SthlmOp – a giant talent hunt, bringing Stockholm’s youth into the orbit of the city’s advertising industry. This year, 250 young people from the outskirts of Stockholm – Rinkeby-Kista, Spånga-Tensta, Hässelby-Vällingby, Skärholmen, Farsta, Enskede-Årsta-Vantör and Skarpnäck – worked in small teams for three weeks at 50 participating communication agencies.

Five briefs, supplied by Stockholm City, were divided between the groups.

Here at Hilanders, we were honoured to host a group of 17-year olds – Cajsa, Josefine, Mitan, Moa and Sam – and what a group they were!

Our group was challenged to fight segregation and raise declining school grades by creating a common ground for Stockholm’s youth (age 13-18), preferably in the context of a school library. With supervision from Hilanders’ planner Maria, supported by copywriter Daniel and designer Markus, the team got down to work.

Background to the challenge

Although school libraries are generally considered a safe space, our group identified obstacles to inclusive participation. In a street survey, 46% of the target group said they never go to the library at all – that although the library is a calm place to study, the opening hours are limited and entry requires a personal tag. Compounding the problem, as the students’ subjects advance, they face higher expectations but receive less help at home.

So, what to do? Well, while just a slight majority go to the library, a whopping 100% of the target group use the internet every day(confirmed via SOI 2016). And the internet is never closed. So our group decided to pursue a digital solution, starting with discussion of a kind of “School-Tinder” – a way to match people, not for dating but for knowledge-exchange.

Creating the Catch Up concept

Their solution is Catch Up, an app that you log into with a personal code from your teacher. It shows only your first name, with a cute animal icon as your profile pic. You fill out the areas you need help with and those in which you could help others. This generates a match – in knowledge – that gives you your perfect study buddy to chat and learn with. And it’s practically anonymous, so there’s no stupid questions!

In addition to the app, the group designed a website accessed with the same login. On the site, you have access to the chat, but you can also get help with your schoolwork in other ways. The start page consists of a “knowledge-flow”, with important links, articles, and video lectures, moderated by ambassadors from the age group, with code eliminating bad language.

A third tab on the page is a collaboration with Academic Work, inspiring teenagers to strive for higher goals, featuring posts about lectures, job opportunities, and information about a variety of professions.

Catch Up is the result of the group’s three weeks spent with us, focusing each week on one part of the creative process, with strategy and research, creative clashing, and a week of production and presentation.

When it came time to present their work, the team members were nervous but composed. And they totally killed it! Now everything is handed in and we can’t wait to see what they will do next.

The best of luck to all of you: Cajsa, Josefine, Mitan, Moa and Sam.

And to SthlmOp, see you next year!