The new Digital Disruptors programme is all about supporting and nurturing our next generation of digital pioneers. This year, over three months, it will give a group of South London based teenagers invaluable direct access to some of our industry’s smartest brains and businesses, show them the many options digital provides as a career choice and, most importantly, empower them to think dynamically about the opportunities its brings to our everyday lives.
Co-Founder Julie York adds: “Digital Disruptors is all about harnessing the creativity and innovative thinking that we know already exists out there whilst also giving these young minds direct access to some of the industry’s smartest individuals and businesses. The enthusiasm from within our industry to both support and get involved has been overwhelming, and we’re really excited to see how we can grow the programme over the coming years.”
In partnership with youth charity The Hebe Foundation, this year’s programme kicked off this month with a series of inhouse workshops giving the young people hands-on experience of social platforms, lens development, search tactics, mobile commerce, data analysis, influencer marketing and online creativity. A structured schedule of mentoring with representatives from the many companies involved as well as work placement opportunities will then follow before the young people get the chance to showcase their own digitally disruptive thinking in a Dragons’ Den style pitch competition at the big PILive event in October.
Ed Couchman, UK General Manager at Snap (the parent company of Snapchat), one of the companies running workshops and mentoring sessions as part of the initiative, says: “At Snap, we are passionate about giving our users the tools they need to express themselves and be creative. We are excited to partner with Digital Disruptor to help young people tap into their talents, realise their potential and explore the opportunities available to them in the future. The industry needs bright, creative and enquiring minds and we are delighted to play our part in empowering young people here in the UK.”
Claire Mullan, Head of Marketing and PR at Awin, who are equally supporting the initiative, agrees: “Awin are delighted to be involved in the Digital Disruptors initiative. We are passionate about the skills people can learn, and career opportunities available, within digital marketing. We can’t wait to introduce affiliate marketing to the Digital Disruptors learning programme.”
Digital Disruptors Co-Founder Tina Judic adds: “Digital Disruptors has been launched in memory of Nicky McShane, one of our industry’s most exuberant and progressive digital marketers who sadly passed away at the end of last year. She was passionate about encouraging others to enjoy digital and to think disruptively about the opportunities it provides us all. Her enthusiasm and hunger to always look beyond the obvious were infectious and it is now our mission to inspire our next generation to think and act the same.”