Innovation Challenge

How would you transform a John Lewis Community Hub for the benefit of your community, and our business?

As part of our pursuit to inspire and support creativity, innovation and practical skills in the classroom we recently ran The Innovation Challenge 2017.

We’re pleased to announce the results:


1st place
Congratulations to GOZA from Bromley High Junior School. Their idea was to enable local business to use the community hub as a pop-up shop to sell and promote their products. They won the grand prize of a state-of-the-art Ultimaker Go 2 3D printer for the school, tablets and maker kits. 


2nd place
Very well done to The Amazing Camm from Howell’s Junior School in Cardiff, who came up with an idea to entertain children and teach them how to use technology whilst their parents shop. 


3rd place
Finally, a big well done to JL Relax, also from Bromley Junior High School. Their idea was to design a series of tests to work out the most effective way of relaxing.

Thank you to all the other teams who entered, the judges loved reading through them all and agreed that the entries were all of an extremely high standard.


Get involved
If you’ve not already registered and would like to be kept up-to-date regarding future Innovation Challenges click here.



Meet our judges

We know a lot of time and energy will go into entries, so our judges have been selected as they’re experts in innovation, education and learning.

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Sarah Collinson
Innovation Manager at John Lewis

My job is about making sure John Lewis continually tries out new ideas and concepts and that as a business we're evolving with our customers.

My top tip: Focus on one idea at a time. Make sure you really nurture and give time to each idea as if it's your own. Once you've captured your idea (and it really helps to draw it out), you can move on to the next one.

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John Vary
IT Innovation Manager at John Lewis

My role is all about generating ideas and then bringing them to life for our customers.

I'm driven by a natural curiosity of our physical and digital worlds, and I explore how to merge these in multi-sensory ways to revolutionise how our customers engage with our brand.

My top tip: Start any project by exploring everything and capture what that means to your project. Refining ideas too early will limit what you can deliver.

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Emma Marchant
Sustainable Communities Manager at John Lewis

My role is to help ensure 'we do the right thing' in our communities across the UK.

I launched Bringing Skills to Life in September 2013 to foster innovative thought and action in children and to develop skills that will bring their imagination to life.

My top tip: Go beyond generating ideas, grow them by questioning every thought. Ask yourself - How would that work? What would it look like? What will people do, say and feel?

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Jo West
Business Development Manager, Shop of the Future at John Lewis

I work alongside the Store Design team creating innovative store environments, and investigating how our online business and our stores combine to give a great brand experience. I’m passionate about shops so it’s great working out how we continue to make shops relevant and engaging.

My top tip: Keep the end user in mind. It’s critical to put the customer's shoes on in your idea development and work out what they really need from the space and how you can make what you offer different and better than everyone else.

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Tiffany Barwick
Account Director at Hopscotch Consulting

My role at Hopscotch involves working with lots of different brands who wish to enrich the education and learning experience for students. Bringing Skills to Life is a wonderful programme which encourages students to develop their creativity and innovation skills and helps to broaden their understanding of what it means to be creative and how this can help you in a variety of ways.

Top tip: Never dismiss an idea. Listen to those around you - all ideas and opinions are valid and sometimes the best, most innovative solutions grow from the tiniest germ of an idea, that might have initially seemed irrelevant.