Tiaan Ras is the Executive Head of the Sum of 21 Academy in Pretoria, South-Africa. He has 22 years of experience in the creative industry as language practitioner, media researcher, strategist and lecturer. His visit will consist of meetings with experts and organisations in the field of design education, both institutional and more 'bottom-up’ self-organised.
Sum of 21 Academy is an internship/learnership programme connected to brand design agency Eticket where young creatives and communicators are offered a 12-month training platform. They gain experience by working on real-life marketing briefs or client projects under the mentorship, guidance and coaching of dedicated senior staff members. Unlike other programmes they don’t shadow the seniors in an advertising agency, and don’t work on fictitious or theoretical briefs. The young creatives and communicators do the actual work and gain the actual experience while getting coached and mentored. This enables these creative souls to gain the necessary skills and experience so that they can enter the market.
Sum of 21 Academy addresses two burning issues in the broader creative industry, i.e. Transformation and Skills Development. Operating in an industry that is known and criticised for its notoriously slow transformation, the Academy is a creative incubator that develops young talent so that they can successfully enter the creative industry as juniors in their respective fields. This means that their future employees won’t have to spend a massive amount of time getting them ready to productively contribute towards outputs.