Call to Freemen to Volunteer for Exciting New Educational Project



The Guild’s new Education Committee is proud to announce an exciting collaboration with the University of Westminster and is seeking 6 Freemen Entrepreneurs to be involved, both as mentors each to a student film maker/journalist and also as the subject of the student’s short film.  The project will be led by Dr David Dunkley Gyimah of Westminster; Chair of Education Nicola Manning and Freeman Rachel Wang.   Initial selection/matchings and meetings will take place in November/December, with the module commencing at the start of the New Year/term and concluding around April 2018.


Dr David Dunkley Gyimah heads the disLAB otherwise known as the Digital and Interactive Storytelling LAB  –a brand new programme at the University of Westminster. Dunkley Gyimah is an international award winning innovator and creative in journalism, social media and online. His 30-year career has included assignments in South Africa, Russia, China, India and the Syrian border. He has worked for BBC Newsnight, Channel 4 News and Channel 4’s The Political Show. As an entrepreneur, he has been involved in various schemes, such as introducing a US based outfit, Touchcast in a deal with the BBC. His work has been praised by the Head of Communications at Google (UK) Peter Barron, the BBC’s Director of Digital Development James Montgomery and Channel 4’s Jon Snow. He publishes www.viewmagazine.tv


They can’t find a job because they don’t have the experience – that’s the perennial catch 22 you often hear amongst young people. Yet, Britain has often been cited as one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the world (Gani, 2014). In an era of the Internet of Things, where connectivity and digital have spawned unprecedented opportunities how do we provide the millennial generation with the means of gaining experience to realise their dreams?


The project, we propose, has characteristics that are not unlike respected mentoring schemes, such as recruitment firm Adecco group’s CEO for a month (Adecco Group UK&I, 2017).  In Adecco’s scheme broadcast on the Today programme at 6.20 a.m. on the 27th October (BBC Radio4, 2017), young people compete to become #CEO1Month by shadowing an existing CEO, observing closely how s/he manages, whilst providing their own thoughts and insights.


The Guild of Entrepreneurs – University of Westminster Mentoring Scheme builds upon that with a Dragons’ Den approach. Seven students from the University of Westminster’s innovative Digital and Interactive Storytelling LAB will seek the entrepreneurial wisdom of seven mentors from the Guild of Entrepreneurs (one of whom will be Freeman Rachel Wang). Its course leader, Dr David Dunkley Gyimah will provide data on the students, and working with Nicola Manning, match them with an entrepreneur from the Guild following an initial meeting with the group. This could take place in mid-late November.


The relationship is symmetrical. The students will possess an idea, which will require entrepreneurial guidance. Through a limited number of meetings (5/6), the disLAB student will acquire knowledge about the viability of their idea from their mentor and how to shape it. The disLABer would provide a day of shadowing their mentor offering their ideas similar to the Adecco programme.


Yet, there is a more tangible quid pro quo. The disLAB students are skilled video makers and writers. Their ‘thank you’ to their mentors mirrors the practices of the Impressionists. In the 19th century, as the Impressionists struggled to find a foothold within the arts fraternity, they often gifted their friends and patrons their paintings. Van Gogh relied upon his brother to survive the hardships of his artistic endeavours, whilst supplying him with a stream of his work.


The final meeting between the disLAB students and Guild of Entrepreneurs will be a Dragons Den gathering in which the seven mentors meet to hear the disLAB students refined idea with their individual mentor, as well as watch a short video 3-5 minutes the student will have produced on their mentor. We envisage this final process being filmed to a professional standard for use in profiling and marketing.


Tangible benefits include:

  1. The students receive high value mentoring and knowledge.
  2. The Guild of Entrepreneurs are involved in an innovative scheme in pursuance of furthering their outreach ideals.
  3. In nurturing new talent, these may well be future Guild members. The average age of the cohorts is 25 years.
  4. The videos should have value for the Guild members. The students are being taught to become master filmmakers.
  5. The videos may equally reveal insights into members, which they could act upon.


Mapping the meetings could look like the following:


  1. Mid-to late November: Guild of Entrepreneurs/Nicola Manning meet with students and programme director Dr Dunkley Gyimah.
  2. From that meeting, profiles and student ambition is gauged and learning outcomes are shared. Dr Dunkley Gyimah will provide initial information on their learning outcomes required for their academic degree.
  3. Dr Dunkley Gyimah meets with Nicola Manning to sample potential pairings and draw up the framework on the number of meetings for the programme, commensurate with time a Guild mentor can provide. In line with our internal practices disLAB students will sign a contract of professionalism.
  4. Before the Christmas break, students gather for a preliminary meet with their mentor.
  5. After the New Year at the end of January, the disLABers module commences.
  6. DisLABers will plan with their mentors set diary meetings, shared with Dr Dunkley Gyimah and Guild of Entrepreneurs/ Nicola Manning. This should be around 5/6 for refining the student’s idea, including both a day of shadowing and a day of filming.
  7. At 2nd and 4th meeting Dr Dunkley Gyimah and Nicola Manning/Rachel Wang meet with students and mentors to see how knowledge transfer is progressing and assessing other soft skills.
  8. Final meeting will take place at the end of the term- first week in April. Dr Dunkley Gyimah and Nicola Manning will plan towards group meeting with David curating videos and ideas from student to be presented.
  9. At final meeting Dr Dunkley Gyimah would bring the disLAB lecturing team and senior management.



For an opportunity to be involved in this innovative and exciting project, please email the Clerk before 10th November.  In the event the interest is over-subscribed, the team leaders will look at the best natural “fit” between the students and the Freemen when deciding on the final selection of participants for this year’s programme.