October 30, 2015

Live Forever

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 17.09.19

To the friends, family and foremostly, to the young people of Live Magazine.

On the 15th anniversary of Live Magazine it’s time to celebrate all that it’s achieved and to also completely re-think the way Livity benefits the lives of young people, and to do something new.

Live Magazine inspired a generation of young people, we know it will be missed, but it’s success and legacy will endure, no matter how good Livity made Live, it was the young people that made Live great.

Livity took on Live Magazine in 2001, it was our very first project and it has defined us ever since.

Live is the DNA of Livity, it’s inspired, informed and affected every single one of our projects, clients and individuals who’ve worked here for a decade and a half.

With some sadness, but a metric tonne of pride we’ve decided that it’s time to ask what’s new? What’s relevant? and what’s right for Livity to provide for young people in 2016 and beyond?

If we’re being honest with ourselves, and you, since we stopped printing Live Magazine in 2012, we’ve never quite replaced the same experience or engagement for young people.

There was a magical cadence to the impending deadline, the excitement of the mag’s arrival, the drama of distribution and ultimately the pride of a young person’s ideas, appearing in print… that gave so many a sense of ownership that we’ve not replaced since going digital.

Livity’s ‘purpose first’ business model has allowed Live to thrive so long it’s now older than some it’s youngest contributors, and even our socially conscious business minds know it’s time to question whether our investment in Live is being best used to help the most young people prepare for a very different future than it was when we began.

We’d like to be clear, this isn’t a funding problem, nor is it a cost saving, or money making move, we’re not looking for a crowd funded ‘Save Live’ campaign, it’s our dutifully discussed and carefully considered belief that it’s time to redesign what Livity does for young people.

On the roof

And so, we’d like to give a clue to just some of the new and improved areas of investment that will replace Live at the centre of Livity and continue to grow the opportunities across our business, clients and contacts:

  • Digify UK, a full-time digital skills content and marketing training program, originally created by Livity Africa and about to launch here in the UK with our partners Google and The Marketing Agencies Association. Hot housing brilliant young talent here at Livity and then on and into amazing internships in the best UK agencies.
  • We’re also looking at creating Digify Drop Ins to share some of the Digify UK experience more widely for all young people to attend.
  • Professional placements, we’re planning a new benchmark for work experience which will see us creating more and more weekly and fortnightly work experience places of young people, both from our local area, schools, colleges and local youth organisations and also beyond.
  • Launch Pad, evolving a long running careers guidance, advice, and workshops and introductions service at the core of Livity, with full time dedicated resource available in the office every day.
  • Entrepreneurial support, utilising the energy and environment of Livity to provide critical space, mentoring, networks access and support to young entrepreneurs.

All this and more are in development and will be launching, once we’ve completed the celebrations of Live this year. And of course, all the opportunities that exist within Livity’s day-to-day work with brilliant brands, where co creation and youth engagement remain our core methodology.

So, it might be time to celebrate all that Live has achieved, but it’s not a time to be sad for very long. It’s a time to take all we’ve learned from Live, and all the young people who’ve graced us with their input, energy and imagination, and honour it, by lifting up our sights, ambitions and imagination and design what ‘benefitting young people’ looks like in 2020.

The next weeks and months will see Live carry on as normal, with a focus on celebration, until the end of the year when the site will be left alive as an archive. Live will be having a party to celebrate and thank everyone who’s been involved, so if you’d like to come or play a part, then get in touch.

The current editor Frances has written a great  editor’s letter   (supported by some  FAQs  for contributors), and we’ve written a  blog post  about the changes from a business perspective. And our brothers and sisters at  LiveMagSA  will continue flying the Live Mag Flag across South Africa. 

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 15.36.18

We would both like to make specific thanks to all the mentors on Live, especially those who’ve held the lead positions: Emma Warren, Rahul Verma, Chantelle Fiddy, Emma Ellwood-Russell, Steve Yates, Kate Burt, Elle Moss, Ben Ferguson, Kieran Yates, Mark Gurney, Gavin Weale, Andrea Gamson and Kay Dalami, but equal love and thanks goes to all the amazing mentors over time: Mark Calderbank, Camelia Mulderman, Mimi Mollica, Matt Munday, Rupert Smyth, Remi Morgan, Victoria Bankcroft, Adrian Valencia, Charney Magri, Becky Maynes, Zena Alkayat, Caspar Llewellyn Smith, Rod Stanley, Alan Rusbridger, Paul Hamilos, Dave Calhoun, Hayley Joyes, Miranda Sawyer and many, many more.

We would also like to personally pay respect to the young people who held the editor position and steered Live to it’s success, in order of appearance: Aziza Francis, Cleo Soazandry, Jordan Jarrett-Bryan, Kalise Cross, Zezi Ifore, Mervin Martin, Mahta Hassanzadeh, Shola Aleje, Sian Anderson, Therryi Brown, Kiran Kaur, Celeste Houlker, Cherokee Seebalack and Frances Acquaah.

And to all the young people, who are too many to mention, we’d like to reserve the greatest thanks. You have inspired us and energised us, you’ve kept us real and our proudest professional moments are all to do with you. When you come back to Livity to tell us how you’re doing, those are our best days ever and to know we’ve been one of the many steps you’ve taken to become the incredible generation, in your many thousands that you are, we are humbled by your brilliance and wish you every success that you already deserve.

With all our Love, Sam and Michelle


P.S. In the spirit of celebration, Michelle and I will be compiling and sharing our list of Top Five Live highlights at the start of next week. There’s no way we could cover everything, but we thought maybe some of you could join in and help us as we mean to continue; being proud, celebratory and in awe of the amount of excellent moments we had, please join in #TopFiveLive. 

  • Bradley Hillier-Smith

    Such a shame to see the end of Live! It was such a great experience working here

  • Allan ‘Noel-edge’ Okello

    Wow its the end of an era… I still tell people about my days there and the great experiences i’ve had as part of Live,

    you guys changed my life!

    – Allan ‘Knowledge’ Okello