We started the Ideas Foundation with one big idea:

The creative industry should be open to everyone

When we opened our doors in the year 2000, there were a few things we were sure of.

To begin a career in the creative industries, you shouldn’t need to live in a particular postcode or wear the “right” school tie. It shouldn’t matter where your parents work, which university you went to or whether you’ve ever met someone in the industry before.

All that should matter is that you’ve got good ideas, and you’re ready to share them.

Today, we’re even surer of our founding beliefs. And, the rest of the industry is too.

But when we looked at the industry in those early days, we were shocked. For a profession that prides itself on openness and creativity, it was surprisingly closed-minded when it came to recruitment. We were worried.

Wouldn’t agencies suffer if all their ideas came from one type of person?
And what about the students? Had they ever considered a creative career, or was something about our school system, or the industry’s approach to hiring, putting them off? Perhaps schools were so focused on exam results, they’d missed their students’ creative sparks altogether.

Agencies across the country were missing out on future talent, and young people were missing out on careers that could have been perfect for them.

Things needed to change

The Ideas Foundation couldn’t just appeal to students. We needed schools and teachers to back us, and brands and agencies to be willing to take a creative risk and give young people from different backgrounds a go.

With the support and connections of Robin, our founder (he’s worked in adland for over 50 years), we’ve been able to work with agencies, students and schools – injecting fresh blood into the creative world.

It doesn’t stop there. We’re always looking at the way we do things: adapting our creative courses and thinking up new programmes. So we’re always relevant to the industry and to our students.

We’re changing attitudes – for life

Some of our students who were 13 when they first joined us are now campaigning for diversity as part of the Diversity Task Force. Lots of them are now working in the creative industries, and mentoring our next generation of students. And every year more agencies and brands are joining us in making the creative industries more open, equal and diverse.

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