Vizeum - Flourish

Global media agency Vizeum and MAD//Fest London diversity initiative to connect future leaders and global brands

By MAD//Fest Editors31 October, 2018

Media agency Vizeum has teamed up with MAD//Fest London (28-29 November, Old Truman Brewery) and young entrepreneur Jack Parsons to ensure the media leaders of tomorrow come from as diverse a range of backgrounds as possible.

The partnership, titled Flourish, will see Vizeum open the doors of marketing and advertising festival MAD//Fest London to 25 young people currently outside of the industry, looking to get their first step on the media ladder.

Flourish will focus on supporting the progression of people from lower socio-economic and ethnic minority backgrounds - groups that are historically poorly represented in the media industry.

The young people accepted on the Flourish programme will be tasked with devising and pitching a marketing campaign to Vizeum based on their experience of attending workshops and networking at MAD//Fest.

“Diversity is high on our agenda, firstly because of our commitment to create a fairer society, but also because we recognise the business value that diversity brings in the form of creative thinking,” says Tia Castagno, Vizeum’s Global Head of Innovation and Chief Client Officer.

“Personally as a mindfulness teacher and coach, I believe there are no limits to human potential, if nurtured in the right way and we must revisit our construct of ‘Talent’ as a given quantity at birth.”

Following the event, Flourish attendees will be paired with mentors and be put forward for interviews with MAD//Fest partners, including Vizeum.

MAD//Fest and Vizeum have enlisted entrepreneur Jack Parsons as Flourish ambassador.

Parsons, 25, had a challenging upbringing, both at home and at school. He has since picked up Young Digital Leader UK and Most Connected Young Entrepreneur UK awards and is CEO of Big Youth Group, a collective of youth-first companies that exist to improve the odds for young people.

“Young people are now looking at the projects they will be working on at their new employer rather than the pension offered. Questions they are asking are ‘what projects will I be working on’ rather than ‘what will my pension package be?”, adds Parsons.

“This meaningful opportunity for young people is super fresh and how the ecosystem for young people will be going forward. Over the two days the young people will learn a number of skills and be given a fantastic way for them to show their creativity on a real life project and really understand if the industry is for them.

Flourish will also see Vizeum and digital talent accelerator The Brixton Finishing School take to the stage to tackle how the industry defines, views and recruits talent, and how change in this area could better breed creativity.

Vizeum, whose key clients include AB InBev, Burger King and IKEA, has committed to making diversity the norm in the workplace and enabling talent from under-represented groups to succeed through initiatives such as its sponsorship of Brixton Finishing School.

Launched earlier this year with the support of The Mayor of London’s promotional agency London & Partners, MAD//Fest London is a new invite-only festival that will connect 2,000 marketing, advertising and disruptive technology leaders.

Speakers include broadcaster Katie Piper, futurist Shivvy Jervis and leaders from Disney, Domino’s, Huawei, Monzo, Uber, Samsung, Direct Line, Google, Pernod-Ricard and Diageo.

“Our partnership with Vizeum is a fantastic way to bring the best talent to the top of the table, regardless of their background,” says Dan Brain, MAD//Fest’s Co-founder.

“It provides a platform for senior industry leaders to address diversity in a meaningful way, tackling taboos that are often hard to quantify and switching employers on to the creativity, innovation and business benefits of a diverse workforce.”

Young people aged 16-25 who are not currently employed in the media industry can apply to be part of Flourish here

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