panel about how the combination of Tick accredited degree education and Trainee Finder can benefit both employers and young talent. You can hear Femi’s story and the discussion in the video clip below.
Femi begins her Tick to Trainee finder story at 27mins 22 seconds.
A theme that ran through the festival was the challenge of solving East London’s youth unemployment problems while plugging the skills gaps and increasing the diversity of the Tech City workforce. This included presentations from wearedotdotdot and Ogilvy’s Rough Diamond programme, which works with the Ideas Foundation and Ticked course provider Ravensbourne.
Our contribution on this front was a special Open Doors session at the studios of agency BrightLemon. Already popular, our recently expanded Open Doors programme (formerly Tech Connect) puts young people from diverse backgrounds in a room with creative tech employers to raise aspirations and open up the possibility of careers in the creative and digital media sector. On this occasion, staff were as excited as the 30 local young people in attendance.
Fittingly, our Open Doors event was part of week two of the festival – something Digital Shoreditch calls Open House week, where studios and agencies open their doors to host industry sessions and explain their work to festival visitors.
At the end of this week, Creative Skillset and Hiive teamed up to deliver the mother of all Digital Shoreditch parties: Swarm. What made our event so special was the source of its content: young creative talent from the Tick. Arts University Bournemouth provided DJs and VJs, as well as an interactive exhibition and film content from its Ticked Digital Media Production course. You can check out the full roster of students, their profiles and show reels on our Swarm at Concrete page on Hiive.
Party as showcase platform was a new departure for Creative Skillset, but it brought together a healthy crowd of freelancers, entrepreneurs and employers to celebrate and network at what many called “the best party at the festival”. Importantly, AUB students also managed to make some useful employment contacts; an outcome we plan to repeat for more students and courses at this year’s summer showcases.