This content is part of JA Europe‘s Knowledge Network on New Europe
Creativity is at the heart of everything we do at The Walt Disney Company – not only in our film and animation studios but throughout all of our businesses and organization. We believe that creativity is essential not only for artists and storytellers but also for business people and clearly for entrepreneurs.
Walt Disney often said that “If you can dream it, you can do it!” and this attitude has permeated our company culture ever since. At Disney we are constantly driving ourselves to innovate in order to deliver great storytelling entertainment though new technologies.
This fundamental belief in creativity and innovation has also driven one of our key corporate citizenship (CSR) commitments: inspiring young people to develop their creative thinking and entrepreneurial skills to help them prepare a better tomorrow for themselves and their community.
Given this commitment, we at Disney are proud to be the National Creativity Sponsor of Junior Achievement in 8 European countries. We began this sponsorship of JA (Young Enterprise) in the UK over three years ago and have expanded the relationship given the impact we’ve seen on the lives of so many young people in the program as well as our own employee volunteers who work with them.
Most students have grown up with a one or more favorite Disney, Pixar, Marvel and/or Star Wars experiences (film, animation, TV program, toy and/or a theme park visit). We hope our stories marked their childhood and stimulated their dreams – and that Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars stories and heroes continue to inspire them into adolescence.
When Disney joins with Junior Achievement, together we can further inspire young people to believe in their own innate creativity – one of the key skills for success in entrepreneurship and in life!
In addition to the life changing impact we can have on these students, we’ve also seen the incredible motivation, engagement and sense of purpose that participation in Junior Achievement has provided to our Disney EMEA employees.
Many of our employees have given their time, skills and professional experience as:
- mentors throughout the school year and/or during an intense “speed mentoring” session
- professional experience sharers through master classes in a variety of business disciplines including our Pixar animators
- brainstorming facilitators through the JA Innovation Camp concept working on themes such as how to encourage Healthy Living for themselves and their peers (another important Disney Corporate Citizenship commitment)
- jury members at the local, regional and national JA competitions allowing our employees to interact directly with JA student teams and select the Disney Creativity Prize winner
In speaking about the company he created, Walt Disney said: “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” This curiosity continues to drive our business, our employees and our Corporate Citizenship commitment to inspire this curiosity and creativity in young people through our Junior Achievement sponsorship!