Archive for the ‘Business’ Category
There is some serious talent on the streets and in the bedrooms of Manchester. Young people with the kind of creativity we would give our right arm for, Manchester’s future is in their hands.
A teacher I met at the BBC 21st Century Classroom in Salford, told me about his 15 year old student (let’s call him John) who made £5 here, £10 there, by designing My Space pages for his friends. The teacher was frustrated at not having the ability to help John take his digital talent to the next level, nor access to appropriate business start up advice for this teen entrepreneur. When asked what he would do after his GCSE’s, John told the teacher that he’d follow into his father’s shopfitting business, he didn’t consider college, work in the creative sector, or starting his own business as possible options.
To be clear, I am in no way critical of John’s choice. Good design is needed in the physical world as well as the digital (if not more so!). However, I do think the story raises the question of how we best nurture young talent, both in and outside schools.
I like the idea of business advisors having surgeries in schools and youth clubs, helping young people to think about markets for their ideas, before they get squelched by the ‘real world’. I’d love to hear of any case studies where this works (or doesn’t).
We’re lucky to live in a city like Manchester, where projects and partners are aiming to resolve some of these issues. Robots have been built at the MADLAB, and last year Innovation Manchester and the Manchester Innovation Investment Fund supported Creative Open Access – growing the inner geek in some of Manchester’s brightest young people.
Now a new course, also to be held at Cornerhouse, will not only nurture creativity in 18-24 year olds, but also introduce the skills to progress a career in the creative industries
At the core of the scheme, the kids at the App School will develop their ideas for an iPhone ‘app’, and they’ll work on those ideas throughout the programme. In addition, they’ll get training on things such as project management, team-working, presenting their work, and business & financial management. At the very end of the scheme, they’ll be pitching their ideas through to a panel of some of the city’s best creative companies – who, if they like what they see, will be able to offer them internships. If the ideas are good, the companies will actually create the ‘app’ as a joint venture.
If you know of any young people in Manchester, please help spread the word!
Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining personal wealth without personal responsibility. (Ambrose Bierce)
It was in the early 1900s that journalist Ambrose Bierce came up with this definition, as part of his charmingly cynical ‘Devil’s Dictionary’. At the time, society was emerging from a century of staggering changes in technological progress, economic growth and social turmoil.
Mr Bierce didn’t include a definition for a co-operative business model in his dictionary, although the Rochdale Pioneers had defined and implemented this fabulous concept in 1844. They made an imaginative quantum leap: they dreamed up a business that was run by and owned by its customers and employees, so that they had a true stake in the business.
Once again we are living in times when there is great public cynicism with big business and the banking sector in particular, and we’re heading for a period of major economic and social upheaval as unprecedented planetary changes have their effect on populations across the world.
We need some radical new ways of working and living, like the Rochdale Pioneers created – whether that is in delivering public services, or in developing businesses. Has Manchester got the talent and the chutzpah to get ahead of the curve, and become a leading centre for developing and testing bold and imaginative ways of going about our daily lives?
After a slow and snowbound start, 2010 really got going last week with the highlight of the Northwest Business calendar.
Leading Manc entrepreneurs, Mike Perls, Imran Hakim & Scott Fletcher promised us that RAW2010 would ‘change everything’ – they didn’t let us down! Run by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, the calibre of the event and audience were outstanding – Manchester: Knowledge Capital was pleased to be involved.
The Lowry Centre was awash with talent and cash (according to hilarious scouse compére John Bishop) – but most importantly people met, networked, did deals and learnt. Yes they really did learn new things! Already, the President of Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce has been drawing me bell curves from the Ian Gotts session. Now I know about the IMPACT theory of ‘Killer Products‘ I can and will pass it on, and that viral spreading of knowledge is a real sign of success. You can get a copy of Ian’s book here and many other good bookshops, of course!
By the way, I missed Ian Gotts talk because I happily found myself in the ‘future of digital‘ session run by Magnetic North‘s Lou & Braden. Magnetic North are supplementing their digital marketing work with the *actual production of physical product* – including these cool mix-tapes. The Mixa tapes tap into nostalgia for teenage years when you would compile an analogue playlist for your latest crush. More importantly they signal a growing trend to link media and product design, and a desire for tangible things to touch and feel.
I met some great people in the cafe and Professor Lynn Martin (Director of Centre for Enterprise at MMU) found me using the spotme devices that we all had.
Yes, there’s LOTS to follow up on from that event, and lots of new people to work with in spreading the Innovation Gospel.