Robin_Final_edited-1

It may come as no surprise that I’m a George Osborne fan. I was, after all, a Conservative candidate in Bishop Auckland in 1987 – and 19,000 people voted for me.

But even a dyed-in–the-red-Socialist would have applauded the Chancellor last week.

He was hosting the 11th birthday of the Ideas Foundation, which I set up to encourage greater diversity in the creative industry.

Over 40 brands and over 20 agencies were there.

And George showered praise on the idea of the Ideas Foundation – “It’s the best idea you have ever had Robin”.

He spent a lot of time talking to the real stars of the show – the 20 young people who are on our programme for creatively gifted young people (we actually work with over 1,000 young people every year).

Our mission is to nurture creativity amongst young people from diverse backgrounds who are given no pathway at the moment into our industry.

David Wheldon of Barclays – who sponsored three briefs in our programme – spoke to say that every brand and agency should support us, and happily WCRS has for all 11 years of our existence. WCRS’ client Santander has sponsored a brief, and hopefully Sky, Global Radio and Warburtons will be sponsoring briefs as well.

I was asked to explain what the idea was behind the origination of the Ideas Foundation.Can you remember the “Aha Moment” that gave you an insight about yourself that led to your career today?

I can remember mine. It was when I was 17 and I wrote an essay that was read out to my class about colour. “How did you think of that?” everyone asked. And that was the moment that I realised I had ideas – maybe not big enough to be a Shakespeare, but big enough maybe for BMW, Orange and the rest.

11 years ago I asked myself; “What if I had written the same essay but was from an ethnic minority, single parent family and was stuck in a sink school. Would anyone have noticed that essay if I had written it? Would I have got to where I am today?” The Ideas Foundation was set up to nurture the creative talents of young people whose aptitude would otherwise not be discovered.

What a waste that would be… and it still is!

Which is why we need more agencies and more brands to support us so we could be in hundreds of schools, not just a handful.

Happy Birthday Ideas Foundation.