Panel Day! Everything we’ve been doing for 12 weeks builds up to this moment. It’s the motivator, the personal trainer, the finish line, the make or break moment. It’s tough.
The Agents arrived extra early to claim that croissants and pep talks and meet the Panel, the people who would be determining who will continue on into cycle 2 based on the quality of the idea, the networks involved, it’s capacity to be mobilised realistically within 12 weeks and its impact on the territory.
The Panel is important for other reasons as well. Central to the Agency methodology is ensuring that young people are heard, that they are seen beyond the stereotypes within which they are usually portrayed.
And here they were, an incredibly inspirational group of people aged 15-25 I’ve had the privilege of knowing for 12 weeks, communicating their enterprising ideas for social change in Battersea to a prestigious panel that included the Head of the Arts Council, Darren Henley, the founder and CEO of MeWe360, Kevin Osborne, Jane Ellison, the MP for Battersea, Sunita Pandya from the Southbank Centre, and Sydney Sylvah founder of Sydney’s Naturals organic cosmetic range.
After being photographed together and meeting the Panel, the Agents went off into the Member’s Library, to calm their nerves and run through their presentations before they went through 1 by 1 to do their thing. The air was full of excitement, David Jubb was there, on the steps, Tref too, to talk to people as they came out and hold the space on this nerve-racking day.
Once everyone had pitched, and the last agent was out, we all went back in to hear from the judges, pre-decision. They were incredibly impressed, and they all spoke about how hard it would be to choose, but that were some that might be able to be mobilised without money, that were at a different stage on their journey to actualisation, and this would be a major factor in the decision making process.
With that in mind we left, and went out for lunch to celebrate the effort, and await the results…