We connect forward-thinking organisations with creatively minded students and graduates, from a network of over 250 universities and colleges — to innovate and learn together throughout the year.

Since 2001, these unique and mutually valuable learning partnerships have brought together leading brands with creatively minded students and graduates, from a network of leading universities and colleges across the UK and beyond: from Central Saint Martins College to Glasgow School of Art, Falmouth University to Parsons, the New School in New York.

Learning Partnerships focus on live design, marketing and business challenges, set by our partners and tackled by next-generation talent both as part of course study and outside of it. This extraordinary pool of talent brings fresh and invigorating thinking and is equipped with the tools, mindsets and methods to take on all manner of challenges.

Past partner challenges have ranged from encouraging young men to think differently about road safety for the Department for Transport, to creating new packaging concepts for Camden Town Brewery to grab attention at the point of purchase.

For our partners this is an opportunity to:

• Develop and own fresh creative thinking in relation to live challenges.
• Connect and collaborate with invigorating next-generation talent.
• Being diverse talent in for workshops, idea sprints and focus groups.
• Build relationships with universities and colleges.
• Create meaningful learning experiences for others.
• Offer internship and work opportunities.
• Create mentoring and knowledge sharing opportunities for team members.

A selection of our learning partners, and partner institutions

Testimonials from partners:

“Firing up emerging creatives to explore your brand with YCN should be a page in every marketers playbook.”
Tea Uglow, Chief Creative Officer, Google Asia Pacific

“Over 200 amazing pieces of work, we were blown away by the ideas and thinking shared.”
Cassandra Stavrou, Co-founder, Propercorn

“Keeps us abreast of new trends and how our younger customers think.”
Charlotte Raphael, Head of Packaging, M&S

“One of the most inspiring, galvanising and valuable things we’ve ever done as a business.”
Katie Pattison, Head of Marketing, Hammerson

“What better way to glimpse into the future of our brand than by working with future customers.”
Corrinne Hopwood, Head of Marketing, Douwe Egberts


An Education Learning Partnership will give your company tailored output based on your needs — whether new campaign concepts, visual assets, film and animation or digital product and service design. You can visit leading education institutions, we can bring curated groups of talent into your business and connect specific team members with diverse future talent for mentoring and knowledge sharing.

And for students and graduates, these partnerships provide an unrivalled way to gain real world learning and commercial insights, building confidence and portfolios and kickstarting careers.

Download a folder of past submissions in response to real world challenges set by the likes of British Eurosport, the Met Office, Yorkshire Tea, Toyota and the Royal Opera House.

To find out more about our Creative Education Network and Learning Partnerships, email hello@ycn.org or call +44 (0)20 7033 2140.

Presentation at our annual awards and exhibition evening

Our annual awards and exhibition evening

Work on show at our annual awards and exhibition evening

Workshops and visits across our Creative Education Network

Workshops and visits across our Creative Education Network

Partners paired up for mentoring and knowledge sharing

Partners paired up for mentoring and knowledge sharing

Annual awards and exhibition event

Annual awards and exhibition event

Annual awards and exhibition event

Selected campaign work

Selected packaging design submission

Selected digital product submission

Selected product collection submission

Partner with us

We provide growth-oriented organisations of all shapes and sizes with social, motivating and behaviourally-driven approaches to building capability throughout their teams — wherever they’re working from.

With an emphasis on virtual and remote delivery; our pioneering programmes bring people together to build skills among peers, and immediately apply them to the commercial and cultural challenges of the day.

To learn more about our transformative work with partners ranging from Dr. Martens to Dishoom, Adidas to Action for Children; and to explore ways we can support your teams — email Nick Defty or call +44 (0)20 7033 2140.

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