Monday, July 18, 2005

Build it and they will come

A fair old while ago, I was invited to be part of a panel discussion about the dispersal of EU media funds to improve the lot of the aspiring creative 'yoof' in our area. There was much talk of roadshows and bursaries and bestowing of equipment hither and thither, and the various officers involved were getting quite excited at the prospect of ticking all sorts of 'training/education/start-up' boxes. On the other side of the coin, more than a few of the guys from the industry side were a little dubious about setting up a bunch of inexperienced new guys to compete unfairly by being able to undercut due to massive IT subsidies.

I chipped in to suggest that perhaps the best way to serve the up and coming talents of the region was to invest the money in creating more work for the existing guys, and market dynamics would inevitably lead to them requiring more staff, thereby drawing the talent pool smoothly from bottom up to meet demand, rather than artificially punting highly-educated, but not necessarily very well (in a practical sense) trained kids into an already highly-competitive, saturated marketplace.

Naturally, I was not invited back. And the funds went into creating vast legions of Mac-savvy would-be designers, sound engineers, etc, who are either now working at Tescos or trying to explain to their hotshop’s new customers (who shifted to them for a few £ difference) why they can't do the changes in time because they hadn't allowed for those in their quote.

Which brings me to what promoted today's blog. Apparently, 190,000 tons of recycler-collected green glass has got nowhere to go, with a surplus of 550,000 anticipated by 2008.

Hence I really, really, REALLY hope that this will be borne in mind before the next round of vastly expensive ads are commissioned to tell us to... recycle. Because if the public finds out they are going to all this effort and it isn't being used productively and in an environmentally-sound manner, there may be a slight slip in trust and, hence, cooperation.

By all means encourage a recycling, but for heaven’s sake make sure you have figured out what to do with it when you get it. Before you set out to fulfil a demand, create one first.