Learn, grow and network with a new Brixton book club

three young people in posed image
Steve, Greg and Nafeesa of Spaced Digital

A Brixton business and a local charity have got together to launch a book club and library with a difference.

Spaced Digital web agency’s newest project is the Digital Creatives Club, in collaboration with the charity Spiral.

Digital Creatives Club is a book club, mixed with a subscription service.

It started out just between colleagues at Spaced Digital, which is based at Pop Brixton.

It was co-founded by Steve White, the director of Spaced Digital, SEO account manager Greg Smith, and project manager Nafeesa Arshad.

It grew to include other agency professionals.

“Initially, we were just going to target agency professionals, but we wanted to open it up to freelancers and entrepreneurs too,” says Steve.

“Anyone really, working in the online or digital space looking to learn, grow and network.” 

“Before the book club we all read similar books from different angles, and we were making the most of our agency’s book allowance throughout lockdown and sharing our learnings with each other,” Nafeesa says.

“This was really fun and instigated the club idea.

“It wasn’t necessarily getting books that are geared around work, but it was more what can you bring into the workplace from that.”

book cover

Nafeesa  said Steve was reading Let My People Go Surfing by the founder of the clothing company Patagonia.

“I was really interested in that, so then I read it and got a lot out of that book as well.

“We all got together around a book called Rebel Ideas, so that was us actually doing a book club concept where we all got the same book.

“When we read at our own pace and came together we realised it was a nice thing to do.

“We then thought about how we didn’t want to be a traditional book club – thus the ideas for a creative online space and also in-person meet-ups were born.”

Each month the chosen book can be delivered, and there will be a meet up at The Black Bar in Impact Brixton on Electric Lane with different guest speakers.

Impact Brixton’s Black Bar

“The meet ups are a way of combating the stereotypical nature of networking events,” says Nafeesa.

“It doesn’t matter whether you’ve read the book or not, we’re going to have talks from the authors and group tasks.”

There will also be a discount on monthly prices if you already own the chosen book.

Spaced Digital aims to give back to Lambeth through partnerships with Spiral and other organisations.

Spiral focuses on getting young people in our community work skills and experience.

“When I first started Spaced, I used to rent a desk and use the co-working space at Impact Brixton,” Steve explains.

“Spiral rented office space from Impact too.

book cover

So I met Joel the founder of Spiral back then and have always liked what they do, but I never knew how I could get involved or help them.

“When we came up with the idea for Digital Creatives Club, they were the first people we wanted to partner with.”

The club will also be building a free community library at Pop Brixton.

“We wanted to use skills we already have,” Nafeesa says.

“There is this digital skills gap in the UK, and a lot of the stuff you need for digital roles are not taught at school.

“We thought it would be really exciting to share our digital knowledge with young people.

“We are also in the process of looking for more partnerships.

“I think it was just quite a natural coming together of how we could give back to the local community that nourishes us by using our own skills.

“If we can do something that helps, then that’s just brilliant.”

The trial event is on 9 September, with a launch to follow later in the year.

After each session the website will be updated with the talks and tasks.

“We’ll be breaking down what happened at the event, but also include a book summary, visual content and interviews with the thought leaders,” says Nafeesa.

“We understand that people can have varying amounts or work each month, so that’s why we will also have the talks at the events recorded.”

To sign up for the first event date at Impact Brixton and find out more visit digicreatives.club

“We wanted to create that space where you can meet a stranger, but you’ll have something in common – which is being part of the book club,” says Nafeesa.

“Lockdown has been a very lonely and isolating time.

“We’re trying to encourage like-minded creatives just to all come together really.

“We totally get that book clubs can be very dry, so this is hopefully our very different and interactive take.

“Where I work, you’re very much inspired to bring your whole multi-dimensional self to the forefront, so we just wanted to bring this same energy to DCC. 

“Everyone’s obviously got different views and perspectives and that’s something we’ll be encouraging.”