Last Thursday, BOP gathered an intimate group of alumni, friends and collaborators to celebrate our 20th birthday. What started two decades ago as a two-person partnership with just Jo Burns and myself, has grown to a team of 20 full-time staff in our London office and 16 expert associates from Liverpool and Birmingham to Edinburgh to Shanghai - and through our work on the World Cities Culture Forum (WCCF), a global network of over 35 cities across all continents.
To mark our 20th year and look ahead to the next 20, we are thrilled to announce the launch of the BOP Fellows Programme. This programme will reflect our passion and commitment to driving progress and positive change in the cultural and creative sector, and will allow us to invest in the next generation of thinkers and doers who will continue to transform the creative industries in a way that is inclusive and resilient. The programme will target individuals who either themselves face barriers to advancing our shared mission or whose work tackles disadvantage and inequality in the sector in practical ways.
Each fellow will receive investment and financial support to undertake a project, which is both significant to BOP and of benefit to the wider creative industries. These will be aligned with one of our three key focus areas: cities and culture, organisational transformation and making connections across organisations, sectors and places. In addition to a financial contribution by BOP, each fellow will receive in kind support and mentorship from senior staff, and access to our wider networks of clients and partners across the sector. This new programme builds on our existing commitment to creating a more equitable and diverse sector including our support for Social Mobility Foundation, Equality Trust, Accumulate, the Achates Prize.
Stay tuned in early 2018 for more information on the theme for our first cohort of fellows and for the opportunity to nominate stellar candidates in your network.
- Paul Owens, Co-founder and Director of BOP and WCCF