Carl Jeffrey @FellowCreative

Carl Jeffrey @FellowCreative is a rare (and perhaps radical) individual. He doesn’t represent an organisation or single enterprise. Instead, Carl has a wider frame of reference and a broader set of experiences, upon which he pursues agendas of innovation and forward thinking principles. Carl has made himself personally and financial accountable for his involvement in this programme.

Carl joined the Creative People and Places bid development team in January 2011 because he believes that arts, cultural, voluntary and public sector organisations are going to suffer in the future economic landscape. The traditional models associated with public funding are dead. A better, more valued way needs to be found.

Describing himself as a Creative Midwife and Joiner of Dots, Carl has delivered ideas for international brands, public sector organisations and academic bodies such as the National Consortium of University Entrepreneurs.

In truth, if you’ve not actually met or worked with him, it’s extremely hard to explain what Carl does. His website reads like ego-centric drivel to some (it’s written to clarify and shape thoughts for himself, not others). He’s undoubtedly better at getting things done than he is at explaining why. All he asks is that he be judged on his actions.

A career as a designer and art director gave Carl an appreciation of the harsh realities of private business, getting things done on time and to budget, and within traditionally measured frameworks. In 2006, believing his energy could be better spent and valued, he founded his first startup, a web-based application to help businesses develop and promote their corporate social responsibility (CSR). This began Carl’s journey into social and sustainable enterprise, and it resulted in presentations to Business Link and the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts; among others.

Since, Carl has been a founder and catalyst for various startup ventures, including grass-roots and participatory projects, the most notable being (a Medway based community where people are encouraged to share and develop ideas, roll up their sleeves and get plans and projects off the ground), which was recently awarded a Culture and Design Award for Achievement in Urban Regeneration.

As a Medway resident, he’s been responsible for bringing cutting edge social technology platforms to universities, and has supported and joined dots for many initiatives across Kent, including WOW Magazine, Digibury, BarCamp Canterbury, Medway Open Studios and Art Festival, Rochester Literature Festival, and GEEK 2013 in Margate, to name but a few.

Carl believes that “If you want to come up with a few good ideas, or even one great one, then you have to generate lots of ideas”. Carl has failed more startup ventures than he’s succeeded, but he’s learned a lot and it’s always been with his own money, time and reputation on the line – he has never applied for funding.

As an agitator and agent of change with no agenda to protect, Carl is able to say things others will not, and see things others can’t see. He’s not always right, but by voicing the idea he provokes the debate, from which anything is possible.

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