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Silver Star Award - METASKILLS Challenge

So thrilled to have been awarded a Silver Star in Marty Neumeier's LEVEL C METASKILLS Challenge. Such an honour indeed and really humbled to have work recognised by amazing global experts.

I believe that we should be life long learners and that the best way to learn is to put yourself out there, try new things and push yourself. So 4 months ago I signed up to a challenge that promised to teach me new skills, developed existing ones and give me a thrilling ride along the way. It did not disappoint!

The Challange

The challenge was run over a 4 month period (May - Aug 2020) and consisted of 5 modules - each based on one of the five 'Meta-skills' detailed in Marty Neumeier's book "Metaskills - Five talents for the future of work'. Marty Neumeier is an American author and speaker who writes on the topics of brand, design, innovation, and creativity. I am a huge fan of Marty's having read his books, (including helping him proofread his book "Scramble"), got him involved in various speaking gigs over the years and also been personally trained by him in his LEVEL C Masterclasses. He currently serves as Director of CEO Branding for Liquid Agency, a branding agency headquartered in San Jose, California. He is also the founder of Level-C an organisation whose objective it is to get brand thinking into the boardroom and the runners of this competition.

Contestants entered as individuals but were randomly placed into multi-national and multi-disciplined teams. My team was team #5 and we swiftly branded ourselves "We Are Not Robots" (based on the concept of the Metaskills book which predicts we need new ways of learning and coming up with solutions as we enter the 'robotic era'). My teammates were: Jolande van Straaten 🇳🇱, Jakub Kantor 🇨🇿 and Nathan Holloway 🇬🇧..

At the start of each module, the co-ordinator (Level C founder Andy Starr) issued a module challenge which we roughly had 2 weeks to complete. These were based on the Metaskills book and so a chapter of the book was also to be read to help add depth to the work. The work was then submitted by each team in the form of a PDF deck and judged by a panel of world-class judges; Chris Do - CEO, The Futur, Robert Jones - Strategist, Wolff Olins, Lulu Raghavan - MD, Landor, Anaezi Modu - CEO, REBRAND™, Lisa Peyton - Strategist, Intel, Dennis Hahn - CSO, Liquid Agency, Kevin Duncan - Author and Business Consultant, Andy Starr - Founder, LEVEL C and of course Marty Neumeier - Author of METASKILLS.

Over-all 150 contestants entered and 26 global teams were formed.

The Work

Each module helped a team think through the five 'metaskills' (Feeling, Seeing, Dreaming, Making and Learning). Most teams chose one brand to work on but my team decided to take a radical approach and chose a new brand or problem to work on for each module.

Together we have submitted x5 modules solving huge #brand challenges along the way:

#1: Feeling

We “felt” the pain of traditional libraries & created a solution which brings beauty and joy - LoT (Libraries of Tomorrow).

#2: Seeing

We "saw" the brand ecosystem of BrewDog clashing with the unanticipated problem of COVID-19 and imagine an innovative new pop up Pub experience (PubUp).

#3: Dreaming

We dreamt up an ambitious, equitable and 'fit for the robotic era' global education system (“WorldClass”).

#4: Making

We prototyped and made a new retail experience for Nike to solve the problem of ill-fitting shoes (ShoeSpace).

#5: Learning

We gave an overview of how we learned and who we learned from detailing our sources and the impact of the knowledge gleaned.

To see all of the other team's approaches click here »

Module Results

Each module was evaluated by the judges and feedback given. The accolade of "best in module" was also awarded. We were privileged enough to win this award twice throughout the competition. The winners each time were:

Module - Winner

#1 Feeling - We Are Not Robots

#2 Seeing - Cultiv8

#3 Dreaming - Metashot / Renati / Hi5

#4 Making - Metashot

#5 Learning - We Are Not Robots


Well done to the worthy winners of the Gold Star: Team CULTIV8 ⭐️ & the winners of the bronze Star: Team METASHOT

My team, We Are Not Robots, was privileged to win the Silver Star award. An absolute honour.

Thank you

Thank you to the master panel of expert judges for all of the learning and feedback. A huge thank you to the brilliant Andy Starr for putting on the challenge - and of course, Marty Neumeier who wrote the brilliant book METASKILLS.

A massive "well done" to everyone who took part. It was a tough challenge and required dedication. The standard of submissions was really high which made the whole experience even better.

I also want to thank my brilliant teammates from our team "WE.ARE.NOT.ROBOTS": Jolande van Straaten , Jakub Kantor & Nathan Holloway.

What an honour be given an award in a global competition of world-class strategists and designers by phenomenal experts. It really is humbling and thrilling.

Watch this space for more insights about the competition and my key learnings which I hope to report on in the coming weeks.


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