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NowCreate: A Pilot Programme

In recent years, despite the strength of our creative economy, education policy has consistently marginalised the subjects that help underpin it. The risk is that subjects such as art and design become the preserve of the privileged few, whilst the creative industry itself has come under fire for a lack of diversity.

To ensure a wider pool of talent and encourage participation in advertising and design, D&AD have launched NowCreate, a programme that targets a younger demographic who don’t always consider our industry as a viable career option.

The D&AD Foundation ran a pilot of the project in conjunction with BBH and in partnership with London’s Hackney Council. NowCreate: Hackney, which ran in early 2014, introduced 55 14-18 year olds from three local schools and colleges to the creative industry.


Students were challenged to take on a real, industry-led brief: to use their creativity to tackle social isolation for the elderly in Hackney. At a briefing day, a range of speakers from industry, including D&AD President Mark Bonner, explained the various job roles. This was followed by a ‘client briefing’ from Hackney Council and interactive workshops on ideation, creative thinking, narratives and understanding target audiences.    

Teams of students had two weeks to submit a two-minute film explaining their idea. A panel of industry experts judged each film submission and shortlisted finalists spent a day at digital studio UsTwo, working alongside creatives to further develop their ideas before preparing a final pitch to be presented to Hackney Council.

"Through the Foundation we’re broadening our remit and focusing more attention on those who could benefit most from our support and attempting to remove the obstacles that are currently preventing them from flourishing."

Paul Drake
D&AD Foundation Director

Following the pilot, a film has been produced, aiming to introduce more young people to the variety of roles available in the creative industries. 

D&AD are now looking to further develop the NowCreate programme. If you are an educator who would be interested in speaking to us, or in industry and would like to be involved, please drop us a line. 

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