Cause2Create: Using the creative industries to make a difference

Our Marketing Executive Steph caught up with Mark Bennett, Founder of Cause2Create to find out more about Cause2Create an organisation focused on using creative talents and passions to create lasting change in the third sector.

Tell me a bit about how Cause2Create was born. What was the initial idea behind it?

The idea was born out of – and has become a bit of a mantra for us – which is what can I do to help?

I’ve done all sorts of things for charity, marathons, stuff like that but I think people get tedious and bored of giving money, especially when they’re giving money to someone who likes doing things rather than doing it because it’s a challenge. People go skydiving because they like skydiving and they raise £2000 for it.

So Cause2Create was born out of a want to do something that was difficult but also born out of the fact that I had this massive warehouse in Hackney Wick that was empty. It dawned on me that I could make good use out of that space.

But ultimately it comes down to the fact that I’m a Graphic Designer, who doesn’t really have any other skill – I can’t build shelters, I can’t take the time to go out to Malawi and teach English to schoolchildren. So, it started off as let’s do a big exhibition/event at my warehouse and it’s turned into what it is.

Besides HeyBigMan! who else has played key parts in bringing the event together?

Be good if I could feature here too as I don’t actually work for HBM! Im a freelancer in sustainable development and third sector support (although if we can make that sound interesting that would be great! J I have been struggling to make that catchy) I am Marks business partner for cause2create.

Other organisations include

Good Innovation, Two Igloos, Trifle Creative, Loughborough London University, Creative Wick, A Home for Winter, Sitcom Design, Brand Geek, Don’t Panic, Amnesty International, D&AD, Creative Conscience, British Red Cross, The Media Trust, The World Wide Tribe, Young Creative Council, Help Refugees, The Rye Social, Massive Music, Turner, Vitamin Talent, Affair in Tokyo, Fourleaf London, Counterpoint Arts, Young Creative Council, The Breakfast Club, AEI Music, The Refugee Council, E5 Bakehouse, The Bread Companion and many more.

The refugee cause is an ongoing issue this year, is that why you chose it for the basis of the event?

Initially we were just going to share great work by creatives because I have friends who have worked on the blood donor campaigns, I know people who have worked with Amnesty International – I’ve worked with Amnesty International and also Greenpeace so initially I just wanted to showcase all of this great work.

But when we announced the idea we got such a ridiculous amount of interest that it became apparent there’s a lot of issues and a lot of problems and a lot of charities but we sort of meandered and it became a natural progression into humanitarian crisis and humanitarian issues ranging from the Ebola Crisis to racism and of course the refugee crisis. We realised quite early on that humanitarian issues were too broad as well. So, about a year ago, the plan was to change it to a new subject and keep changing the subject each year but I’ve gotten so involved in the refugee crisis now that I can’t really drop it. It’s an ongoing concern regardless of what Cause2Create does.

What are the benefits of creatives getting involved?  

In my opinion, creatives are generally good eggs and want to make a difference and they genuinely want to do things that will have a positive impact. The thing with creatives is they work on a lot of different ideas and concepts that never see the light of day and sit in their portfolios – we want to change that, we want to bring creatives together to creative positive change and make an impact and the hacks are a great way to do that. Also, Brexit has everyone in the industry a bit shell-shocked and with what’s happening with the US presidential election has I think now more than ever, the industry has a real opportunity to come together to make a difference.

If there’s one thing that you want people employed in the third sector to take away, what would it be?

Ultimately we want people to be encouraged about what we’re doing, be engaged and confident that they can come to us with future problems and future issues that hopefully they can trust us to help solve. We want them to go away with a new tool – a new opportunity to help solve their issues.

What are you hoping the outcome of Cause2Create will be?

I want to do something that actually changes something and changes people’s lives, whether that’s something small, like a product that helps refuges or a concept or a policy that is far-reaching and helps to change people’s perceptions or we help to rehome these people that would be brilliant.

What are your plans for the future of Cause2Create?

We’re doing the event in November, then we have to take on the ideas and projects that we create, so from November through to next year is where we’ll bring them to life. We’re planning to take the hacks on the road in the UK, with the help of univerisities and other organisations that we’ve partnered with such as Good Innovation, Swarm and Creative Conscious and continue have an ongoing relationship with D&AD Impact. 

 We also have big ambitions to make it the SXSW of Creativity for Goodand do the event on a huge scale…

Thank you :)

Cause2Create is a not-for-profit organisation that brings together people from creative industries who have a little spare time on their hands and the desire to do more to help third sector organisations who need those skills, resources and ideas. It was founded in 2016 in London by Mark Bennett from HeyBigMan!

Sign up to be part for the Making a Difference ‘hack’ workshops over 11th + 12th November here

Join Cause2Create at the launch afternoon – The Introduction Sessions by clicking here

Come along to our main event on Saturday 12th November where we invite you to be inspired to #CreateChange

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