Tap into the Hive Mind of Generation Z

19th November 2023

As well as our day jobs, we go into schools and colleges to talk to students about careers in digital. The key thrust of these sessions is us coaching students thru Challenge Briefs. Genuine problems, set by ppl just like you. Yes, YOU!

Bravand (www.bravand.com) is a leading, independent, female-led digital agency. We’ve spent eleven years working with organisations of all shapes and sizes, designing and building things that people interact with on screens - products, services, systems, software applications, and the odd mobile app and website, too.

The projects we work upon broadly fall in to three buckets:

- How do we get more of the right people to do something?, e.g. buy a product, give us their data, donate
- How do we improve the experience of someone doing something?, e.g. onboard a new client / customer, subscribe to a service, sign-up to volunteer
- How do we make it possible for someone to do something in the first place?, e.g. fulfil click and collect orders, match / trade skills, track / measure / report something

As well as our day jobs, we take challenges like those above in to schools, academies and colleges and coach students thru the process of responding. 

We have two sessions, a full day workshop and a shorter version that lasts a couple of hours. 

The full day workshop is divided up in to three segments:
1. A bit about Bravand, the digital industry, the broad range of jobs available, how much roles pay, what we as individuals do, how we got into doing what we do, etc.

2. The key thrust is us coaching the students through the process of responding to a brief. So, in the same way an organisation comes to Bravand and says “We’re so-and-so, and we do this and we have a problem that we’d like you to help us overcome” we essentially do the same thing with students, setting them genuine problems from real organisations.

We divide the group into teams of five and each team picks a brief. We then coach each team, going through interrogating and questioning the brief, research, and brainstorming - and throwing loads of ideas up on the wall.

3. After lunch, each team agrees on one of their ideas to refine. Each team then develops a pitch around that idea and pitches their refined idea to the rest of the group, and the room collectively votes for a winner.

We typically get some pretty solid ideas out of it. With a bit of polish, they’re good enough to put in front of the organisations that gave us the challenge.

We ran a session at Barnsley College, last month, and Barnsley Council set us three Challenge Briefs that produced six ideas.

We pitched those ideas back to Barnsley Council and they’re looking at budgets with a view to us delivering some of them. 

The deal is that we bring the students that came up with the ideas along for some paid work experience.

Barnsley Council has also committed to a getting the students in to pitch, Dragon’s Den-style, to a panel of business leaders in the New Year.

We’ve got our second session booked with UTC Sheff City Centre on Mon 11 Dec, a session with Sheff Coll (150 students!) that will happen early 2024, and we’re in talks with RNN Group, Doncaster College and E-ACT, too.

The shorter session has a specific SEN-focus - Jilly (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jillycross/) and Ross (https://www.linkedin.com/in/rossmusgrove/) have had chats with their own boys’ school about them having SEN – so are in talks about delivering a tailored session to students with SEN at (so far):

- Talbot Specialist School
- Holgate Meadows Community School
- Paces
- Harrison College
- RNN Group

Why do we do this?
This stuff is really important to us, our industry and our region. 

We’re building a diverse talent pipeline - making our industry accessible to anyone and everyone that wants to get into it:
• Young people are 20 of the population, but 100 of our future (thanks Karen Mosley!)
• There’s a skills gap in our industry - as there seems to be in many other industries - and we want to open minds up to the full range of roles and career potential our industry offers
• There’s a distinct lack of diversity in our industry - as there seems to be in many other industries - and we know that greater diversity of background, capability and experience equals greater success in business
• Our team really enjoys running these sessions, so it’s a good employee engagement tool for Bravand, contributing to the wellbeing of our own team

I mean, it’s also just the right thing to do, innit? Team Bravand has seen, first hand, the positive benefits of presenting people with opportunities. 

So, if you’re an:

• Organisation interested tapping into the Hive Minds of Gens Z / Alpha, OR
• A school, academy or college looking for meaningful employer encounters in 2024

Ross a line (ross@bravnad.com / 07799 885 950) to chat about setting a Challenge Brief.

It’s (currently) free to get involved…

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