This week is full, once again. No zero days. By full, I mean thinking time and collaboration time. The world of Brighton5 is evolving rapidly- alongside some amazing local collaborators. And my time is taken up thinking, mapping, scheming and dreaming with these wonderful people.

Some question how I will be able to make a telly programme that is entertaining enough to keep teens and adults watching, when covering difficult issues like self harm or peer pressure. Sure we can pull on heart strings, but actually I have a theory that if we give our kids enough playtime, an amazing physical space and the tools to create and craft, some mad and wonderful things will happen. Couple that with some brilliant direction, animation and editing, and I know we can create magic.

For years I worked in brand experience, creating emotionally-driven physical spaces whose sole ambition was quite simply to make our audience gasp…”Ooooh! Ahhhhh!” (these two words were once our only brief from Imagination founder Gary Withers!)

Netflix have placed documentary storytelling in a new league… think Making a Murderer, The Keepers, Strong Island… whether a Netflix original or not – they are placing these astonishing bodies of work directly into our homes. Entertaining? they certainly are.

Tonight I listened to Sally Wainwright’s interview on the BBC writers room podcast where she says on the subject of authenticity… “the truth is more interesting than any old shit I can make up” (don’t you just love her!)

So we will have have truths, but we will also have dramatic well thought-out storytelling, which will multiply and layer through social media, because that’s where our teens live.

One thing I do know is I won’t be chasing ratings.

Welcome to Brighton5. Today we launch this blog, and on March 8th 2018, International Women’s Day, we will launch our crowd-funder video for Brighton5. There is nothing like a deadline to make things happen (hence the countdown clock at the top of this website!), even though I feel terrified at the time of writing. What could possibly go wrong? (Never work with kids and animals? Oh dear!).

I am a mum of two teenage girls. I’m also the co-founder – along with my sister Tayler, of a small social media agency, Liberty842, that works for clients in the Media and Entertainments sector. Think BBC One’s Holby City and Channel 4’s The Last Leg.
As a result of the UK voting to leave the EU and Donald Trump becoming the President of the United States and the political and economic ramifications, I became increasingly concerned about my children’s future.

The gender pay gap (finally) became front page news, highlighted by the BBC having to publish staff salaries, and more and more stats were being released about how social media was negatively affecting teenagers. My teens are ‘digitally dependent’ – and my youngest was becoming increasingly distant. Skip to International Women’s Day, 2017, and I had a WTF? moment.

I thought: I work in social media. I have two teenage girls. If I can’t do something about this, who can?

I was a trouble-maker when I was a kid. Teenagers have an enormous amount of energy and adults have an enormous amount of experience, but technology seems to have driven a gap between teens and adults. So I wondered how we could bring that energy and experience together – and importantly use tech as a vehicle for positive change.

Teenagers don’t care about the future. Their brains aren’t developed that way. My teens are still full of energy. But how soon will our kids start to feel beaten down by the system?

My eldest daughter (17) is already starting to worry about affording a house and finding the right job in an increasingly automated world – Amazon Go is just the beginning. Why are we teaching them to worry at all? And what do today’s value systems mean to future generations? Not very much?

We want to make (good) trouble – to create a movement that aims to shake things up. Brighton5 is about MAKING things; like getting teens up and out whilst being mentored by experienced adults. It’s about building bridges between generations, using tech for good purpose.

It has been said, if there are seven forms of wealth, why do we only chase one? We aim to create a cooperative so that everyone involved gains from their hard work. We live in a world where wealth is concentrated in the hands of the few and the so-called “trickle down” to the rest of society just isn’t happening. One percent of the world’s richest people own half of the world’s wealth – and that number has increased in the past 10 years. We want to create a new kind of economy – one with a moral compass with productivity at its heart. Watch this space. Brighton5 is coming. And we’re going to make (good) trouble.