BIMA D-Day 2014 with Aylward Academy

We returned to Aylward Academy for this year’s BIMA D-Day – a nationwide day of activity involving nearly 100 schools around the country with the aim of promoting digital careers among UK school students.

Jim’s blogged about the digital skills gap in the UK and the difficulty of recruiting homegrown digital talent before. BIMA D-Day is just one of many initiatives that have the aim of bridging that gap.

Getting to know you…

We kicked off the day with an intro to Manifesto, and the different kinds of careers that exist in digital, by Jim and Curtis.


After which we asked the students to introduce themselves one by one and tell us where they saw themselves in 10 years time. A few said that they’d like to be lawyers, a few wanted to run their own business, there was one wedding planner, a boxer and a music producer but no one at this stage wanted to be a designer, developer, project manager or copywriter. Our work was cut out.

Then we divided up the group into three teams to talk about what pieces of technology have changed their lives the most. These teams would later take on the BIMA D-Day challenges themselves but for now we just wanted to get them thinking about the role that technology plays in their lives.

The teams were:

Team One: Guided by Curtis.



The Socialites: Facilitated by Louise.



and The A-Team: assisted by Jim.


The teams then presented the results of their brainstorms back to the group before Mr McManus (who’s a bit of a BIMA D-Day legend) delivered a short presentation on three bits of technology that had changed the world completely: the first transatlantic cable, the aeroplane and binary. Just to get the teams thinking big.


The BIMA D-Day Challenges

Next up we introduced the team to the challenges which they’d work on for the rest of the day.

  • The mobile app challenge: We all carry a smart phone everywhere we go, and we keep them by our side day and night. How could you use these smart phones for social good within your local community or further afield? – The A-Team are taking this one on.
  • The social media challenge: More than 500 million photos and videos are uploaded & shared on the internet everyday. How could you use some, or all, of these to make something brilliant and interesting? – Aptly, the Socialites are on this one.
  • and The connected devices challenge: By 2032 it’s estimated we’ll have 5,000 networked items in our daily lives. Welcome to the Internet of Things (IoT). What objects would you connect to the internet to make our lives easier or more fun? Link your Smart Phone to the idea for extra functionality and control. – Team One are on the case here.


Team One – Smart Park

After rejecting a few early ideas which included sub-dermal implants and a remote controlled oven (it’s been done already apparently?!) our connected devices team coalesced around a system which would make life easier for drivers by helping them find parking spaces.

Here’s their working product vision board:


Which led to this vision statement for their product:

“A system that connects drivers and parking providers to provide a fast, secure and efficient way to park.”

Here’s a sketch of some user journeys:


And here they are presenting their idea back to the group:



The A-Team – Universal Sport

The team’s early ideas included an app for finding lost objects which sounded quite promising but after a bit of deliberation and consensus gathering the team agreed to pursue the idea of a sports app for getting young people involved in sports culture (rather than gang culture). The app will connect sports people and clubs through a variety of challenges and help scouts find the talent of the future.

Here’s a glimpse of their vision board:


Which generated this vision statement:

“Universal Sport connects young people around the world through sports challenges that develop skills, recognise talent and build communities.”

Here are some screen sketches:


And here they are presenting back to the group:



The Socialites – Pictage

Tackling a tough social media challenge the Socialites found a winning idea pretty quickly: a way to share images through a dynamic photo collage.

Here’s their vision board:


Which led to the following vision statement:

“An app that enables people of all ages to explore, stay in touch and share memories through a communal photo collage.”

Some initial sketches of the concept:


And here they are presenting their idea back to the group:



The Final Entries

Here they are in all their digital glory:



We had a great day working with the students from Aylward Academy. When we asked the students at the beginning of the day where they saw themselves in 10 years none of them seemed to have any digital aspirations. We don’t know if the other digital agencies taking part in BIMA D-Day found that too but hopefully today will have opened at least a few pairs of eyes to the many possibilities that lie in what we see as the most exciting sector to work in.

We’re already looking forward to next year!

Finally, here’s a Storify from the day…

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