Posts Tagged ‘Cornerhouse

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!

The course is being run by The White Room, in partnership with Manchester City Council, MMU, and Cornerhouse, and applications close next Sunday, 21st February.


Charles Leadbeater, who we’ve been thinking with in relation to Innovation Boardroom, has prepared an essay for Cornerhouse called The Art of With, which asks ‘What do the advent of the web, collaborative practice and open source ways of working mean for the arts and art organisations?’.  It challenges the old ways of doing things ‘to’, or ‘for’ people – suggesting instead that things now are done ‘with’. In the spirit of collaboration and open source exemplified in his book ‘we think’ – Charlie has posted his essay as a wiki, this is the link: It’s a great read, and I’d highly recommend it. Innovation comes from this egalitarian approach of being open to new (sometimes challenging!) ideas, sharing our passions and working in creative collaboration with each other to drive change. Brilliant.

More interesting news from the Cornerhouse (wow! those guys are on fire!), and continuing the egalitarian theme,  M:KC hosted a breakfast with John Hyatt, co-curator of the State Legacy exhibition today, around promoting Manchester as a centre of innovation in an environmentally sustainable way.  It was all about creating sustainable and valuable collaborations that benefit: art; business; environment. The press said “This session will enable us to investigate a creative ecology for the city that will inspire communities, benefit business and improve the quality of civic life, exploring what role arts organisations …can play for business in the future.”

Is it just me, or is everyone noticing the meteoric rise of words like these in everyday conversations- ‘Ecosystem‘; ‘Collaboration‘; ‘Civic‘ and around since Rio, but taking on a whole new resonance lately…’Sustainable‘? It feels to me that people are really embracing these principles, in our mid-crash, post Obama election times. However, one word that I heard a lot in Amsterdam lately in relation to business and invention, but don’t hear so much in the UK is ‘Beauty‘. It seems that there’s a gap in our thinking/value chain there- and one I’d like to talk about more if you feel the same!

Innovation Manchester

Innovation Manchester is a dynamic and diverse network of innovators and entrepreneurs, working together to make Manchester a better place to do business. We’re making Manchester a global innovation leader by creating: - new connections - new business opportunities - radical city-wide solutions Be part of the innovation conversation - all you need is enthusiasm and original thinking.

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