Talent is critical to business success and through-out my career I have mentored and championed talent through initiatives such as Millennial Mentoring and The Great British Diversity Experiment. I have also questioned whether existing preconceptions of talent and how to foster talent are still relevant. Read my piece on the new pirates for what needs to change.
In addition it is important to celebrate new and interesting talent in the industry. Why? Because it's time to stop seeing other industry peeps as competition and see them as collaboraters working to make the world a better place through creativity.
Meeting Andrew was serendipitous – two unconnected people suggest we meet in the same week. After a furry of emails we did, over brunch. And now we’re working together on the Millennial Mentoring Programme and heading off to SXSW. It’s all about timing.
So why do you need to know about Andrew? Because he is one of the brainchilds behind ShellsuitZombie, a collective of young creatives from a diverse range of industries - graphic design to illustration to film-making and journalism to technology. This collective exists for one reason which is to give young creatives a voice in a noisy industry. Because right now this industry is tough for the young – high unemployment, a belief that young is equivalent to free and disposable means new entrants into the marketplace need strength in numbers to ensure they have work that is fairly paid and dealt.
ShellsuitZombie is a busy bunch - they run a blog, produce a print-magazine, curate exhibitions and run areas at music festivals. They also travel around UK universities giving talks, running workshops and organising raucous creative challenge parties. ShellsuitZombie started small but has grown to 25 ambitious, cross-discipline creatives who are kept very, very busy and their audience now stretches into the 10,000s.
Andrew is also co-founder of the spin-out creative agency ZombieLabs and it is here he has caught onto something genius. Young people are not free labour – they are the future - millennials represent what all consumers will be one day. Digital natives. Socially empowered. And if businesses don’t learn how to build relationships with this new breed they will go out of business fast. So Andrew uses the network of ShellsuitZombie to come up with creative solutions to business problems. He runs workshops with them to come up with products, content, campaigns and more. And because these ideas are made by Millennials they are future proof.
What motivates Andrew to seek to drive equality for the young? Largely because he wants young people to enjoy the best years of their life being brave, energetic and having an outlet to express themselves creatively. Young after all does not mean no talent. Andrew enjoys helping organisations talk to young people in an authentic way. Brands often fail to connect with their customers and ZombieLabs helps them to close the gap.
So why should you get in touch with Andrew? Well if you need the help of this talented group of young creatives to achieve something innovative, authentic and real quick. Or want to work with ZombieLabs to do creative strategy work for young, exciting brands and start-ups.
Oh and last of all – get in touch with Andrew if you love to eat and talk about granola. It’s his thing.