Nottingham Creative Youth Trends Nonsuch

Brace Yourself & Get Ready for the Hustle

Nottingham Creative Youth Trends 2018 launched last week as Nottingham’s first open-source report looking at under 25s, their lives and how they are creative. Over 6 months, the team at Nonsuch spoke to over 500 11-25s across our city to find out what makes them tick and gather key information about how we can support young creatives to get involved in more creative activity and projects across Nottingham. You can find out more and download the report here.

In shaping the report we also spoke to those who understand the world in which young creatives find themselves, we spoke to Emily Goldhill, strategist at youth network Livity to find out how the arts and cultural sector must engage with the digital age or risk losing out…

The internet has changed everything but most notably it’s changed everything for young people. They are a generation of digital natives who have never known life without a smartphone or tablet acting as an extension of themselves. Think about it – young people don’t know the need to memorise important phone numbers or what it’s like to listen to a song and not instantly find out the artist within a few clicks. The internet has shown them new possibilities that previous generations weren’t exposed to and this means the experience of being 13-15 has fundamentally changed.

Thanks to the internet, young people today are more empowered than ever and this means how they engage creatively has changed. Most significantly, 13-15s now have the power to do it themselves and it’s because of this that they’re often referred to as the ‘Hustle Generation’. Easy access to the online world and a wealth of information means young people are no longer dependent on traditional processes or bureaucracy to get things done. Instead, they’re using YouTube ‘how to’ videos to learn new skills, raising funds on Kickstarter and selling their products on Etsy. They are constantly hustling, learning something new and exploring the incredible creative opportunities the internet has made available to them.

This sense of empowerment also means that young people are no longer specialists. Livity has spent the last sixteen years working in partnership with young people and it’s clear the today’s youth are the most agile, multi-discipline generation to come through our doors. They’re no longer content with having one skill set. It’s not about becoming an editor but also a presenter, producer, social media manager, accountant and much much more. Their ability to access information, network and learn online means they have the power to deliver every element of a creative idea from start to finish, on their own.

And the internet doesn’t just provide easy access to information but also enables young people to access a wealth of creative inspiration. The online world is full of creativity from branded content, to the latest tech innovations, to first-hand stories being told from around the world. It’s little wonder 13-15s are less reliant on traditional creative institutions with all of this at their fingertips.

With the internet changing everything, it’s clear traditional organisations need to rethink how they build relationships with young people. They need to recognise the enabling effect of the internet and how it inspires creative innovation. Without doing this they risk losing any ability to engage young people and more significantly they risk falling behind creatively.

Emily Goldhill is a strategist at the creative youth network Livity. She is an experienced researcher and consultant who specialises in helping brands better understand the world of young people. Find out more: livity.co.uk or follow @EmilyGoldhill.

To get involved in Nottingham Creative Youth Trends 2019 please contact dyt@wearenonsuch.com – we need your support to make next year’s survey bigger, better and more insightful!