Tash Willcocks joined the Snook team as our new Head of Learning at the end of 2020 and cheered us all up no end. In April she’s running the first of our ‘Learn with Snook’ courses; a 2-day course called ‘Making sense of Service Design’.

We asked her to answer a few quick questions and share her vision.

What’s the vision for Learn With Snook?

The Snook training team’s mission is to create courses that people are excited to be on and want to celebrate finishing to share their knowledge.

There is a lot of celebration on the uptake of online self-serve learning, but little about the retention rate. An MIT research paper reported that only 3% of participants complete online courses.

The shift in education to online learning is positive. It’s created the perfect storm to be creative in and disrupt and has developed into an interesting new playing field.

We mix online and offline delivery formats, live and facilitated teaching, with peer and in practice learning. There are pre and post-course tasks and follow-ups, which mean that wherever you are in the room (physical or virtual), we can really get the pure creative juice out of the time, and invest it into the fluency to mastery classes. Or as someone put it “give more bang for your buck”.

What’s been your favourite moment since joining Snook?

I joined during the pandemic and have only ever met 2 of the people I work with in person. So my favourite moment will be meeting people in the actual studio! Because, so far, the people – their incredible intelligence, their drive and desire to do things right, fill me with pride.

I love when these stories are shared. In fact, maybe a favourite time is in the Friday virtual pub, where you hear the personal stories of the people on the team…its a running moment. Those Fridays mean a lot to me.

Where do you get your energy and ideas?

Haha, sometimes I think my energy maybe my only redeeming feature! I get a lot of feedback on it. I was worried it may not transmit remotely, but apparently it “pumps through the screen.”

It sounds cheesy but I get the energy from the people around me. The desire to learn and drive forward is infectious, it creates an incredible atmosphere that creates electricity in me. I am merely a mirror shining back the amazing people in the room.

Most people I meet have that spark. It’s about fanning that flame, creating a fire as a team, to enable them to keep stoking it to drive that train forward.

What are your personal long term goals? 

Professionally: Education. Hopefully creating a ripple effect that can touch lots of people and share a way of working that helps make the world a little better one person at a time. I want and believe I am creating a space at Snook to really amplify what we do and release the potential in others.

Personally: I do a drawing a day. This allows me to amplify what I’m passionate about through sharing on social media. I usually have one main driver and a few side projects on the go. I started 8 years ago with the intention of culminating after a few months, but here I am still drawing daily 2920 days later.

It’s built up my confidence to learn out loud and created connections with people I never thought I could, I even ended up talking about it all over the world and at TEDx.

Currently, a project that I have been working on for a year is #AceAtAnyAge. I started drawing them after reading some shocking articles and statistics about how women over 50 perceive themselves. I wanted to grab the idea that Marie Wilson from the Whitehouse programme projected “You cannot be what you cannot see.”

A screengrab of Tash Willcock's Instagram account showing a post about Ashton Applewhite, an anti-ageism campaigner

Many feel invisible, so I set out to make incredible women over 50 visible through the ‘typostrations’ (typography as activism!). Again this has made some incredible connections with amazing people. I have delivered several talks and am now developing it more into fighting ageism in a broader sense with Georgia Lee, the RCA & the Design Museum.

More about Tash

She’s spent over 20 years shaping future change-makers in the creative industry. working with students from all over the world through the Masters in Experience Design & Digital Management at Hyper Island, Universities and organisations such as the BCC, Unilever, UN Opps and Adidas. She also has a thriving creative practice as a designer, using her illustration skills to shine a spotlight on awesome women who resist ageism in her ‘Ace at Any Age’ campaign. Her recent ‘Tiles of the Apocalypse’ project saw her placing hand-painted tiles around the streets of Manchester. They range from song lyrics to jokes and inspirational quotes and are designed to spread hope and connection.

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