Young Progress Makers 2018

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Our Programme Intern, Kwasi attended London Evening Standard’s ‘Young Progress Makers’ event last week. Read on to find out what happened during the event. Thanks for sharing this with us Kwasi!


Last week, I attended an event called Young Progress Makers held by the London Evening Standard and Livity Marketing Agency at Camden Roundhouse. Young Progress Maker is an annual star-studded event aimed at 18-25-year-olds, consisting of a day of talks, unrivalled Q&A sessions, interactive workshops and networking with London’s top business innovators. Its aims are to celebrate the diversity and ambitions of creatives in the capital.


The event kicked off with a speech by former Conservative Chancellor and Editor of the Evening Standard, George Osbourne. Mr Osbourne set the mood for the day by speaking about the importance of young people claiming the future as well as London’s legacy and worldwide impact. After the introductory speech, the host for the day Sophia Thakur came out to introduce keynote speaker and Livity Co-Founder, Sam Conniff Allende. Allende’s message was to “be more pirate”. We were taught to think more radically and defy convention. He revealed how the game-changing purpose, strategies and successes of pirates can provide a blueprint for anyone embarking on their own personal adventure, enterprise or initiative today. This was followed by a panel of “pirates” from different industries. The panel consisted of Paul Hilder, Ryan Robinson, Mercedes Benson, Scott Morrison.


Paul Hilder – A social entrepreneur, campaigner and innovator.  He is the co-founder of the following political participation platforms; Crowdpac, 38 degrees and openDemocracy.


Ryan Robinson – Co-founder of Aeropowder. Aeropowder uses bird feathers for insulation. The company was awarded the Mayor of London Entrepreneur Award for his business idea in 2016.


Mercedes Benson – A social influencer/marketer by day and entrepreneur/DJ by night. In the past, she’s worked with Adidas, Puma, BeatsbyDre, Google and many more.


Scott Morrison – Scott is the founder of The Boom which helps businesses unblock old ways of thinking, unlock new ideas and unleash the power of the people.


The panellist spoke about their journeys in their respective industries and how they became change-makers within their field. What was notable about the panellist’s messages was that they all had unconventional approaches and ideas, yet still pursued their goals despite many risks and setbacks.


The audience was invited to join a one of a kind networking session delivered by Hub Dot. Hub Dot is an organisation that facilities networking events by assigning coloured dots to participants which explains the reason they’re at the events and what they want to gain from it.


We then began the Think Forward session. The Think Forward was session a look into the near future and what it holds. Anne-Marie Imafidon spoke about the future of technology and why diversity plays a major role in that. Anne-Marie was a child prodigy, sitting two GCSEs in two different subjects in primary school. She passed two A levels at the age of 11. More recently, Imafidon founded and became CEO of Stemettes in 2013 – a social enterprise promoting women in STEM careers.


The Think Forward session included a panel discussion with Chairman Rohan Silva. Included on the panel were the following; Tommy Stalden, Alice Bell, Tom Singlehurst, Alice Bell, Rosa Chacon and Luke Robert Mason. The panellists predicted the most exciting industries to enter in the next ten years and then opened up questions to the audience.


The final session of the night was titled, “Hustle”. This session spoke about hustling and grafting led by the founder of The Dots, Pip Jameson. The Dots is a site where creatives can connect and find jobs, also described as ‘LinkedIn for creatives.’ Pip spoke about the challenges, highs and lows of starting her own business and her plans for the next chapter.


Though he wasn’t able to attend in person, Sadiq Kahn addressed the attendees via a video with a message of hope and encouragement to follow our dreams by making a London a force to reckon with.  The closing speech was delivered by Amy Lame, who is known as ‘London’s Knight Tsar.’ Amy spoke about her role in growing London’s night time economy and supporting London nightlife. She reminisced about her past endeavour as a nightclub and events organiser.


What I gained from the event was knowing that the future does actually belong to people like me; that we all have something to contribute and whether playing by the books or not, the future is for us to define.


Written by Kwasi Tandoh

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Elevation Networks.



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