Our New Now programme connects the freshest emerging talent with creatively-driven organisations, around real-world business challenges.

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Launched in 2001, and run alongside 250+ universities and colleges across the UK and beyond — our New Now programme enables forward-thinking organisations to engage thousands of creative students and graduates around their design, marketing and business challenges. Partners receive a wealth of innovative new ideas, content, and campaigns; richly connecting with diverse future talent and thinking.

Key benefits for our partners:

• Develop a wealth of original new work and innovation. Many past submissions having been used in live contexts, campaigns and other internal and customer channels.

• Visit universities, colleges and art & design schools nationally, connecting your teams with talent for research and knowledge sharing around your brand throughout.

• Welcome diverse and relevant new talent into your organisation for follow-up projects, internships and work opportunities.

• Benefit from consumer connection and increased awareness among influential current and future customers.

• Bring your team along to our celebratory awards evening and exhibition at the Barbican Centre in the autumn, aligning your brand with diverse creative excellence.


Examples of past challenges set:

Imagine the shopping centre of the future, engaging visitors across all touchpoints.

Cath Kidston
Develop an integrated campaign to launch our new Student Discount platform.

Develop an intergrated campaign to help us define and build trust with future customers.

Produce animations for Childline to help 13-18 year olds going through a tough time.

Develop a new structural packaging design concept for Innocent’s core range.

Lush Cosmetics
Supersize our window displays with an emphasis on the campaign theme ‘Rebellion’

Create a digital campaign to launch our new kids’ packs


A team at Google assess entries in response to their live challenge

Commended entrants celebrating at London's Barbican Centre

An exhibition of commended entries.

A commended entrant accepting her award.


Partners sharing with students as part of a visit to Central Saint Martins College


From past partners to have set live challenges:

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

“Our biggest challenge as both a coffee industry, and a coffee brand within that industry, is to get young people drinking our product. So who better to ask how to get those people into the coffee category, and our brand, than young people themselves!”
Corrine Hopwood. Marketing Director, Douwe Egberts

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

“The programme keep 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


Timings for the coming programme

The next set of live briefs will launch in November 2019, with the deadline for submissions in March 2020.

To find out more about partnership opportunities, email Nick Defty — nd@ycn.org — or call +44 (0)20 7033 2140

Partner with us

Creatively driven, growth oriented, organisations partner with YCN to purposefully build capability throughout their teams.

Our pioneering social learning programmes bring people together, enriching their skillsets, and growing their networks in the process too. We take targetted, topic specific workshops into our partners’ places of work, and use modern and energising facilitation to take teams towards any outcome.

Find out more in this PDF, by emailing YCN Director Nick Defty or calling +44 (0)20 7033 2140.