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Inspire! charity gets boost to give kids a fairer future

By Fran Brosan, Chairman

24 hours, 12 people, 58 ideas, 17 outputs. Omobono, the creative and technology agency for business brands, recently staged a 24-hour hackathon in aid of the London based charity ‘Inspire!’, which engages businesses and business people with schoolchildren, to give them a better start in the workplace.

The hackathon was the brainchild of Jen Hennings, UX lead at Omobono. ‘We’ve got some incredible skills here at Omobono, from brand strategists to content producers, designers and web developers. And we have a company motto that we’re ‘unstoppable together’. So I came up with the idea to put the two together and see what we could actually achieve in a good cause’.

Susie Clark, MD of Omobono’s London office, takes up the story. ‘We’ve been talking to Inspire! about whether we could take some of the children in schools from the area surrounding our new office in Clerkenwell for work experience or a placement day.  There are some remarkable stats which show that children who have over 4 interactions with business whilst they’re at school are 5 times less likely to be unemployed. With our focus on business brands, it makes such sense to help kids to understand more about what business does and how they might fit in to the workplace.”

In conversation with the charity’s CEO, Suzanne Maskrey and Head of Business Development Jo Barker, Omobono realised that the charity might need help in other areas too and the hackathon idea began to take shape.

‘We had 12 people working on it from noon to noon”, continues Hennings. ‘Strategists and content specialists, coders and UXers, designers and creatives, management and graduate trainees. It was incredibly stimulating and energising to really live up to our motto.”

“We produced the most amazing cannon of work in an incredibly short timeframe” adds Pia Walton, Marketing Executive at Omobono and one of the key drivers of the initiative. “A new logo and strapline, a refreshed visual identity and physical decal for their offices in Hackney, a complete review of their website and UX. But it was very grounded in delivering things they could use immediately so we also gave them a fresh set of tools to help them present to businesses as well as an instantly useable approach to upgrading their social activity and social tiles they could put into action immediately.”

Susie Clark finishes: “Hats off to the team who stayed up all night or slept in the office, and particularly the person who worked out how to block the light sensors so that the office could be darkened to let people get at least a couple of hours sleep!”

Suzanne Maskrey, Inspire’s CEO concurs ‘It was amazing achievement. We came in at midday on one day to brief the agency and came back 24 hours later to be presented with the most incredible work. The design work was beautiful and the team putting their heads together to come up with a refreshed look and way of articulating what we do, was just brilliant. But Omobono understood we needed evolution not revolution as we don’t have the money to replace all our signage or corporate branding overnight. It makes a huge difference to be able to describe our work more compellingly to the organisations and individuals we rely on to help lift these children up to the lives they deserve, not the one they have necessarily been delivered. In particular, I really like the new strapline, ‘Make your future work’ as it encapsulates what we do far more powerfully than we’ve managed to do previously. My huge thanks go out to Jen and the team at Omobono.”

Omobono are continuing to support Inspire! with further hands-on input from their team who will be using their charity days to work with Inspire! in their offices.

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