British Council Creative Economy

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Sam Conniff

Sam Conniff

YCE Winner

Co-Founder of Livity, a company interested in the power of brands and communications as a force for social change.

Sam Conniff, Co Founder of Livity became a creative entrepreneur at 21 launching his first business, Don't Panic, from his bedroom, now a global franchise, cult youth brand and online community.

Sam set up Livity to harness the power of brands and communications as a force for social change. Livity works with the worlds biggest brands, government, charities and, most importantly, young people, co-creating successful communications.

Sam created the world's first interactive multi platform series Dubplate Drama. Dubplate Drama pioneered an innovative interactive mechanism to draw viewers into decision making dilemma moments, engaging them in social issues and sensitive topics. Since 2005 Dubplate Drama has completed three series broadcast on Channel 4, MTV, online, on mobiles and in cinemas and have just agreed a format deal in the USA.

Sam was appointed by the Cabinet Office as a UK Social Enterprise Ambassador, is a fellow of the RSA, one of Striding Outs' Future 100 Young Social Entrepreneurs, a Make Your Mark Ambassador, in the top 100 of The Observer and Courvoisier's 2008 Future 500, on the review board of Cranfield University's Strategic Marketing MSC and a Community Governor at the Livity School for children with complex needs.

Sam was the winner of the UK YCE Screen Award 2009.

further insights

Since taking part in this programme… I’ve been presented with a clear opportunity for an international format sale with the second largest Spanish speaking television network in the world. We previously had major international sales agents working for over two years on a format sale which didn’t land… but working together with the support of the British Council, we’ve got really close to securing a deal. I have been challenged to look beyond youth programming and our traditional experience and have ended up with a concept with more mainstream potential than it’s ever had… that appeals on a broader level but still remains true to Livity’s core values.And the experience of negotiating with a different culture, not just a different way of doing business, has had a profound effect on my professional development since.

I am inspired by… Disadvantage, social injustice, inequality and my desire to find creative solutions to drive change and create equality of opportunity amongst young people.

My advice would be… Good manners are essential, manners are often underestimated, but actually can’t be overestimated in their importance. There is a universal balance sheet when it comes to profit, and short term cash profit, usual comes at long term environmental, social or individual deficit. A multiple bottom line that takes in financial, social, environmental impact is the future.

The thing that most interests me at the moment… Social enterprise, the best opportunity we have to change the world for the better. The coming together of the tech, green and social sectors. I think the emergence and acceleration of technology means that a business can be started up on a smartphone by a young entrepreneur, which in turn brings that business closer to the values of the individual, in a time when the next generation of entrepreneurs have grown up in the greatest uncertainty, means we’ll see an array of the most entrepreneurial world changers ever… At least I hope so.