About the employer:
Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands catalyses innovation across the West Midlands innovation ecosystem. We focus on companies that are active or interested in science- and technology-based innovation.
Basically, our job is to talk to people and companies who are thinking creatively and working in the innovation space and to get them connected to opportunities. They might be making new products like electric cars, healthcare apps, or XR experiences. They might be designing new ways of doing things, like making a building product carbon-neutral, redesigning manufacturing processes, or integrating VR into the Low Carbon and Healthcare sectors. Visit Innovation Alliance website here
Project Title: New Voices of Innovation Campaign
In 2020, Innovate UK carried out a large-scale research project to explore the relationship between innovation and social disadvantage. The report established a direct correlation; people who experienced disadvantage as a result of gender, race, class, age, and/or ability were significantly less likely to participate in innovation.
We created the New Voices of Innovation Campaign in response to this research. Our goal is to reshape the West Midlands’ innovation ecosystem by making it more diverse and inclusive.
Identifying and promoting relatable role models and mentors, specifically for disadvantaged young people who don’t view entrepreneurship and innovation as a viable career path, is a key objective of our New Voices of Innovation campaign. Perceptions and experiences of discrimination and a feeling of not fitting in contribute to this exclusion—or even stigmatisation in the case of those with disabilities. Innovate UK's research identified that people from certain backgrounds reported a limited knowledge of and access to networks and support initiatives. This resulted in a lack of confidence that led to people ruling themselves out from starting a business.
For the purposes of the Impact Challenge, we are asking your help with the following:
- Planning and delivering a social media marketing campaign aimed towards disadvantaged young people on social platforms they are likely to use (e.g. Instagram/TikTok).
The key outcomes of the project
Over the course of the week, we will ask you to consider the following areas when developing your social media marketing campaign.
Things to consider:
- Which segment of the target audience you are deciding to focus on (can be multiple)
- Research how others have tried to approach the same challenge to inspire your thinking.
- How will you reach them / which platform(s) will you use and why?
- At what age are you trying to influence them from and why?
- How will you explain what innovation and entrepreneurship mean in a way they will understand?
- How will you make the idea of innovation feel accessible?
- How can you help tackle ‘imposter syndrome’?
- How will you make your ideas fun and engaging?
- Consider how long/short your messaging needs to be to keep the target audience engaged.
- Consider and suggest who should create content for the campaign after the Impact Challenge.
- Create a PowerPoint presentation to explain your strategy and present back to us at the end of the week
- Bring your ideas to life through a series of posts on your chosen platform(s) and include them in your presentation
Most of our team is over 30-years-old, which means that we don’t have lived experience of being a young person right now. We are also a very small team. And while our life experiences vary greatly from person to person, we would really benefit from hearing additional perspectives on how we can make the New Voices of Innovation Campaign more accessible.
Your work over this week will help develop the way we approach and inspire young people in the West Midlands through our New Voices of Innovation Campaign.
The New Voices of Innovation Campaign works towards ensuring that the next generation of innovators comes from a rich and diverse variety of backgrounds and that they are part of an ecosystem characterised by inclusion, encouragement, and support.
Diversity fuels creativity. Creativity sparks innovation. And innovation grows the economy.
As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we need a variety of diverse perspectives to be part our rebuilding the economy and positioning the West Midlands region for exponential growth. A diverse innovation ecosystem will create products and services that meet our region’s diverse needs and ultimately make the West Midlands a great place for everyone to live, work, and play.
We cannot tell you how much we value your perspectives. Additional information about this work and the research carried out can be found on our Supporting Diversity and Inclusion and Innovation blog.