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Brandon Relph talking about Generation Z at TedX in Brighton

Brandon Relph talking about Generation Z at TedX in Brighton

Meet Gen-Zedder Brandon Relph

00BrandonRelph19-year-old Brandon Relph is one of the UK’s leading entrepreneurs and the world’s leading youth specialist. He is currently the CEO of Studio BE – a disruptive technology and production company that lives in the intercept of traditional and digital media, focusing on the under-24 market. He was formerly the youngest CEO in the UK, (for a year and a half). This is why Anastasia Witts invited him to participate in The Platform arts and technology conference which was due to open the #AltPitch Festival. Sadly, The Platform has had to be postponed to later this year because of Covid-19, but HOT’s Erica Smith caught up with Brandon in cyberspace to learn what makes him tick.

Q: Where EXACTLY are you at this very moment, and what projects are you working on at the moment?
I am currently in the process of raising our seed investment round for Studio BE, which I can best describe as a technology company at the intersection of traditional and digital media – creating cool tech and content for under 24 year olds! I run this alongside Lizzie Hodgson, also at The Platform. We are currently developing a slate of TV show formats alongside this, with an amazing team of former-TV executives guiding us.

Q: I loved listening to you telling your story about being a company director at 13. You said you set up the company with a co-director in Germany. How did you meet / start working together?
We actually met online playing Minecraft together. They always say don’t talk to strangers online – but it worked out pretty well for me! We became friends and, as they say, the rest is history!

Q: What do you think are the most important positive and negative impacts of digital technology?
I always think technology gets such a bad wrap for being really negative on our well-being, but I fundamentally think us humans are the issue – not the tech! I really think more needs to be done from a grassroot level in schools and such to ensure young people have a very positive relationship with technology, but it is very hard for regulators and lawmakers to understand that, as they grew up in a very different world. The ability of the world to be so connected and the human race to be as one is not something our society has fully embraced just yet – but technology brings us closer and closer to that.

Q: Brighton is your home, and you are passionate about getting young people to realise their potential…How much of your life/work revolves around digital community and how much around ‘real-world’ community?
Most of my job is meeting people face-to-face. It’s the nature of what I do and my favorite way to work. When working digitally however, I am an avid emailer. We use Discord for internal comms (a very non-traditional choice that’s come through my gaming roots), but I love jumping into a call with someone and talking that way when I can. I also love joining and involving myself in communities on Twitter and LinkedIn!

Q: When I moved to Hastings from Brighton in 2002, Hastings had a very young population (and also one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in Europe). The teen pregnancy rate has reduced, but lack of job opportunities still leads to many young people leaving town. When I look around me, it feels like the population here is ageing. How can we make seaside towns thrive and generate new employment opportunities for younger people?
I think one of the big drivers for growth in Brighton has been the rise of collaboration and how the local government has invested and supported that. The rise of coworking spaces across the city has become a real success for the city. My favorite, and one of the originators, is Platform which was supported with an investment from Coast 2 Capital (a government backed scheme). These spaces are more than just somewhere to work, they become a place to host events, share stories and accelerate growth. I think if Hastings had more of this, it really could be great.

Q: What are you looking forward to most in connection with the AltPitch Festival?
I am really looking forward to meeting a bunch of new people from Hastings and beyond – networking is my favorite thing to do and I will happily give my business card to anyone that wants it! Come and say hi!

Q: What can Generation Z teach earlier generations?
The older generations have a lot to learn from us younger lot but it isn’t for me to say what you could learn. It’s for you to go and discover. Listen to young people, let them change your opinions. Don’t shut them out. If not you will very quickly realise they will be creating your next big competitor!

Brandon Relph and Lizzie Hodgson were going to interview Laurence Hill as part of The Platform conference this Friday, itself part of the #AltPitch festival. Now, because of Covid-19, the festival has been cancelled and The Platform postponed to September.

You can find out more about The Platform on the AltPitch website.

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Posted 19:46 Tuesday, Mar 17, 2020 In: Festivals

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