Sparking Creative Futures / online symposium / 24 June 2022

On 24 June 2022, the V&A’s museum in Bethnal Green celebrates its 150th anniversary. To mark the occasion, while our building is closed, we will come together for an online symposium Sparking Creative Futures. The event will bring together colleagues from the creative, education and cultural sectors to discuss the imperatives for creative education, and to examine ways in which creative professionals, museums and schools can work together to support Gen Alpha – children born since 2010.

A group of young visitors working around a table in Young V&A
Young V&A’s future Design Gallery – a space for 11 – 14 year olds to explore design and its impact on our world. Image: PicturePlane

Creative voices

The line-up includes a keynote presentation from award-winning author Ed Vere whose humorous and bold books for children explore ideas of inclusion, diversity and finding your creative voice. Alongside Ed, we are delighted to host a panel discussion chaired by Dr Helen Charman. The panel will draw on the themes of the Young V&A’s permanent galleries – Imagine, Play and Design. Artist Albert Potrony, will bring his insight into ways that inclusive play can support creative expression. Most recently Albert has staged a highly acclaimed installation at the Baltic Arts Centre in Gateshead. Cece Sammy Lightfoot started her career in the harsh environment of the music industry, and is now a vocal coach and mentor, supporting people to literally find their voices – her experience as a performer and coach will bring perspectives on the mindsets and skills future generations can gain from performance disciplines. Alongside Cece and Albert, Filippo Yacob will bring a design perspective to the discussion. Filippo founded Cubetto, a digital learning resource that introduces coding to young children.

Other highlights will include:

  • Live illustrations by the brilliant Zoom Rockman, who began drawing professionally when he was in his early teens
  • The premiere of a film about young voice and creativity made by the Young V&A youth Collective at our partner Spotlight
  • Previews of some of the designs and curatorial plans for the museum

The need for this event and the Young V&A project has never been clearer. In late May, the World Economic Forum called for an urgent reappraisal of traditional modes of education, highlighting the role of playful learning in providing an effective and inclusive route to developing the skills that Gen Alpha will need throughout their lives. We know that global turmoil caused by disease, conflict, displacement and climate change require resilience, innovation and divergent thinking. Sparking Creative Futures will consider how professionals and communities can join together to address these challenges, and the role of Young V&A in supporting this.

Sparking Creative Futures launches Young V&A’s Reinvent Festival, a year-long programme of outreach for children and young people in East London. This event will bring together thinkers and practitioners who want to champion access to world class creative education for the young.

For information about how to participate in Sparking Creative Futures, please email

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