“Nurturing a New Creative Class”

Our Creative Advisory Supergroup

Formed to advise and assist our staff and Board of Trustees, our Creative Advisory Supergroup adds a huge range of skill and experience to our armoury of creativity and knowledge.

Justine Wright

Justine is Partnership Manager with a passion for supporting young people to achieve their full potential through creative experiences and opportunities to explore new horizons. As Head of East London School Engagement at University of the Arts : London College of Fashion, Justine is working with the University and East Bank Partners, developing the cultural quarter in the Queen Elizabeth Park and nurturing new creative talent from within east London.

Toluwani Farinto

Tolu is a socially conscious entrepreneur, a consultant at a culture change business, Utopia and the Inclusion and diversity champion at The Ideas Foundation. His real passion is awakening the talent that lays dormant in disadvantaged communities, both by connecting them with opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have access to but also in the generation of resources that can help them decide their futures for themselves. Tolu has worked with the biggest brands in the world including Coca Cola, Spotify, Verizon, Google and more. Tolu believes that the most impactful solutions have to be sustainable and has to be business-oriented with an ethical purpose at its core.

Emma Hope

Emma is a sustainability professional with a passion for social sustainability. She is a strong believer in the power of creativity as a force for good and the opportunities it provides people with to stand up for what they believe in. Most recently Emma has been leading a programme that brings together the private, public and voluntary sectors to provide access to training and equipment for young people. These partnerships have connected thousands of young people with inspiring creative leaders, building their confidence and giving them a platform that ensures their voices are heard.

Lopa Sarkar

I have passion for encouraging the exploration of creative industries and careers in education and for increasing diversity in the arts. The Ideas Foundation is on the ground making a difference in both these areas. I am thrilled to be working with an organisation who shares my vision for more young people to be exposed to and hired in creative roles. The more diversity we see in these areas the more exciting advertising, arts and entertainment will become. It is a win-win for everybody.

Stuart Knapman

Stuart Knapman

Britain has a problem with social mobility and it is particularly pronounced in the creative industries. I’ve been lucky enough to work in and around some fantastic creative organisations for 25 years but I know that those opportunities don’t extend as widely as they should. I want to help to change that.

There is a general acceptance that we have better ideas when we have a wider range of people, backgrounds and life experiences in the room. There’s also a general acceptance in most creative organisations that they aren’t getting this right. But they seem unsure how to fix it because the candidates presenting themselves for junior roles are those who are confident enough, knowledgeable enough, connected enough and experienced enough to do so. It’s a self-perpetuating problem that needs practical solutions rather than platitudes, and that’s where the Ideas Foundation comes in.

Vivian Murinde

Having worked within in the creative sector for a number of years, Vivian is now focussed on supporting the next generation of creative talent access opportunities and showcase their skills and passions. A creative skills programme producer and manager, she supports creative organisations address key skills needs and develop more representative workforces. She is currently working on the London 2012 Olympic Regeneration project delivering East Works, the LLDC’s skills, enterprise and employment programme.

Lydia Thornley

Industry needs ideas. The creative industry thrives on variety. If you have talent and energy, you should be welcome. But there are employers who don’t know how much value there is in a diverse creative workforce. There are parents and teachers who don’t know that you can turn creativity into a career. And there are young people who don’t know how to get into the work that inspires them. That’s why Ideas Foundation matters. It joins up talent. It shows what’s possible. It magics networks out of nowhere. And it takes people from all corners of the creative industry to help make that happen. I’ve tutored, art directed, collaborated and consulted for Ideas Foundation. Now I’m proud to be one of its spare brains.

Ben Conway

Ben Conway

Ben is an Ideas Foundation alumni and is currently a Junior Creative at McCann London.  He has been involved with the Ideas Foundation since 2013.  He started as student on our programmes and graduated to being a mentor and advisory board member.    Ben attended Ravensbourne and received a scholarship to the School of Communication Arts.

Ruth Hooper

Ruth Hooper, a brand and marketing strategist with 16+ years of industry experience, has joined our Creative Advisory Board. Ruth founded Third Eye Marketing in 2018 and immediately began to lend her support to the Ideas Foundation after several years of partnering with us at Nike.

Hilary Cross

Creativity is vital to our world, at its most powerful and richest when it encompasses a broad diversity of ideas and views. Our creative industries contribute enormously to our economy, providing jobs and leisure activities for millions of people. Creativity allows us to express ourselves and our different experiences, contributing to our health, wellbeing, and happiness. The Ideas Foundation makes a difference to young people who may never have seen our industries as their home, who may never otherwise have had the opportunity to explore the value of their ideas. It gives them the confidence and knowledge that they too have a place here. Our creative industries benefit enormously from the Ideas Foundation’s programmes too, gaining insight from new perspectives and becoming more inclusive and fair. I’m proud to be a part of it.

Michael Cockerham

Creativity is innate in all of us until it is knocked out of us by the vagaries of societal norms and the restrictions of just living. But it is creativity itself which gives shape and meaning to all our lives. I never cease to be amazed by the ideas and enthusiasm of the young people who the Ideas Foundation gives voice to: it is boundless, energetic, enquiring, thought-provoking and invariably brilliant. But more importantly the opportunity itself gives them a taste of what is possible for the lives ahead of them, and it enriches us all. Now, more than ever, we need young people to know that the world can be whatever they want to make of it, and I want to do anything I can do to nurture that enthusiasm and unlock those skills.

Melissa Fretwell

Melissa has over 15 years’ experience of telling marketing stories from entertainment brands at UKTV and Channel 4. She is a chartered marketeer and CIM mentor and thrives as a brand and marketing strategist, specialising in nailing jelly to the wall and working with fascinating challengers from music, photography to parenting, media law and hemp clothing.

She is also a Business Director of Hoxby, working with clients from ITV to Etsy.  Hoxby is an award-winning workforce of more than 1,000 handpicked, talented and diverse freelancers who work remotely in 30 countries around the world.

Melissa launched White Camino after seeing so many smaller businesses with huge potential and no bandwidth to join the dots. She loves a high energy brand workshop!

Paul Reid

Paul Reid

Paul is the Founding Director for Disrupt Space Ltd and former MD of Black Cultural Archives.  He has been exposed to different aspects of cultural heritage and community activism throughout his career and so jumped at the chance to join the team to help with collaborations that facilitate, develop and release the exciting power that exists with every idea.

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