Hello! Welcome to the
  • To increase diversity in the creative industries
  • Identify & nurture creatively gifted young people aged 13-19 who are not thriving in the education system
  • To give them skills to gain employment

What We Do...?

I Am Creative is a pioneering creative education project which aims to teach 13-19 year olds about the creative industries and then gives them an opportunity to have a go at answering a live creative brief from a global company, such as Barclays, E-ON and more. Briefs are available to download online, but we also deliver enhanced projects in schools, bringing in creative professionals to help students come up with an amazing idea. Top ideas are invited to pitch to the client in London. Winners are invited to join 'The Ladder'. Check out the website below. 

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Funded with the support of the Comino Foundation, our Incubate programme area has a stronger skills development remit.   Working with a limited number of partnership schools in the North West we bringing specialist industries employers into the classroom to work intensively with young people on projects from across the Digital and Media communications sector.  Building projects which respond to local employers needs we introduce our young scholars to the reality of working in specialist areas such as broadcast media, games and interactive media, animation, advertising and fashion and we have a particular interest in raising the digital literacy skills which underpin many of the emerging roles in these sectors.

Our key mission is to identify and nurture creatively gifted 13-19 year olds. Incubate and I Am Creative allow us to identify these creatively gifted young people, and The Ladder is our way of nurturing them. Launched in October 2012 and already with 70+ members, we offer Ladder Members amazing opportunities to learn and enhance skills required to understand and work in the creative sector. We run targetted Progression Days in the UK's top creative agencies, such as BBH and Engine, and identify and send any information, opportunities and inspiration to them throughout the rest of the year. Check out our members here. 

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The Ideas Foundation is committed to increasing diversity in the creative industries and believes fundamentally that diversity increases the quality of creative ideas in the creative industries. We do this through a combination of working with 45% BAME and 60% female on our projects. We also work at the centre of the industries to campaign and increase awareness of the issue of the lack of diversity in the industries, and work to help the industry understand the benefits of diversity for their business. Check out our series of films about Diversity in Advertising below. 

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We work bridging the gap between the creative industries and secondary education. We have worked with over 100 schools (and growing) in the UK to run engaging projects which aim to teach students real skills that can be transferred into the creative industries.

We also identify any students from these schools that we believe have potential and invite them to join The Ladder. If you are a school and are interested in us running a project in you school, email clare@ideasfoundation.org.uk.

We take live creative briefs from companies such as E-ON, BT, Lloyds bank and more, and deliver them into schools in deprived areas in the UK. These projects allow companies to tap into young people’s creativity, while at the same time giving young people new skills and career choices. Not only this, but they are helping to increase diversity in the creative industries.

If you are interested in us delivering a brief for your company, email ideas@ideasfoundation.org.uk.

We have a membership of around 20 of the top creative agencies in the UK, who pay a membership fee in return for 2-4 events per year, quarterly emails, a plaque, and the CSR benefit of helping to teach young people in deprived areas about the creative industries as a career choice, and supporting our work to increase diversity in the creative industries.

If you are an agency and are interested in joining, please email jemima@ideasfoundation.org.uk.

"The programme offers a fantastic insight into real life working environment. Because it is a competition the students were keen to make their work of a good standard. The prestigious company attachments were attractive. The speakers sent in to present to the students were very inspirational."
- Rebecca Brewer, Teacher at The Southwolds Academy
"We have really enjoyed working with the Ideas Foundation. Clare and Jemima have been absolutely fantastic in listening to what is important to us, we had a brilliant working relationship which resulted in a truly wonderful project."
- Suzanne Doxey, Community Relations Manager, E-ON
"It has allowed me to see my job in a new light and engage with young people who were able to give a new perspective on our ads and come up with some inspiring ideas. It has also been great to encourage more creativity among current students."
- Francesca Warner, Graduate, AMVBBDO

Who We Are...

The Ideas Foundation is a registered charity. We are governed by a Board of Trustees, made up of a group of eminent professionals that sit across the Creative Communications Industries and Education. This group meet once a month to discuss the direction, strategy and key decisions of the Ideas Foundation. There are two members of the Scholar’s Council on the Board of Trustees.

The Ideas Foundation has a small staff team who are embedded in agency offices across London and Manchester. By working within the industry, the staff team understand and are integrated in, agency life and culture, meaning that they are best placed to speak to and teach young people aged 13-19, about the Creative Industries. All of our staff team have previously worked with young people.

The Scholar’s Council is the Youth Advisory Board of the Ideas Foundation and are made up of 15 young people aged 14 plus. They represent the young aspirational minds trying to enter the industry and as such, they support and guide the Ideas Foundation’s work, acting as advisors, project coordinators, ambassadors and mentors.

Scholars council

  • Morgan Elliott, 18

    Immediately, I was blown away by the integrity and dedication the Ideas Foundation. I knew this was something I wanted to become part of, and that the Scholar's Council was the best way into it. The Ideas Foundation has given me some strong and clear insights into the Advertising industry, and I hope my participation with the Scholar's Council will enable me to take my Advertising aspirations further.

  • Phoebe Desalegene, 17

    I have been a committed Scholar's Council member for the past three years. I am determined to pursue a creative career and feel that the Ideas Foundation has helped me grow and learn a tremendous amount about the creative industries.

  • Talia Jordan-Lewis, 16

    I have been part of the Ideas Foundation for 3 years, during which I have had many opportunities like work experience with Saatchi and Saatchi and Airside. In the future I would love to become the biggest designer ever and start my own company. 

  • Naomi Desalegene, 19

    Being apart of such a creative community, I am continually inspired and become more knowledgeable about the opportunities and job roles that interest me within the creative industry.

  • Ola Oreyibi, 18

    I am a very talented 18yr old aspiring actor, director, writer and producer with the drive to explore and learn more about my creative side as I believe the only way to grow is through the willingness to learn and the fact that the creative minds rule the world.

  • Kristie Brandon

    I was always interested in having a creative career but never thought about advertising until I went along to Creative Media Camp. I finished the week with a solid idea of what I want to do in the future and from there joined the Scholar's Council. The Ideas Foundation allowed me to decide exactly what career I wanted, and gave me the boost I needed to work towards succeeding. 

  • Alan Chu, 19

    Since 2008, the Ideas Foundaiton has been a massive part of my life and has supported me through my time in education. Offering me a gateway into the creative world through internships in huge advertising agencies, it has given me the chance to gain skills that I may not have obtained through education alone.

  • Fumni Oriola, 22

    The Ideas Foundation has given me the opportunity to speak at key educational conferences, host celebration nights, and help Project Manage the Creative Media Camp. Through all these great projects , opportunities and more,  I was able to find my ‘calling’ (product design).

  • Demi Oriola, 19

    My first experience of the Ideas Foundatin was the Creative Media Camp. I enjoyed this immensely, so asked how I could help out and was introduced to the scholar council where I met the most interesting set of people.

  • Marie Kivakude, 16

    Two years ago, I applied to attend Creative Media Camp. From the day the project started, everything changed. CMC opened my eyes to many opportunities and future career choices and from there my involvement grew.


  • Denise Harrop, Incubate Project Assistant

    I am Denise Harrop, Incubate project assistant, I work in the North helping to coordinate projects in schools and assisting in education network development .

  • Kavita Singh: Business and Enterprise Manager

    As Business and Enterprise Manager, I spend my time facilitating immediate and strategic fundraising/partnering opportunities for the Ideas Foundation and hanging out with some very interesting people!

  • David Holloway: CEO

    As the CEO and Company Secretary I am responsible for the overall management of the organisation, its financial viability, policies and legal status and the achievement of its educational and charitable objectives.

  • Jemima Jordan: Director of Projects

    I work overseeing I Am Creative and The Ladder and ensuring that the project model and structure is operating coherently and to its full potential. 

  • Pat Walters: NW Strategy & Comino Partnership Manager

    I work strategically across the north west in 3 high schools with their feeder primary schools. Each school is located in a disadvantaged area in different local authorities of Greater Manchester with inspirational head teachers prepared to work creatively across the curriculum. It is a sustainable model built with a legacy of change. 

  • Gemma Bergomi: Administrator

    As the Administrator for the Ideas Foundation I act as Robin's PA, making sure his diary is in order as well as ensuring the smooth running of the charity’s day-to-day business.

  • Angela Conway: Finance Manager

    Finance, Work Placements and mentoring. General day to day running of charity. Photography.

  • Deborah Davidson: Project Manager

    As Incubate Programme Manager I run intensive projects, which help schools develop pupils with the skillset, experience and ambition to aim high in their future creative industries careers. With a background in design and training I am also responsible for developing curriculum and education interface more widely for the organisation as a whole.

  • Clare Ruffle: Project Coordinator

    I work with schools and industry mentors coordinating projects for I Am Creative. When I'm not doing that, I help our Ladder students; writing newsletters and organising agency days.


  • Moira Kean: Co-opted Board Member

    Moira set up Kean Vision, a Media training and consultancy company, having worked as a BBC producer for 26 years

  • Rory Sutherland

    Rory is Executive Creative Director, Vice Chair of Ogilvy & Mather UK

  • Rebecca Morgan

    Rebecca is Managing Partner and Strategy Manager DLKW Lowe (Worldwide). 

  • Prof Jose Chambers MBE

    As well as being a Trustee, Jose is Senior Researcher for The Comino Foundation, Director of the University of Winchester Comino Centre and Centre for Real World Learning.

  • Jonathan Akwue

    Jon is Acting Chair of the Board for the Ideas Foundation trustees, Global Client Managing Director and Partner at Engine Group, as well as being Director & Trustee Black Cultural Archive. 

  • Jenny Wilkins

    Jenny is the Principal of Skinners Academy and Director & Trustee of Manor House Development Trust, a social enterprise regeneration the Woodberry Downs Estate and North Hackney.

  • Robin Wight CVO

    Robin founded the Ideas Foundation in 2003 and has been a hugely active Board Member. He is also President of Engine. 

  • Hugh Cartwright FCA

    Hugh is the Treasurer of the Board of Trustees, and is a successful Chartered Accountant. 

  • Demi Oriola

    Demi is a college student and a Scholar's Council Member.


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My Ideas Foundation Story: Dushane Morris

My name is Dushane and this is my Ideas Foundation story:

I attended Christ The King Aquinas Sixth Form College, majoring in an extended diploma in Media.

Within the final year of the course,

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On 21 November 400 Marketing Society members and guests gathered at the Royal Opera House to discover, learn, debate, spread best practice and share ideas about how creative marketing delivers

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The New Annual Report!

It’s that time of year again! Summer holidays always fly by, at which point it is time to write the Ideas Foundation’s Annual Report. Doesn’t sound like the most inspiring job, but it was

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We are bursting with pride here at the Ideas Foundation at the amazing news that Liam Roughley, one of our first ever Northern Creativity Scholars, has landed a prestigious and highly sought place at

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Engine Hosts Inspring Ladder Progression Day

The Ladder is the Ideas Foundation’s progression group for students we have identified as creatively gifted through one of our schools projects. October 2013 saw 25 students from around the UK come

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Dog Days at Summer School

16 of our brightest and best Ladder students agreed that working in advertising was certainly no dog’s life after attending the fourth Ideas Foundation North West Summer School at BJL in Manchester

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