Pay & Go Co-creation Inventions

Last week I was involved in the Pay & Go team’s brainstorm session to gain insight into their ‘young person’ audience through a workshop. Co-hosted by the youth recruitment agency Livity and GoThinkBig; an inspiring team of young people alongside O2 employees gathered together over various London locations to contribute.

Penny the penguin, Mark the Moongoose, Harvey the Hippo…. and that’s about as far as I can remember, and I didn’t do much better on the day! A brief introductory game however, was all that was needed before everyone at the workshop was getting involved in profound discussions from whether the use of phones has created more freedom for youth, to the connotations that come with O2 as a brand. Made up of outgoing young people  (aged 17-22) as well as some marketing, and brand folk from O2, the workshop brought together a range of ideas and viewpoints. It gave a chance for everyone to give their own bit of insight but also take away a new bit of knowledge.

With the added bonus of completing the climb ‘Up at The O2’ (which was a fantastic experience), we were then  split into groups to come up with a new idea  for O2 – targeted at young people – to then be pitched to a panel of judges at the end of the week. Everyone performed amazingly managing to survive the judges interrogations and hard hitting feedback. The ideas presented ranged from events management, to fashion apps, to a prequel for O2 Academies for local artist. The winners were team ‘Butt Pants’ (don’t ask!) with their personalisation idea.

It was great fun having the flexibility to build and create any idea that came into our heads. My group just began with bouncing ideas of one another, building upon the interesting ones and comparing them to what we would personally like and enjoy. We even went out onto the streets of Brixton and used social media to gather new and fresh opinions on our idea, improving and building on it as we went.

Put together by the Pay & Go team the overall mission of the workshop was to come up with some fresh new plans that could help them reach their young audience. However, for GoThinkBig, it was also a chance to provide young people with the opportunity to work on their research, teamwork and presenting skills. We were able to encourage them to create ideas with a measured mindset, considering the business viability of any particular idea. I feel both aims were sufficiently achieved and more!

Summarised into 10 headline insights we managed to capture what the young people were trying to say; what is important to them and what they want.  Here are a few;

  1. Social capital is important. I care about being seen, having followers, having kudos.
  2. I’m at a stage where I’m learning to define myself as a person. I want to be able to personalise the things I buy – because they’re mine. Brands won’t define me, but they’ll help me to define myself.

And from the words of the young people themselves, it was a successful week in their eyes too and an amazing chance to unleash their creativity and build important skills!

“I thought it was great that loads of people from different ages and backgrounds could come together and create some great ideas as one” – Kiesha, Livity Young Person

“It’s been an amazing to bring a product to life from the initial idea to the final pitch, I have gained some great experience and a chance to interact with so many different people” –  Vivian, GoThinkBig young person.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone who was involved in the workshop again soon at The O2 for the Unity Concert. Our prize for providing insight and developing our inventive  ideas – a great end to a valuable week!