I couldn't be more delighted to be Chairing the judging panel for a new award for the APG.
Firstly, to be contributing a new building block to this prestigious monument in the planning world is a great honour.
Secondly, it speaks to two of my own passionate interests: raising the profile of a career in strategy and planning within the student talent pool, and celebrating the power of the creative thinking that our youngest strategists can already bring to the industry.
The new APG Student and Young Planner Awards scheme seeks to enthuse and inspire young people to find out about a career in strategy, and to allow those in their first year of planning to demonstrate their creative thinking in front of some of the finest minds in the industry. We are providing them with an intriguing brief: refreshing the appeal of a 60 year old product for their own peer group.
We at the APG are very grateful to Steve Hill of McDonald's for partnering with us in this exercise.
7 years ago I launched the Leo Burnett graduate training scheme for planners. We were one of the only agencies to train from scratch with a full, comprehensive year long apprenticeship. One particularly cruel test that I instigated was The 100 Days Talk, where the latest recruits presented their proposal for changing the agency for the better directly to the Executive Committee. The EXCO bravely committed to implement those ideas.
Without fail our annual graduate teams, with their fresh eyes on our business, have inspired and impressed us with the excellence of their thinking. It was a 100 Days Talk on how to attract and retain the best talent to our agency that lead to the creation of The Foundry, our graduate micro agency. This has raised the quality of our intake : allowing ambitious and entrepreneurial young strategists and account people a new kind of platform to demonstrate their skills from the get-go.
This is exactly the thinking behind the APG Student and Young Planner Awards. We know just how impatient our audience for this award is to get ahead and get noticed.
The short-listed entries will be published in The Guardian, the winning papers for Student and New Planners will be published in the Creative Planning Awards Book and the most impressive student entrants will be offered a 6 week internship at Fallon as well as fast-tracking to the final-stage interviews for The Foundry.
Here's to the first of many APG showcases of the UK's young strategic talent.
Chair of APG 2015 Student & Young Planner Awards
APG 2015 Student & Young Planner Awards sponsored by