Bristol's Young People Take Over

Posted on Tue 18 Feb 2014
Bristol Talent Lab

A brilliant, diverse group of twenty of Bristol’s best and brightest online talent have descended on Watershed this February half term in a flurry of energy, creativity, collaboration and, yes, fake moustaches, to help shape a ground-breaking online platform for Bristol youth.

Watershed and creative agency Latimer Group set up Bristol Talent Lab to ask these young people how they navigate the online world. What do they like to watch, share and create? What social media channels do they use? What values, identity and model of engagement would they like to see for people like them in the city, and how can others get involved?

During this week the group will answer these questions and more - their ideas will be used to develop and design the final online platform that young people in Bristol will use to find out about what’s on and what’s important in the city.

From fashion to feminism, from music to being Muslim, these twenty individuals have a great mix of interests and passions plus the raw, hard talent to make this happen. The group include our newly appointed Young Journalists, who will be creating our headline content for the website when it is launched.

They include 17 year old Fahma Mohamed, who caused an internet sensation earlier this month when her video taking a stance against female genital mutilation was featured in the Guardian, Ryan Francis, a comic also known as YouTube hero Little Ryan, Adibah Iqbal, a passionate documentary filmmaker who takes a refreshing look at inter faith issues, music video filmmaker Shanai Newman and Jon Aitken, an art-making wunderkind.

Bristol Talent Lab

As part of the Lab they have been split into teams and given a challenge to run a digital campaign over a mere 24 hours – the team with the most engagement in their chosen topic (including what social media sites young people visit in the morning or what websites they use and why) will be crowned the winner at 16:00 tomorrow (Wed 19 Feb).

You can follow their progress on the Bristol Talent Lab blog and track them on Twitter using #BristolTalentLab. Go on, ask them a question! Shy they are not…

Bristol Talent Lab has been funded by Bristol Youth Links in partnership with Bristol City Council and is one of a series of ongoing consultations we are holding with young people through schools, youth groups and other forums. Our Engagement Producer Hannah Higginson has been coordinating it all and has been in awe of what has been produced so far at the Lab:

“The Bristol Talent Lab has brought a wildly diverse mix of young people together whose paths wouldn’t normally cross – people of different ages and different backgrounds with different interests – to create a whole new approach. I can’t wait to see what they come up with and I’m looking forward to bringing the best of Bristol online to other young people in the city.”

You can hear from Hannah and some of the young people who have been with us this week at Friday’s Lunchtime Talk at the Pervasive Media Studio. They’ll talk more about what happened at the Lab and what ideas the team have for this new online platform for youth.

It’s not too late to get involved – Hannah and the Young Journalists want to hear from you if you’re a young person who wants to work with us, or you’re part of a youth organisation who would like us to amplify some of the great work you do online. Email the team at and we’ll get right back to you.