It’s amazing to think how far the impact of design reaches, from road signage to Turner Prize-winning art, yet only 27% of people working in
It’s amazing to think how far the impact of design reaches, from road signage to Turner Prize-winning art, yet only 27% of people working in the creative industries come from a working class background.
The industry is missing out on a huge pool of talent, with many would-be creatives and designers lacking the confidence or funding to put their skills at the heart of their career.
Our work with Mission Beyond
One organisation dedicated to making access to careers more equal is Mission Beyond. Through collaboration with business leaders, Mission Beyond aims to increase social mobility through digital innovation, training and employment opportunities.
Our work with Mission Beyond was part of Battenhall’s 20% time – an initiative that enables each team member to set aside a fifth of their hours to work on pro bono side projects and cause-led initiatives, as well as research, innovation and personal development.
Mission Beyond had the difficult task of communicating its goals to a very wide audience, from C-suite level potential partners and possible funders to the beneficiaries of their work. What it needed was intentional listening and insight-led outcomes that helped the organisation tailor its communications to each segment of its audience.
How design came into the project
This type of project, which had wide-ranging needs, required all parts of what it means to be a designer – not just slick deliverables that look amazing in a design blog, but also skills that aren’t part of the usual day-to-day work. My role on the project constantly switched from designer to project manager to creative strategist. It challenged me to fully explore my strengths and test any areas of weakness.
Other team members joined the project once it was under way, which allowed us to pool our skills and enrich the quality of work. This is a benefit of Battenhall’s 20% time – it gives space for exploration and cross-pollination. Through messaging workshops for key team members and the creation of an explainer video for its funding campaigns, we were able to sharpen Mission Beyond’s messaging and help improve access to creative careers.
Need for collaboration
I’ve continued to volunteer with the organisation in my own time and I’m so pleased to see how Battenhall’s contribution has helped Mission Beyond work through its challenges. It demonstrates how cross-company collaboration is vital to developing effective and valuable outcomes.
Whether you're a designer, communicator, marketer, writer or intern, when working in a turbulent world, it's vital to think bigger. Go beyond seeing skills and roles as stagnant and as a singular lane to stay in.
To achieve measurable, tangible impacts, it's important to nurture deeper collaborations between skills, experiences and interests – and ensure they are authentically and actively supported throughout.
Find out more about Battenhall's 20% time initiative.