What a year for BIMA Scotland – by Gerry McCusker

By Anna Doyle
19 Dec 2018

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We caught up with Gerry McCusker, CEO, Dog and BIMA Scotland Chair to check in on his first year in office..

It’s hard to believe that the BIMA Scotland Council has completed its first full year in office. What a fantastic year. Our council has grown from strength to strength, along with Scottish membership and our broader community. In the true tradition of this time of year, here’s a quick round up of what we have done and exciting plans ahead.

The BIMA Scotland council

The role of the council is to set strategy for BIMA Scotland and to work with BIMA’s 17 other think tanks and councils to ensure our Scottish members not only benefit from events and initiatives on our doorstep but also utilising the UK-wide network of experts available to members.

In Scotland, we see our role as three-pronged:

– spotlighting digital talent and innovation in nationally;

– building and attracting new talent into the Scottish digital community

– and providing a network of peers to grow our businesses, upskill across our teams and knowledge share to create a stronger digital community across tce Country.

I am honoured to be joined on the council by: Alisdair Gunn; Claire Scally; Darcie Tanner; Gareth Edwards; Gregor Matheson; Jessica Mullen; Kirsty Lieberthal; Martin Jordan; Mia Chapman; Nathan Fulwood; Paul Diamond; Richard Simpson; and Stephen Lepitak. Moreover, all of us have been lucky to enjoy the relentless support from Anna Doyle & Nadine Pierce from BIMA HQ.

BIMA 100 and BIMA Awards

It is great to see the BIMA membership making the most of their nomination rights of the BIMA 100, creating a top one hundred folk in digital as curated by our membership, and using their free entries for the BIMA Awards.

2018 saw 15 people from Scotland nominated into the BIMA100 across several categories. This is an increase from 3 in 2017 (only 3 subsmissions from Scotland were made in 2017). Selection is geographically blind and the increase is a great step in the right direction, but given the amazing talent we have in Scotland (often not shouted about) we still have a way to go to get proper representation on this roll call of digital stars.

CTA – 2019 BIMA 100 will be launching on 11 Jan so start thinking about the digital stars around you in your company and wider community (including you). Nominations are free and unlimited for BIMA members.

CreateFuture, This is Milk and After Digital all walked away with a weighty BIMA Awards trophy on 13 September 2018, proving that digital excellence does not sit purely with the giant companies. Also shortlisted were Amazerealise, Digitas, Equator and Screenmedia

The BIMA Awards 2019 will launch towards the end of February 2019, keep an eye on twitter @bimascotland for updates.

Digital Talent

Supporting the growth of digital talent in Scotland threads through everything we do, whether in the work place or the classroom.2018 saw a BIMA first with a BIMA-curated guest lecture programme for Glasgow School of Art. Leading lights from Screenmedia, Black Ad, Solius, Uservision, Dog and CreateFuture all delivered inspiring lectures to the interactive design students under Chatham House rules. We look forward to extending this programme with other Scottish universities in 2019.

We were overwhelmed by the response we received from schools in Scotland for the long running BIMA Digital Day – a one day programme designed to inspire and inform high school students about a future in digital. With over 200% growth on last year the programme is flourishing and we would like to thank the DYWs and Education Scotland for their support.

2019 will herald the pilot the Future Digital Leaders Programme – a brand new scheme born from a partnership between BIMA and TRC. The initiative will provide bespoke training and cross-agency experience for the cohort of graduates who successfully make it onto the programme. We will be talking about this a lot in 2019 and look forward to sharing the experiences and learnings from this programme with you.

Our  Scottish event programme

Throughout 2018 we looked into the future with the BIMA Future of Series, including fashion, sport and publishing – expect more of this in 2019. We also ran specialist roundtables on Ai, digital disruption in finance and client services. Next year we will be building on our community focussed events for Digital Leaders, Project Managers and Client Services, this in addition to a broad range of events on commercial, technical and creative themes converging under the BIMA digital umbrella.

It has definitely been a busy year for BIMA Scotland and with a fast growing community and plenty of exciting new plans for 2019 we are looking forward to an action-packed new year.

Thank you to everyone who has supported this year by speaking at, or attending events, helping us promote digital talent and importantly to our fantastic members.”

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