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Digilearning, Takumi, Mad//Fest team up to tackle inequality with Sarpong

UK charity Digilearning has linked up with influencer marketing agency Takumi, Mad//Fest London, and broadcaster June Sarpong to help those who are underrepresented to get their first big break in the advertising industry.

‘Flourish’ will provide opportunities for Digilearning’s young talent to develop their skills at next month’s Mad//Fest London event (7-8 July). Participants will be able to receive mentoring and have the chance to develop influencer marketing campaigns based on a brief from Natwest, one of Takumi’s clients.

“The global pandemic has created additional challenges for young talent looking to get their first big break,” said Dan Brain, Co-founder of Mad//Fest. “We believe it’s more important than ever to support young people and ensure that our industry doesn’t go backwards on D&I. As an event start-up, we can’t wait to work with Takumi, Digilearning, June Sarpong as well as some incredible young talent to make the case for a better record on D&I in the creative industries.”

As part of the initiative, Sarpong – the BBC’s Director of Creative Diversity and former presenter of shows like T4 and Your Face or Mine? – will be running workshops at Mad//Fest and appear on a panel to discuss diversity and inclusion in the industry.

The talent involved will also gain access to a mentoring matchmaking service, receive quarterly mentoring sessions, and benefit from guaranteed interviews at Takumi and Mad//Fest for work placements and entry level roles.

“We know that 60% of the jobs of the future haven’t even been created yet but what we do know is that those jobs will be tech related,” said Sarpong. “Therefore, it is imperative that we ensure that all children regardless of their background have the tools they need to thrive in the future. I am delighted that Digilearning has made this their mission.”                                                                    

Brands, agencies, publishers, and tech firms can show their support for the Flourish initiative by signing up as mentors and offering work placements.

“We live in a society that judges someone’s intelligence on their accent and the school they attended. It’s a recipe for disaster and a vicious cycle, paths are limited and industries are losing phenomenal creative people, gamechangers. It’s time the advertising industry walked the talk,” said Lisa Goodchild, Founder (and Chief Troublemaker) of Digilearning. “Together we can build real inclusivity and pathways for our underserved and marginalised young people, it’s good for them and it’s also good for business. Let’s flip the script.”