What would our media and digital landscape look like without trail blazers and innovators who are willing to against the grain to create something great? Probably pretty boring - but luckily our generation is bursting full of exciting creatives who aren't afraid to do things differently. Here are just a few people who we have a lot of love for...Anna
Kevin Systrom – Instagram CEO and creator:
33. CEO and Creator of Instagram. Billionaire. Kevin was 26 when he launched the photo sharing app which was purchased by Facebook for $1 billion in 2012 with just 13 employees. Aside from his financial success, I love that Kevin has a passion for design-led communication and used social media as a platform to update retro photographs in the Polaroid format. I also rate his approach to keeping things simple and making the initial concept perfect before evolving the product to the next stage. Instagram began purely as an iPhone app before building on this and expanding across multiple formats. Now Instagram has over 500 million active users. Creative + Trailblazer = ♥Claire
Anna Corry - Blossoming Birds blog:
Blossoming Birds is a family and lifestyle blog documenting life with small children, fashion and interiors. I love the pretty and inspirational imagery on this blog, partnered with the honest reality of the daily challenges of parenthood. It is different from the masses of other 'mummy blogs' which seem to flood our social channels these days as it is very relatable.Susan
Liv Little – Editor-in-Chief of gal-dem magazine:
It's no secret that mainstream media underrepresents women of colour. Statistics show an overwhelming bias towards white males in positions of power throughout the creative industry, often leading to inaccurate and narrow representations of minorities and women.
Liv Little, a 22-year-old from south London took her frustration at this lack of diversity and took matters into her own hands - she teamed up with her friend Leyla Reynolds to set up gal-dem magazine in 2015.
gal-dem is a creative online magazine comprised of over 70 women of colour from all over the world, championing diverse narratives and news. They discuss anything from politics and science to music art and fashion. They are carving a niche for themselves, expanding beyond writing to hosting conferences, networking sessions, comedy events and club nights.
gal-dem is young, fun and truly unique. I can't wait to see what else Liv and the team are going to do next.Daniel
Robert Brown – Editor of chordblossom.com
I've known Robert for a few years and his passion for music, particularly from bands and artists based here, is second to none. He leads a great team of reviewers, feature writers, photographers and all the other components needed to keep a successful website like Chordblossom running smoothly. It has very quickly built up a following and is one of NI's most respected sources for music news, reviews and gig info.John
Billy Wingrove and Jeremy Lynch – Youtubers:
I'm going for a YouTuber. Well, two of them. They're called The F2 and they're essentially football freestylers who've combined their talent with video content to live the football dream.
These lads, Billy Wingrove and Jeremy Lynch, have gone from trying to crack the professional game, and failing, to creating videos with some of the biggest names in world football. Name a professional footballer today and they'll have worked with them. Brands are queuing up to have them on their channels and football clubs and players also seem keen to bring them in.
The concept is so simple - scenario-based videos that involve well known figures from the football world. The lads take on the professionals, recreate classic moments from FIFA, prove or disprove football myths. They're incredibly likeable but their main skill is showing pony footballers like me how Ronaldo takes a free kick or how Ozil spots a pass.
5.3m subscribers, sponsorship deals and even a book has been born from some football skills and a video camera. Modern media superstars.Dani
Jo Elvin - Editor-in-Chief of Glamour Magazine
From an ambitious young world-traveller to one of the most successful magazine editors in the UK, Jo is the perfect example of where persistence can get you. I'll be forever jealous that she once also worked as a publicist for iconic soap, Neighbours. That's my dream job. Seriously.Grainne
Niall McGarry – Founder of Maximum Media
The founder of Maximum Media, Gary McGarry is my one to watch because his online publishing company continues to stay ahead of the curve, evolving at rapid speed. Not only are we now blessed with quality content and meaningful advertising options across JOE, HER, HerFamily and Sports Joe, McGarry has just created even more jobs for Ireland's talented young media folk, with the the arrival of Maximum Media's first online television offering.