Impact Hub King’s Cross launched the London stream of the Impact Hub Fellowship for Longer Lives in partnership with AXA and Swiss Re Foundation in January this year – Seven finalists spent a day pitching to our expert jury panel, three finalists were chosen to be part of the accelerator cohort. ‘Silversharers’, ‘See What I Mean’ and ‘Speakset’ all fit the bill– we caught up with Ilyanna Kerr, co-founder of See What I Mean after the event to ask her a few questions.
What inspired you to explore your enterprise idea?
Ilyanna: See What I Mean emerged from my final year project on the BA Design course at Goldsmiths University. I spent the year researching the interaction created through linking our speech to images and its potential to strengthen visual meaning – making and aid communication. Towards the end of the project we tested a prototype with a family member living with dementia, it created such a positive response that it inspired us to develop it into something that could have impact at scale.
What has been an important lesson you’ve learned so far?
Ilyanna: That there’s a common public misconception that dementia is all about memory loss. It’s important not to generalize, every individual is unique therefore their experience of living with dementia is too.
Any good advice/ support received by someone for this?
Ilyanna: We have been listening and learning from both individuals and organisations ever since we began developing See What I Mean for people living with dementia. Our advisors – Innovations in Dementia CIC have been advising and inspiring us since we began.
What are you most looking forward to from the Fellowship programme?
Ilyanna: The fellowships focus on the ageing space is what we are most looking forward too, we think it will help to create an inspiring culture of learning, collaboration and innovation.
Who are you currently collaborating with?
Ilyanna: We are currently collaborating with Jewish Care, we are piloting See What I Mean with them over the summer.
What does impact mean to you?
Ilyanna: Effecting positive change on the lives of millions of people
The See What I Mean (SWiM) App is a solution to communication and engagement problems for people living with dementia. Losing the ability to communicate is one of the most frustrating and difficult problems for people with dementia, their families and carers.
Team members: Ilyanna Kerr, Peter Rogers and Simon Jeal