Leading influencer marketing agency Takumi has teamed up with Digilearning, MAD//Fest London and broadcaster June Sarpong to support people who are under-represented in the advertising industry get their first big break.

The initiative, called Flourish, will provide opportunities for Digilearning’s cohort of young talent to hone their creative and professional skills at MAD//Fest London (7-8 July). Attendees will receive mentoring and have the chance to develop influencer marketing campaigns based on a brief provided by Takumi client NatWest. 

Digilearning, an award winning UK charity, supports young talent from diverse communities as well as those who experience additional challenges securing employment opportunities.

Leading broadcaster June Sarpong has signed up as a supporter of the initiative, and will run workshops at MAD//Fest and join a panel to discuss how the industry can drive meaningful action on diversity and inclusion.

Following MAD//Fest, participants will also benefit from a mentoring matchmaking service, quarterly mentoring sessions and guaranteed interviews at Takumi and MAD//Fest for work placements and entry level roles.

Brands, agencies, publishers and tech firms can support young people and Flourish, DigiLearning and new talent in a variety of ways, from signing up as mentors to offering work placements and providing guaranteed interviews for diverse talent.

‘‘TAKUMI’s intent is to professionalize creators with influence through education, data science and ensuring they understand clients KPI’s. Gen Z have been born into the world with screens and consume digital differently. It’s important to provide them with the skill sets to take them into the world of work. This is our opportunity to develop, educate and make a change for the next generation in order to shift gears, " said Mary Keane-Dawson, Global CEO at Takumi.

"We know that 60% of the jobs of the future haven't even been created yet but what we do know is that those jobs will be tech related. Therefore it is imperative that we ensure that all children regardless of their background have the tools they need to thrive in the future. I am delighted that Digilearning has made this their mission,"  added Sarpong.

We live in a society that judges someone's intelligence on their accent and the school they attended. It's a recipe for disaster and a vicious cycle, paths are limited and industries are losing phenomenal creative people, gamechangers. It's time the advertising industry walked the talk...together we can build real inclusiveness and pathways for undeservedly marginalised young people. It's good for them and it's also good for business. Let's flip the script." commented Lisa Goodchild, Chief Troublemaker, Digilearning.

“The global pandemic has created additional challenges for young talent looking to get their first big break. We believe it’s

more important than ever to support young people and ensure that our industry doesn’t go backwards on D&I. As an event start-up, we can’t wait to work with Takumi, DigiLearning, June Sarpong as well as some incredible young talent to make the case for a better record on D&I in the creative industries,” added Dan Brain, Co-founder, MAD//Fest.

Launched in 2018, MAD//Fest is the UK’s largest marketing festival and the 2021 event will be the first major festival to take place in the UK since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. 4,000 marketers are expected to attend the outdoor hybrid event, where speakers include BrewDog MD James Brown, S4 Capital Executive Chairman Sir Martin Sorrell, Facebook VP EMEA Nicola Mendelsohn CBE and Resi Founder Alexandra Depledge MBE. Other features include a House of Innovation where start-ups can pitch for £100k of pilots based on briefs provided by M&S, Diageo, Boots, Pizza Hut and Reckitt, a Dishoom café, a pop-up pub and Campari bar.