Hello! Welcome to the
  • To increase diversity in the creative industries
  • Identify & nurture creatively gifted young people 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 and work on 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 company 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 200+ members, we offer Ladder Members amazing opportunities to learn and enhance skills required to understand and work in the creative sector. We run targeted Progression Days in the UK's top creative agencies, such as Ogilvy & Mather 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 ideas@ideasfoundation.org.uk.

We take live creative briefs from companies such as E-ON, BT, Canon 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 hannah@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 Scholars’ 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.

  • 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.


  • Heather MacRae: Managing Director

    As Managing Director, Heather is responsible for strategy and fundraising for the Ideas Foundation. She is also programme manager for The Space to Earth Challenge.

  • Helen Poole: Programme Manager

    I am the Creative Programme Leader, managing our I Am Creative and Creative Media Camp flagship projects. I also manage The Ladder progression scheme and am committed to helping students flourish.

  • Zosia Mrozek-Folkierska: Creative Programme Leader

    I take care of I Am Creative programme and Creative Media Camps during the holidays. I'm also here to support The Ladder and make sure that our students are getting the most out of the projects that we run.

  • 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. 

  • Sarah Brown: Administrator

    I help support our very busy team and the Board of Trustees with the admin to run our projects.

  • Angela Conway: Project Coordinator/ Finance

    I look after the finance, work placements and mentoring. I tend to get involved in the general day to day running of charity and do a little 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.


  • Scott Knox

    Recently ranked #23 in The Telegraph’s Out @ Work, Top UK, LGBT, Business executives, Scott is the Managing Director of the MAA and founding president of Pride in Advertising & Marketing, the worlds first ever LGBT group for our industry. He is a Committee Member of the House of Commons Debating Group, married and has two adopted children.

  • Naomi Desalegene

    In 2010 I took part in two IF creative programmes which led me to become a member of the Scholars Council. Learning and growing with Ideas Foundation I have gained Industry experience alongside completing my degree in Graphic and Media Design. I am now working as a Planner at Dare. 

  • Shannon Vaughan

    Shannon runs a creative placement programme called Rough Diamond in her role at Ogilvy Labs, a specialist division within Ogilvy & Mather Group UK which routes diverse future talent into the agency. She is also a Director and Trustee of the Ideas College and an Ambassador of Only Connect's Strong Voices. 

  • Richard Robinson

    Richard is Managing Partner at Econsultancy. Away from work Richard is the resident Brand Expert for Channel 5 News, a Director and Trustee of The Ideas Foundation and a regular commentator in the media.

  • Heather MacRae: Co-opted board member

    Heather is Director of Venture Thinking.

  • Rory Sutherland

    Rory Sutherland is Vice Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather Group UK, having joined Ogilvy as a Graduate Trainee in 1988.  Rory is a visiting professor of Warwick University and was awarded an honorary doctorate (D. Litt) by Brunel University.  He is also the Technology Correspondent of the Spectator, the world’s oldest English language magazine.

  • Prof Jose Chambers MBE

    Jose is Development Fellow of the Comino Foundation and Chair of The Ideas Trust.  She was previously Assistant Vice Chancellor of the University of Winchester.

  • Jonathan Akwue

    As well as being Chair of the Board for the Ideas Foundation Trustees and Chief Executive at Lost Boys, Jon is also Director & Trustee Black Cultural Archive and the Founder of the Great British Diversity Experiment.

  • 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. 

  • Demi Oriola

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


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