ELEVATE Professional Development Plan and beyond

The second phase of ELEVATE focused on professional development and each Fellow was asked to submit a Plan, designed to be achieved over 6 months and to enhance their creative ideas/business case; something that each individual felt would inspire and support them at this point in their career.

Development Plans included workshop delivery & participation, travel grants, mentorship, networking, conference attendance etc.   

On completion of their individual Plan, Fellows were asked to evaluate their experiences - how the ELEVATE programme has impacted on their work, what they have learned from the experience and what they might now approach differently.  

Each Fellow has followed their own unique journey - best described in their words:

Grant Menzies, UK

"Being associated with the British Council’s prestigious international ELEVATE programme and with my fellows across the world has leant a great deal of credibility to my ideas and my practice.  It has also opened up a range of opportunities to collaborate on international projects that I would not otherwise have been a part of.  In the year following the Innovation camp I have been fortunate to collaborate on over half a dozen projects that have increased the quality of my portfolio and raised the profile of my business. Together with several of my fellows, I have been privileged to be awarded by ‘UNICEF’ and ‘Playright’ in Hong Kong for our ideas and design for a Universal (Inclusive) Playground and delivered a unique and innovative event for ‘Glasgow Doors Open Days’ Children’s Programme."

Chloe Meineck, UK

"The impact the ELEVATE Fellowship and network has had on my work is quite astonishing. It seems so long ago that we had the terrific week in Japan, meeting all the other fellows and learning about play in Japan. The trip was inspiring and made me start to think and start planning what I want to do in my career or in the future, what’s my goal? In my mind, I wanted to create a design studio that specialised in social good tech products. That seemed quite far off from where I was. What I realise now is that if you dare to be ambitious, say it out loud to people, start talking about it, then you can start building it. Now I have my own design studio and am starting on actioning more of my long term goals."

Paul Drury-Brady, UK

"I am working much more internationally these days, my social feeds are full of bright ideas and innovations from all over the world and taking part in ELEVATE certainly broadened my horizons.  I feel like I am more generous and have shared a lot more things individually with people.  I'm collaborating differently, part of new networks and have been doing research in a different way to make my idea happen."

James Sale, UK

"The British Council ELEVATE programme has had significant impact on my practice. The camp in Japan cemented in me a deep belief in the value of combining “making” into the design process and “play” into the innovation process. Since returning from Japan I have set up a new limited company to work on exactly this – called Collaborative Design and Build ltd. (Co-DB).  We have already worked on a number of projects where, by using these beliefs, we have been able to offer a uniquely accessible combination of services to our clients and end-users. At Pop Up Parks the impact and learning of ELEVATE has also influenced our approach, becoming significantly more project focused and ambitious in how our work with children can influence wider social and public space agenda."

Sumitra Pasupathy, Singapore

"As a result of being part of ELEVATE I am actively looking at collaborations as a way of creating influence and impact.  Playeum, with it’s dedicated space, really could be an observatory/incubation/collaboration hub to activate change and champion solutions for children."

Francis Sollano, Philippines

"Applying the points learned in ELEVATE, our team, Youth for a Livable Cebu, has worked with the Cebu City government and we have implemented a city-wide campaign, The Great Urban Challenge, that commenced this year.  We challenged district governments to conduct pop-up pocket art gardens and to engage more communities in the process.  We now work with scale in our heads while maintaining the core of our campaign -  a vital component that we now approach differently.  The network has also opened more professional opportunities and, because of this, has challenged me to elevate my own work as well."

Bronwyn Cumbo, Australia

"Since taking part in ELEVATE, I have collaborated on two exciting project proposals with Neill Hobbs and Grant Menzies (ELEVATE Fellows), including the UNICEF inclusive play design competition (award-winners), and the Ballyfermont participatory play space competition. I have since received a full Endeavour scholarship to undertake play-based research in New York with the Children’s Environments Research Group (CERG) based at the City University of New York.  The professional development funding provided by the British Council enabled me to go to Delhi and undertake the Child-friendly city workshops with children and young adults as part of this research with colleagues from CERG and PLAN India. I was exposed to new ideas, new cultural forms of expression, approaches to engaging children and youth in urban issues, as well as India itself – an amazing country. These workshops have sown the seed for a long-term collaboration between PLAN and CERG, which I hope to be a part of."

Partners:  Lien Foundation, Yamaguchi Centre for Arts and Media, Goldsmiths University London, and any other partners included in updated versions of Terms and Conditions. 

Promoter:  The British Council (ABN 59 749 478 807), PO Box 88, Edgecliff, NSW 2027.