It has been one year of working with young talents in an intensive way! It is time to look back at what we achieved and at what they have achieved, so that we can keep making our job better in the future, both for us and for them.
What is wedotalent?
Wedotalent is a project that we ran for the past 12 months where we mentored 20 young talents. The aim of wedotalent was to bring young talent, center stage, with empowerment of good messaging for their following steps in their personal and professional life. Furthermore, our goal was to help talents to further develop themselves as unique and original professionals and to inspire their peers to do the same.
What is the problem we addressed?
Being a talented human is and has always been a challenging job. Most talents are completely immersed in their passions. Visual artists want to design, film-makers want to make films, dancers like to dance. It makes sense, this is why they are so great at what they do. Nevertheless it is always frustrating to see when they are not able to look after themselves, that someone has been taking advantage of them or that they are not being taken seriously. This happens because they often they are not aware of the great powers they can have only for being a creative human beings, and some time, when they are aware, they do not care about taking care of themselves. This does not allow them to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and grow not only as creatives, but also as professionals. And this can result in having talented young people left behind from society.
Who were our young talents
We worked with three groups of young creatives with multiple-talents related to visual arts. They are amazing young people willing to make a positive impact in the world but are facing barriers to enter the “market”.
We do not see them as underprivileged young people. They are talented, creative young people who have difficulty finding their way in the labour market. The (in)formal education system does not prepare them sufficiently for the labour market: How do I develop myself? What do I want to do? How do I find work? What if the job I want does not yet exist? How do I become a creative entrepreneur?
These are some of the questions that young creatives struggle to find answers to.
Our talents worked on projects both individually and in groups. While being at out wedowe creative space, they would receive guidance from the wedowe mentors, who would also value their creative inputs when it came to creating a new video, or organize a new event.
How did they discover and uncover their talents?
Every trajectory started with an individual conversation with the talents, during which every talent shared his or her wishes when it comes to what they want to learn or improve, both when it comes to their soft skills (for example some people wanted to learn how to be more communicative in a team) and hard skills (some people wanted to learn how to use certain video-editing software better). Furthermore, while working with the talents, it was with the help of our mentors that we were spotting a certain skills or ability that the talent possessed but was not aware of. For example, for some people it was really easy to create a concept for a new video, or to draw in a style that would have worked for a certain video animation. It was the job of the mentor to notice it and to encourage a certain talent to spend more time nurturing a certain capability. This did not only applies to hard skills but also to soft skills. One of our talents, for example, was incredibly good at making a bond with people and to communicate with anyone of all ages. We put some effort into making her realize this and to value this about herself. That is the beautiful thing with talents, that when people have them, they don't realize it easily, since it comes so natural to them.
How did they create social impact in their surroundings?
This was made possible by asking them the question: what makes you feel uncomfortable in the world around you. We let our wedotalents fill-in a document creative brief, where we encouraged them to come up with a concept for a video, that would address the unconforbilities they came up with. For a number of them, we guided them to create a simple video about it. Here some examples:
Unfair Salary: A video with the aim of shining a light on the fact that to have a job with a high societal value, such as a cop or a teacher, does not imply having an adequate compensation, and that is not fair.
Eating healthy is expensive: a video with the aim of shining a light on how eating unhealthy is actually cheaper to eat healthy in many situation. https://www.facebook.com/wedoweorg/videos/vl.194215427859423/1609270512502912/?type=1
Celebrating peace day: another video that one of our wedotalents, Jessica took a lead on, was a video created for PeaceOneDay to honor our partnership with Peace One Day:
What are the skills they learned:
It is with great pleasure that we create this overview of the different skills that our talents learned or improved. We divide this in “hard skills” when the skills is rather technical and can be applied to specific vakgebied, and “soft skills” when the skills can be applied on a more general set of disciplines, where working with other people and communication is very important.
We can say that all of our talents learned or improved the following skills.
- Communications skills: at the end of the days we worked together, we would sit around a table and, in rounds, answer the following questions: what was the highest energy moment of the day? What was the lowest energy moment of the day? In order to teach our talents the importance of communicating what was good and what was not so good on a given day.
- Work ethic: we did our best to keep our talents accountable, to let them know when they were late that was not a positive behavior to nurture for their future professional career. At the same time, we often asked the talents questions like: How can I make working together better? In order to nurture in them a certain involvement in what we were doing all together.
- Leadership skills: we gave responsibilities to our talents about specific projects, where they had to coordinate the work of some of their peers. Also they were often asked to give feedback to the work of their peers.
- Teambuilding skills: we helped our talents develop their abilities to work and function in a team, in a way that communication is clear but also where it is possible to have fun. In order to foster this mentality, we created a 7 minutes workout that we could do all together.
- Time management: every time we met, we practiced time management by starting everyday with the question: do I want to achieve by the end of the day? By answering this question, the talent learned to assess how much time there would be behind a certain task, with the goal of become better at managing time.
- Networking skills: During the project, our talents learned how to nurture their professional network and ended up making their professional network bigger. First of all they have a team of peers they can count on. It is very common in the creative community, when one person gets an assignment for a creative project where more than one person is needed, that person asks people in his/her network to join the project. Furthermore the talents are now in our wedowe network, and we are already offering paid assignments to some of them, since we are always looking for young talents to help us out. Finally, they created a network with the professionals that helped us our during the last year.
Hard skills that we teached:
- Conceptualization skills: this was probably the most difficult skills to teach. To conceptualize a new creative idea for a video it requires imagination but also focus.
- Pre-production skills: having a lot of ideas is very nice, especially when it is possible to put them into practice. With pre-production skills, the talents learned how to design a project, like a video or an event, and to take into account practical aspects, like time and resources.
- Production skills: we had many fun and intense productions days with the talents, weather during BRAINCANDIES or during one of the shoot we did together, like the SDG videos.
- Post-production skills: our talents learned how to put together a video looking at different aspects, like storytelling and structure of a video.
- Graphic design skills: our talents learned the basics of graphic design, using software like Photoshop.
Few more of the things we did together:
Helping during #BRAINCANDIES*
In the period of wedotalent, we organized 6 BRAINCANDIES LIVE, our most successful wedowe event, where people from the wedowe community come together to talk about important topics.
The wedotalent were an active team in making BRAINCANDIES a success, not only by making the event but also by editing the videos that were created during the night.
*The #BRAINCANDIES were a separate project, our wedotalents only helped with it.
Helping during SDG videos*
Another great project that our wedotalent actively participated in, was during the video shoot of 4 street interview where 4 kids interviewed people in the street about specific Sustainable Development Goals. Our talents helped us with the audio and with the production of the video.
*The SDG videos were a separate project, our wedotalents only helped with it.
Our wedotalents helped during a studio session, where we interviewed some of the young people we worked with in the past years.
Our wedotalents also create these videos, with our guidance:
How to pronounce wedowe: a fun video where the talents interview people in the street, about the correct pronunciation of our organization wedowe
#BRAINCANDIES speakers: a fun video where some of the people who spoke at BRAINCANDIES shared their opinion.
BRAINCANDIES dowe video: an explanatory video that explains what BRAINCANDIES is about.
Everyonetwothree: a graphic design campaign that empowers people by giving them the chance of saying one of their personal quotes to inspire the world.
What happens with the talents now:
We are very proud of our talents, and we have to say that it was nice to see how they brought what they learn into the next steps of their life, especially when it comes to time management and conceptualizations, that are skills that are normally not taught at school.
Most of our talents continued with school, like Kasia who decided to enroll in a coding school and Ray who continued her studies to become a teacher. We had few exceptions, like Jessica, who decided to spend more time to become a creative freelancer specialized in Graphic Design and Video-Production, Camiel who started working in a restaurant, but is still busy working on side paid creative projects.