Silent Cards, or how to have that awkward conversation

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In February, I attended a Swarm for D&AD‘s White Pencil initiative called ‘Break The Silence’. We were asked to come up with creative ways to engage the advertising industry on the subject of climate change.

These ‘Silent Cards’, are a customised Artefact deck with facts and figures about climate change that any strategist, planner, or creative could use in client meetings, if only they could find the courage to do so. Until then, they’ll just be useful for flicking through in those quiet moments of reflection when you’re really wondering what you can possibly do to help the situation.

The illustration above and text below were exhibited this week with other Break The Silence proposals at the D&AD Awards judging event at Olympia Exhibition Centre.

You know that conversation? Yeah, the one you keep having with yourself, but no one else. You’re not having it with your friends, or with your boss, and especially not with your clients. It’s a niggling voice in your head that keeps asking inconvenient questions. Is this the best way forward? Is this really what we need right now? What kind of impact is this having? Imagine having prompter cards for that awkward conversation. With the facts at your fingers tips would you raise your voice on climate change? Probably not, right? But you flick through the deck furtively, anyway, just out of curiosity. You’ll likely never use them, but then again… one day, you might just feel compelled to ask an awkward question out loud.

Wild Thing / Good for Nothing proposal to be featured in film

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I’m excited to announce that Out & About will be one of three featured campaign ideas in the Project Wild Thing documentary. All the ideas generated during the Good For Nothing weekend in July 2012 were tested in focus groups by the Green Lions production team.

Rather amazingly my proposal for a national programme for 0-8 yrs olds, to get them spending more time in nature, was one of the three most popular ideas amongst the public.

To develop the proposal for the documentary I developed an info card to be inserted into mother and baby Bounty Packs when they leave hospital. Chris Wilson of Scriberia brilliantly illustrated my card design, as you can see above.

Working with director David Bond’s friend Dr. DJ Brown we are now trying to develop a medical trial of the cards in the NHS to test their effectiveness on new parents behaviour.

Getting back to nature with Wild Thing & Good For Nothing

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I spent another fantastic weekend with the Good For Nothing crew in July 2012 at the site of a previous GFN project Global Generation‘s skip garden in Kings Cross. This weekend was slightly different in that there was only one brief to work on and that was Project Wild Thing, a documentary by production company Green Lions about nature deficit disorder in kids.

Around 60 creatives and planners turned up to volunteer their skills for the weekend, we sheltered from the rain in a Moroccan tent and set about devising ideas of how to get kids and families to spend more time in nature.

Working with Victoria Brooks, and other members of our team, I ignored the brief targeted at 8-12 year olds and devised a national programme for 0-8 year olds, feeling that it was important to talk to parents about the positive impacts of nature from birth.

The programme, designed to be integrated with the NHS, is called Out & About and encourages parents to get their kids outdoors in different ways throughout their early childhood. You can read more about my experience with Project Wild Thing and how Out & About featured in the finished documentary here.

 

Good For Nothing – Occupy Blue Monday – Pop Up Festival

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There’s nothing better on a grey and miserable february weekend than to get together with a whole bunch of brilliantly energetic people and tackle an inspiring creative brief. This was my third GFN event and it was as exhilarating as ever. This time I chose to work on the Pop Up Festival of Stories. Collaborating with so many brilliant minds is exciting, but also it’s amazing how much you learn about running your own business while working on someone else’s. As a team we designed a fantastic array of new strategy tools and products for Pop Up. Hopefully these will help them fund their event in July 2012 and future engagement projects.

A little film about Occupy Blue Monday

Joining in the first Good for Nothing event in London.

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A new kind of freestyle creative collaborative event has been born under the title Good for Nothing. Due to the initiative, gumption and blagging skills of Tom Farrand, Tom Rowley and Dan Burgess (aka The Pipeline Project) GFN brought together an amazing bunch of creatives one weekend in chilly December to help develop communication, design and branding strategies for three amazing non-profits. I was delighted to work on the Global Generation brief: working with young people and businesses to create urban gardens. It was, all in all, an amazing, intense and very rewarding experience. I’m look forward to doing some more Good For Nothing sometime soon.