We were extremely fortunate to welcome Justin Cooke, a high profile speaker to Invicta. We were extremely fortunate to welcome Justin Cooke, a high profile speaker to Invicta.
Justin is the Founder of POSSIBLE UK, WPP Digital’s largest global agency. He is also a Non-Executive Director of FutureLearn, one of the world's largest Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Platforms, along with being a Member of the No. 10 Downing Street Digital Advisory Board for the GREAT Campaign. Wired Magazine listed him in its Top 100 survey of Britain's experienced digital power-brokers and, in June 2013, Econsultancy ranked him the second most influential person in UK digital. To cap an amazing 12 months in September 2013, he was inducted into the British Digital Hall of Fame. So, you can see why it was a superb opportunity for our students to listen to someone like Justin.
Justin is an inspirational speaker, working on behalf of the Speakers for Schools Charity – an organization providing schools with talks from a range of industry leading professionals and academics. The network consists of 950 speakers who donate their time to speak about their background and area of expertise, to provide stimulating experiences for students.
Our students learnt how Justin, as a former Chair and now an Ambassador of the British Interactive Media Association (BIMA), the industry body for everyone working in digital Britain and yet, he discovered digital media while studying Drama at the University of Manchester. This was a superb message for our students and one that I advocate – you can combine academic studies with vocational learning. Listening to him, it was very clear that his drama skills gave him the confidence to believe in himself. Justin provided a pertinent message by explaining that in life, it is important to have self-belief but that you must also listen to others. In talking to students and staff after his speech, it was clear that this was a strong message. Equally, he explained that we must not be afraid of making mistakes. His experiences of learning from mistakes were ‘real’ and ‘heart-felt’ and as a result, this was well received by all of us. I was so pleased, as this is something that we encourage students to accept and remember for life. One particular aspect of Justin’s speech that was of great value was the fact that ‘if you enjoy what you do, you will not see it as work’. I really liked this idea because it is essentially what I would like for all my students and staff. I know that in reality, there will always be times when it is tough and we think of ‘work’ as hard and a struggle. However, I also endorse the point that you ‘get back, what you put into your work.’ But, to enjoy what you do, really does make the ‘world of work’ rewarding and nowhere near as hard!
Justin is deeply passionate about ‘investing in harnessing digital’s power to change the world in pioneering, transformational and measurable ways’. I am hoping that we too, have a large number of students who will now be inspired to be equally, as keen to change things using Justin’s concepts of ‘loving’ what you do, whilst understanding that mistakes are ‘positive’ if we learn from them, along with the need to have faith in our own ability. What an inspirational message! I shall look forward to seeing our students continue to be motivated by such eloquent speakers. Thank you Justin and thank you too, to Speakers for Schools who are doing such a great job in enabling such a thought-provoking scheme.