An animated piece of toast.

A music festival.

A sunbed coffin.

These are just some of the ways a brilliantly creative group of 17-year-olds answered a brief on the dangers of tanning. Last week, GOOD carried out two days of workshops and mentoring with 32 students, in collaboration with Ideas Foundation and Cancer Research UK.

The sessions were intended to give young people from all backgrounds the chance to explore a career in our industry. Ideas Foundation strongly believe “ideas don’t just come from one place, or one type of person.” Fresh perspectives matter. But last year, 92% of UK creative jobs were held by the most ‘advantaged’ in society.

It’s clear that as an industry, we need to reflect on our approach to diversity and inclusion. Just saying anyone can apply for a job is not enough. What about the people who won’t ever find out that job exists? Or the ones who do, but can’t afford the train fare to the interview? Too much talent is going to waste for want of opportunity.

That’s why what Ideas Foundation do matters so much to us, and why we found ourselves rallying a room full of teenagers to join our ranks. We were lucky enough to be able to hold the sessions at the D&AD festival, so it wasn’t a hard sell with so much incredible work around us, and the chance to see talks from inspiring industry leaders.

We were there to mentor the students, but in many ways, they ended up schooling us. In boundless creativity that’s not yet bogged down by budget and practicalities. In enthusiasm for what we do, as one student asked, “do you really get to come up with ideas all day?” And most importantly, in bravery, as everyone there had left their comfort zone, daring to pitch their ideas to a room full of strangers.

With the opportunity to show what they could do, the students ended up bossing it. And in a few years’ time, they might just end up bossing us too.