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I have worked for over five years on the Ignite! Programme. They are interested in creativity with a purpose. They encourage young people to offer creative thinking solutions to problems as well as creative thinking for cultural activity.

Ignite was initially pilot project at NESTA, The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts. The Programme was set up in 2003 to identify and support exceptionally creative young people between the ages of ten and twenty-one. The programme is interested in offering creative thinking solutions to problems as well as creative thinking for cultural activity. We are interested in the longer term in creativity with purpose.


Over 4 years ignite has supported 20 exceptionally creative young people aged between 16-21 years old. These talented young people, the Ignite! Creative Sparks, were referred to us by a range of national organisations such as BBC Blast, Young Electronic Design Awards, BA Crest Young Scientists of the Year and the Sustainable Design Award. Each Creative Spark was offered financial support, a creative partner and a mentor to guide their individually tailored programme of personal creative development. They have become a cohort of outstanding talent and virtuosity, role models for their peers and ambassadors for Ignite!’s creative methodology.

My Space, My City, My World

An annual conference for Year 10 students at the Stephen Lawrence Centre in SE London.  My Space, My City, My World is designed to encourage young people to gain confidence in their views about the decisions that affect their lives, through the themes of personal space, urban planning and global issues over three days.

My Space, My City, My World explores individual students’ personal ‘footprint’, their views about the urban landscape, and the way the world is going. Workshops are led by young, keen and green entrepreneurs, designers, scientists and engineers – and debates explored how one person can make a difference.

In 2008 Ignite worked in partnership with Aspire Aimhigher South East London, the London Engineering Project and the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust. The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust is an educational charity whose mission is to help young people find pathways out of poverty and into sustainable, rewarding careers in engineering, architecture and other fields associated with urban design and regeneration.

Aspire (Aimhigher South East London) is a partnership of 4 universities, 80 secondary schools, 10 colleges, 6 London boroughs and a range of community groups who are working together to give young people in Bexley, Greenwich, Lewisham, Southwark, Lambeth and Wandsworth more opportunities to access further and higher education and thereby maximise their life chances.

The London Engineering Project co-ordinates science, technology, engineering and maths activities in schools and colleges in South London, engaging with pupils of all ages.

FriendShip Project 2005

This project involved young people in the maritime centres of Bristol, Plymouth and Greenwich. They were invited to explore the barriers to friendship by producing artefacts and other outputs. These were then passed on to another centre to interpret and resolve.

The 23 young people, mostly drawn from the Ignite! awardee portfolio, took part over three days Their work was then transferred to London and displayed in an installation/exhibition in Greenwich. A multi-media installation to illustrate their solutions was assembled in a mobile theatre truck parked by the Cutty Sark. Over 2000 people visited the exhibition over the course of five and a half hours.

Ignite Futures