D&AD Shift with Google announces winners of inaugural Shift Studio

London, 21 March 2022: D&AD Shift with Google today announces the winners of the inaugural Shift Studio, which saw 15 of the programme’s London and New York alumni selected and paid to work on a guided brief set by Disney, mentored by Chloe Templeman and fellow creatives from Design Bridge. In addition, the organisation also shares details of Shift Campus, a new digital training platform to democratise access to world-class learning.


For the inaugural Shift Studio, Disney challenged Shifters to engage an aspirational audience of young, diverse and socially conscious consumers with National Geographic. Working in teams, participants were tasked with developing a fresh and authentic creative idea that would speak directly to Gen-Z audiences alongside a 12-month roll-out plan. 


Colby Pelfrey, Ebika Pinneh and Jael Umerah-Makelemi formed the winning team of Shifters. Their idea, ‘Unbox Your World’, aimed to make exploration more attainable for Gen Z’ers – by providing “phygital” tools to create a new wave of "globe steppers" who are empowered to capture their world. 


Running for six years, D&AD Shift with Google aims to uncover, support and ultimately help secure jobs for diverse creative talent who are self-made and non-university educated. The programme, which consists of night schools in London, New York and Sydney, is currently in a new phase of growth as a response to the urgent need to prioritise diversity and inclusivity in the industry, as well as to reach a wider audience of aspiring creatives who face even more challenges to enter into paid employment. As part of the global expansion, D&AD Shift with Google has introduced Shift Studio and Shift Campus to provide opportunities for emerging talent to hone their skills, establish a network and develop their portfolios. The announcement comes alongside the launch of this year’s in-person Shift London night school which is now open for entries until 20 May 2022. 


Shift Studio is an industry-led learning experience that enables D&AD Shift night school alumni to continue to develop their skills and portfolio through a paid stint to respond to a live client brief. Working collaboratively in teams and with structured support, the programme brings together established Shifters with more recent alumni to work with senior creatives and leading global brands including Disney, Google, giffgaff and Here Design. During the programme, Shifters are financially remunerated for their work and, if a partner chooses to take a creative idea forward, this results in either a paid placement or the global brand buying the IP out for commercial use. The programme also enables brands to tap into fresh talent and new creative perspectives, lived experiences and authentic approaches to help tackle business and societal challenges.

Colby Pelfrey, Shift New York Alum 2019 and Disney brief winner, commented: "Studio pulled me out of my comfort zone and challenged me creatively in ways that felt productive toward my future goals. The team at Shift were always there to help, but I felt in total control. I got to drive the car, they gave me the keys and the gas."


Also announced today, Shift Campus is a new free digital training platform and is aimed at a wide audience from school leavers to career changers. Designed as a four week programme which allows learners to access at their own pace, the digital portal opens up the Shift curriculum globally. The curriculum raises awareness of the creative industries and the roles available, allows emerging talent to gain a deeper understanding of pathways into employment, and provides an opportunity to connect with a like-minded community of learners. Participants will receive certification on completion of the course and the programme will culminate in a global showcase to engage potential employers. Shift Campus is running as a beta version from today, with full public roll-out in July. Further information can be found at Shift Campus online.


Paul Drake, Foundations Director at D&AD, commented: “The creative industry must adapt quickly if it’s to remain representative of the themes and discussions that currently permeate society. Not to mention the fact that we all rely on creative thinkers to imagine the future we want. It’s only by having a more diverse and inclusive industry that we will contribute to meaningful progress, which is why we’re making a significant effort by expanding our Shift activities in partnership with Google.”


Dan Germain, Executive Creative Director EMEA, Google commented: "I love this partnership. We are continuously inspired by the incredible projects and the diverse creative talent we meet. We're very proud to support the night school and play a part in cultivating connections and sharing knowledge which can truly impact the careers of the Shifters, and through them, the creative industry as a whole."


Chloe Templeman, Shift Studio ECD* & Design Bridge Creative Director, commented: "I've been working with Shift for the last 7 years, and every year I am blown away by the raw talent that comes through the programme. We wanted to enable more amazing collaboration between alumni, and continue to change the face of the industry by bringing the freshest talent together to make a first of its kind Studio. 

The Studio has shown that the passion, work ethic and great creative ideas from the night school continue to burn bright in our alumni. I loved every minute, and I truly learned as much from them as I hope they did from me as Studio ECD. 

The Studio proves that you don't need a degree, you just need a chance and someone to back you, and I'm excited to see where the next brief takes us."


The digital learning platform launches alongside this year’s D&AD Shift with Google free programme in London which is open to applications from aspiring creatives without traditional, university-level qualifications. In 2021, more than 18 agencies, 30+ industry instructors and 21 mentors participated and contributed to the programme. As a result, 67% of the graduates from the Shift programme went on to secure placements and jobs at leading creative companies such as Droga5, The Mill, McCann and Design Bridge.


Successful applicants will gain a place in the night school running from July to October 2022. As part of Shift, applicants will get the opportunity to work on a diverse range of projects that reflect the latest trends and topics of the industry, brought together in a final showcase of creative work in November 2022. Applications are now being accepted and will be open until 20 May 2022. For further information please visit Shift with Google London.


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