DigitasLBi's Alan Chu Hosts Ideas Foundation Training Day
Alan Chu, 21, first got involved with the Ideas Foundation through a schools programme in Woolwich seven years ago. Through the charity’s programmes, Alan has worked on communications briefs from real brands, has been mentored by industry professionals and taken on numerous work placements. He worked up a portfolio of impressive work, leading him to be employed as a junior designer at global marketing and technology agency DigitasLBi.
In the spirit of giving the next batch of diverse talent the similar opportunities he was given, Alan organised a training day for Ideas Foundation Ladder students. Twenty students aged from 16 to 22 were able to spend a whole day at DigitasLBi on Monday 16th February, learning the art of digital storytelling through a series of workshops and an opportunity to work on a live brief. Students travelled from as far as Manchester to the heart of Brick Lane in London for the immersive day.
Alan said: “Since 2008, the Ideas Foundation has been a massive part of my life and has supported me through my time in education. It has given me the chance to gain skills that I may not have obtained through education alone so it’s nice to be able to give something back.”
On Monday, the students worked on a live YouthNet brief and DigitasLBi Group Creative Director Abi Ellis led the briefing. With the challenge to be ‘big and bold’, students were tasked with creating serialized content to be hosted by YouthNet that would increase the awareness of issues that young people face - and where they can turn for help.
Creative mentors from DigitasLBi were on hand throughout the day to help guide and question the Ideas Foundation students. The presence of DigitasLBi colleagues also gave the young people a chance to ask those already employed in the industry how they got there.
Dan Parry, Copywriter at DigitasLBi and creative mentor gives his advice for the next batch of creative talent: “Be brave. This is something that has been drummed into me at DigitasLBi. Ultimately if you’re comfortable you’re not really capable of producing your best ideas. Try something new. Think laterally. If you’re comfortable, you’re not really learning. And if you’re not learning, what’s the point? (By the way I’m talking mentally comfortable. Physically, I like to relax by a warm fire in a onesie with a fine glass of wine. Or Ribena.”
At the end of the day, the students presented their ideas back in the format they felt most fitting. There were pitches that included emotive stories, interactive gaming and reactive research – a real testament to the training they had received throughout the day.
The judging panel was made up of the founder of the Ideas Foundation Robin Wight, DigitasLBi Group Creative Director Abi Ellis, DigitasLBi Creative Strategist Nic Howell, and DigitasLBi Junior Designer Alan Chu.
The winning idea was a weekly YouTube video concentrating on stopping online negativity with a simple mnemonic of ‘giving someone the finger’. Effective and memorable!
Abi Ellis, Group Creative Director at DigitasLBi said: “Having heard so much about the Ideas Foundation, it was mesmerising to see these young people in action. They took the brief on, wrestled with it and came up with solutions I’d never have dreamed of. And I got to see Robin Wight do the bird. Boom.”