James Appleby, managing partner at PHD Media London, has been announced as the new chair of Fast Forward, the legendary training programme for rising stars in adland run by NABS.
James has volunteered as a mentor on Fast Forward for the last seven years and now takes the reins as chair following the end of Jo Arden’s tenure last year.
James said: “I got involved with Fast Forward in 2016 because I wanted to help people in the industry. I’m passionate about what coaching and mentoring can do for everyone involved. I love seeing Fast Forward’s delegates flourish every year and the mentors get so much from it too. The quality of speakers we get is also inspiring.
“I’ve inherited such a wonderful heritage from Jo Arden and it’s an honour to help move it forwards. Ultimately, the course is about listening to people and helping each other, two vital activities for wellbeing, which NABS does so much to support in our industry.”
This year’s training programme marks an exciting opportunity for those starting their careers to finally start to network across the industry after two years of working from home. The course will be run over eight weeks starting 6 September 2022, incorporating live and virtual sessions to reflect advertising’s move into hybrid working.
For James, the course presents an exciting opportunity for young adlanders who’ve been working from home during the pandemic and have missed out on being in the office around different people and teams, where learning by osmosis and forming networks are a part of working life.
James said: “Fast Forward was conceived in 1999. Twenty-three years on, we’re now in a world which is more complex in terms of agencies, and more challenging in terms of communication because of the pandemic.
“Young people have been some of the worst affected by the last two years; they haven’t had the chance to go into the office and build friendships or connections. Fast Forward this year gives a real opportunity to connect and build networks and find the human side of our business. It’s going to be a breath of fresh air for our participants.”
Fast Forward gives delegates from across the industry the chance to perfect their pitching skills, working in teams on a live brief which will be judged by a panel of industry experts. Along the way, delegates will be mentored and benefit from talks by some of adland’s leading figures, building their confidence as well as knowledge to forge successful careers in the industry.