15 December 2015
The foundations of our future forecasts begin each season with a Trend Panel made up of experts in a variety of fields. This selection of industry leaders covers a range of disciplines, from designer-makers, print designers and inventors, to anthropologists and marketers. We invite curious and unusual thinkers to share with us their vision of the future, processing information from facts and dry data through to social and cultural change. This becomes the foundation of our design and colour forecasts for 2 years ahead.
In this post we catch up with one of this season’s Kids Lifestyle panelists Alison Gwynn, Programme and Development Director of Seven Stories.
First off, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your job role?
I am the Programme and Development Director at Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books. Seven Stories is unique in Britain and we take a fresh and pioneering approach to bringing books and stories to life through lively exhibitions, playful performances and learning programmes that together aim to inspire a love of books and reading across generations. I am responsible for audience development, our programme of activities and trading income.
What does a typical day as a Programme Director at Seven Stories consist of?
One of the best things about my job is there is no typical day so a great example of this is if I compare today to the same time last week. Today – I’m at my desk updating and planning frameworks and deadlines for next year’s programme looking at audience development needs, targets and budgets. Last Tuesday I was still feeling pretty tired from the night before (we’d just come off the late train from London after hosting our 10th birthday celebration at the House of Commons) and was in the visitor centre welcoming the amazing David Walliams to Seven Stories for the first time where he did a special book reading then book signing for 300 fans. Once we’d finished the event it was hot footing it to the North East Tourism awards where we won Gold for large visitor attractions.
How did you find the Trend Panel?
I thought the level of research was very inspiring. To see how all of the ideas were based on solid foundations and then developed into future thinking trends was really, really fascinating. Now I know how it works my mind is buzzing with ideas.
What was the most inspirational thing you took away from this season’s Trend Panel?
My job revolves around Seven Stories’ belief that all children deserve the chance to experience books. Stories are an essential part of their childhood, and we work with schools and community partners across the North East to inspire children, young people, parents, families and teachers to choose, enjoy and share books together. During the day I felt I got an inside look on the wider environment and to understand how children today and in the future are living, learning and developing. It made me think!
To find out more about applying to be selected as one of our future trend panelists get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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