“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”
Andy Warhol.

I used this quote when I entered my nomination to represent Future Heads on the Board of IAPI in 2013. It was a new position, open to ‘younger’ or junior members of the industry to take a seat on the board. It seemed like a terrifying prospect in one sense having not been in the industry that long but also a fantastic opportunity to be part of shaping things rather than a passive participant.

The idea of Future Heads was to give a voice to younger or less experienced members; we didn’t really know what form it would take or what the output would be. What we did know was that we wanted to redefine what IAPI meant for people, give it a different sense of purpose for juniors, to create a space where members of different agencies could get to know one another and we wanted to inspire, foster and nurture talent. It’s a wonder looking back that we got anything done with a brief like that! In the last two years, we’ve put on 12 events. Some have become annual features, like The Big Grill’ and Summer Party, along with new ones each year like this spring’s Inspire Sessions with Offset. We have had over 1,200 people attend events and if the aim was to be inspired, learn and have a good time I am happy to say that I think we have achieved this. For people entering the industry now, I think the IAPI brand is relevant to them. The events that we create are always with them in mind and as FH is still in the early stages, juniors joining the industry can help mould and improve the programme even further.

Personally, being on the IAPI board has given me invaluable insight into the industry which I work in, the challenges it faces and the people who strive to ensure that the best possible work is produced, guidelines and practices are adhered to. And, in turn, I believe I have brought a different type of voice to the table with ideas, some of which challenged how things had been previously done. Having the opportunity to be a challenger is often rare as a junior; we often assume senior equals correct, but as I’ve seen many times, ideas and inspirations can come from anywhere on the ladder, from any function in the industry and I’ve found that being given the opportunity to have a voice has really helped me grow professionally.

A huge thanks to those who have helped, IAPI and particularly Kieran O’Donovan. Good luck to the new board member, it’s an amazing experience and one I can’t recommend enough. Toni is an Account Director in Javelin and was the Future Heads rep on the IAPI board for 2 years. If you have any questions in relation to the role she is happy to give you some background.