Week two of Future Now

Another busy one for the future creatives taking part in our creative content, software developer and startup founder programmes

From industry led training sessions to learning how to build a great mindset by therapy motivation sessions, the Future Now group have had the chance to really connect and understand their peers and chosen industry.

Our programme officers, Tyra Alexander , Lucy Carasco and Beth Kahn talk us through how the week went below.



Header image ©Island Records / Somethin Else

The Future Creative Content Now cohort have now warmed up into their groups and begun ideating and planning. This week is all about breaking down the brief and the importance of design, curation and bossing your socials.

A highlight of the week was an ideation workshop run by Abraham Asefaw was a great way to learn some techniques for the cohort to implement into their creative process when approaching the brief.

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The group also took part in an excellent session delivered by Alex Elder and Emma Lansdown of Somethin’ Else on “Telling Stories with Imagerywhich helped the participants visualise their ideas and think of different ways to present and promote their projects.

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During the second instalment of Naana’s Storytelling workshop the session participants explored the important role of the strategist within storytelling and got the chance to breakdown and discuss a number of adverts.

During the Curation & Digital Storytelling” workshop with Robyn Kazosi from the Migration Museum themes of storytelling through the lens of the audience and storytelling with a purpose were covered. Robyn also covered how an important part of their work is trying to reach those who may believe migration isn’t an essential part of British history,

“Reaching someone on an emotional/spiritual level is more effective than reaching someone on an intellectual level because that’s when you are able to change peoples mind and ideas.”

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In Breaking Down the Brief with Susie Burdekin, we found out how to take a lorry load of information and really get to the core, which included an activity filtering the brief down to just two words, some answers included “Digital Playground” “Connect Creative” “community Access” “Interactive Hub” and “Collaborative Creators”.

Following a very packed week two, in week three the cohort moves into the development stage of the course, beginning their audition and premier pro training sessions, part three of storytelling workshops with Naana & Axel, developing/casting/shooting for short-form docs with Barcroft Media. We will also have a mid-point check-in on how the brief is going with Epic Games.

By Lucy Carasco, Programme Officer

In this second week of the course, the group continued to apply the lean startup methodology to their business ideas and develop their MVPs (Minimum Viable Product) – initial assets such as landing pages, explainer videos and product samples to show to their potential audience in order to gain feedback to further develop and iteratively improve their ideas.

A highlight for the group was receiving expert feedback on their MVPs from the likes of Marie Krebs and Pac O’Shea, who provided helpful pointers on how to gather the most relevant data from target audiences, as many of the group have begun to build and share surveys and questionnaires to test their business propositions. This process will help lay the foundations for strong business ideas by helping to ensure that each product or service addresses a real problem experienced by others, that people are willing to pay to have solved.

The group also enjoyed an energising session on ideation with Abraham Asefaw, who set them the task of distilling their business idea into a short Tweet and 4-6 emojis. Participants relished this creative challenge Funso commented “Makes you think about what your business does in a short and concise way”, while Pritt found it “useful to break it down, less overwhelming”.

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Another highlight was a talk from Sheree Atcheson on her stellar career journey, from her beginnings as a software engineer in Belfast, to expanding the Women Who Code network supporting women in tech in the UK and beyond, to writing for Forbes and becoming a champion of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Deloitte, Monzo and now Peakon. The group were extremely inspired by Sheree’s career trajectory and keen to find out more from her upcoming book, ‘Demanding More: Why Diversity and Inclusion Doesn't Happen and What You Can Do About Itwhich comes out this Spring.

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Sheree’s experiences of being the only person of colour in the room in numerous professional contexts really resonated with many members of the group, and participants were interested to learn about her data-driven approach to improving companies’ diversity and inclusion efforts and increasing accountability and impact.

Participant Grace presenting her MVP for feedback from Marie Krebs.pngShe also advised the group to take the time to self-reflect and truly understand their strengths, with participant Nasima commenting “I love your emphasis on acquiring skillset! Growth is turning potential and passion into skills!”

Next week begins with pitch practice with Zaisha Smith to be followed by more expert talks, including sessions on branding from Marius Bogdanas and Alex Vasili, and 'reaching customers' with Raquel Soares.

By Sapphire Paston, Programme Officer

This week the Future Software Developer Now cohort were able to really dive into their brief. The brief was to build a web application to display today’s weather forecast and a 7 day breakdown for a location from the open-weather-map API. In support of this task we had live co-working sessions as well as a Q&A delivered by our brief partner HERO. The purpose of the brief was to ensure that when our cohort begins to attend interviews, they will be able to speak on their problem solving experience and draw back to their work on this brief. Additionally, the group participated in stakeholder management sessions and a session outlining HERO’s core technologies, as well as mentor meetings.

This week's highlight was hearing from the Software Development team at HERO. During the session they discussed their core technologies giving the cohort an insight into a day in the life of a Software Developer at Hero, a pioneer in conversational commerce.

What we enjoyed most about the Core Technology session delivered by HERO, was the opportunity to ask questions and get answers from real industry developers!

The cohort also thoroughly enjoyed the Stakeholder Management session where they were able to bank some really great techniques that they will for sure be bringing to the workplace!

They also found the mentor meetings really helpful in that they had a great guide for how they would go about completing a group task. Their mentors helped with their project management and provided tips on resources they could use to upskill and rise to the challenge of their brief.

Next week we will have some live feedback sessions where HERO will be reviewing their briefs and sharing improvements. This will be an opportunity for the cohort to reflect and prepare for their next brief from Brandwatch. We wanted to add some variety to the programme so that the cohort could hear about what it’s like to work in small start-ups and larger corporations, so we will also be hearing from the Brandwatch team on their core technologies. On Top of that we will be digging deeper into Git and Github, Building your online brand, and decoding job specs!

By Tyra Alexander

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