Quicksand is hiring a

Senior Associate - UnBox Project & Festival Management

Delhi, India
Full-Time

In 2011, Quicksand co-founded the UnBox platform. Originally an annual festival featuring panel discussions, workshops, exhibitions, culinary explorations, musical and dance performances, it has evolved over the years into more of a platform, so much so that it has been incorporated as a stand-alone non-profit.

Unbox celebrates action at the intersection of different disciplines, and is our attempt to build momentum around design thinking and trans-disciplinary collaborations as the means of driving more sustainable and impactive social and cultural change in India. While the festival is still a core component, we have been more cognizant of having smaller, more intimate events throughout the year. Ever-evolving, we are constantly exploring other manifestations for UnBox.

 

Job Purpose and Description

As we continue exploring the potential for further iterations of the UnBox platform, we are looking for a committed, talented project and festival manager to help lead the way. You should be able to both manage your own time and contribute to a larger team effort in growing the platform through new and unique engagements and initiatives. Critical to this is the ability to engage with the broader UnBox team in order to help articulate the next manifestations of the platform, and to communicate all related activities in a clear, concise manner. You will have to be proactive in following up on opportunities and developing winning partnerships.

As such, you should be a self-starter capable of working independently as well as with and within a multidisciplinary team in order to help create meaningful and participatory experiences for an active and engaged UnBox community - which could be a full scale festival or a Lab or a publication. Flexibility is key, as is the ability to juggle multiple responsibilities simultaneously within tight deadlines. You will have to take ownership and be willing to contribute in any way necessary to ensure a successful event.

Some specific responsibilities of this role are:

Production

  • Working with Quicksand and UnBox stakeholders in negotiating partner contracts, project dates and details
  • Negotiating and drafting contracts for platform and festival collaborators
  • Working with senior stakeholders in creating and maintaining production budgets for all UnBox events
  • Being the first point-of-contact for internal stakeholders, partners, and vendors while event productions are in development and/or live
  • Responsible for all event logistics, including booking partner travel, accommodation, and organisation of visas as and when necessary
  • Responsible for creating and managing production schedules

Relationship Development and Stakeholder Management

  • Researching and negotiating with new venues and potential partners
  • Creating and distributing relevant production and event information packs
  • Updating and maintaining the UnBox contact and partner database

Festival & Platform Operations

  • Responding to all general UnBox enquiries
  • Management of the platform calendar
  • Management of regular platform catch-up meetings/calls

Funding

  • Working with internal stakeholders in the development of funding applications and reports
  • Assist in the identification and development of new funding opportunities

Marketing

  • Working with the platform communications team to develop and implement a communications strategy
  • Working with senior staff in the development and management of the platform’s branding strategy, including for individual events and festivals
  • Management of activity such as press, media, online, and digital communications
  • Responsible for updating and maintenance of the platform’s website

 

Qualifications

Successful candidates will be passionate about exploring aspects of the world through a critical and constructive eye. You’d be an extremely talented manager, with good observation, interaction skills, and a co-creation attitude. You have a keen interest and experience in the confluence of design, arts, culture, and innovation. A corporate, get-things-done mindset is key to success in this role; you will be skilled at working within time constraints and with limited resources, all while ensuring high quality outputs in fixed timelines through managing a diverse set of stakeholders including internal teams, partners, funders, and sponsors.

A strong work ethic is mandatory and you would be the kind of person who thrives in a collaborative, multidisciplinary, startup environment with minimal supervision. You would have worked in cross-cultural settings and would be equally at ease talking to various stakeholders. You would be able to think on your feet and be resourceful and creative in preempting problems and identifying solutions. Finally, and most importantly, you are skilled and experienced with event management and production.

In the immediate future, you will work along with the senior producer to develop the 2019 festival, taking cues from all the studio members of Quicksand. You should be able to take abstract themes and develop these into an actual plan, building different content, and format streams. You should be able to liaison with partners, vendors, institutions, press, and venues looking into the larger comprehensive experience fo the festival and fill in the missing parts with an eye on the budget and resources constraints.

Some specific qualifications you would need to have are:

  • A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from a leading program in India or abroad
  • 4-6 years of professional practice in your chosen field/s
  • Experience in running public facing programmes or events
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English. Knowledge of any other languages (including Hindi) would be a definite plus but not mandatory
  • Ability to think critically and have exceptional attention to detail
  • Previous experience of independent handling of budgets
  • Some evidence of independent creative work would be viewed very positively
  • A roll-up-your-sleeves attitude towards your work  

 

Location

The position can be based out of Delhi or Bangalore, India. It will also involve a chance to meet and work with consumers across the spectrum for events, as well as travel to and for workshops, labs, fellowships, and events.

 

Compensation

A compensation package commensurate with your skills and experience will be designed for you.

 

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About Quicksand

Quicksand (www.quicksand.co.in) is a leading design strategy and innovation consultancy in India, recognised globally for its expertise in user-centered design. Our work spans both for-profit and not-for-profit sectors across emerging markets, and has involved envisioning innovative new programs, products and services that are future facing, and still rooted in the everyday reality of people they aim to serve.

Quicksand was set up in 2005 in New Delhi, and now has studios in Bangalore and Goa as well. Our work over the last 13 years has contributed to a global discourse on human-centered design and design thinking— a new approach to creating solutions that are sensitive and relevant to the end user while driving business and social impact. We make this possible through our expertise in learning from the field— distilling meaning from the lives of people, communities and cultures - and applying this knowledge in building solutions that are at the intersection of business, technology and design.

Today, Quicksand consists of close to forty full-time employees and consultants with diverse profiles and qualifications - ranging from management, technology, engineering, product design, communication design, design research, new media, film and photography, sound design, social sciences and entrepreneurship.

Some of our noted clients include The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Unilever, World Bank, Wellcome Trust, Nokia, Unicef, Samsung, Cisco, Google and Coca Cola.

 

Working at Quicksand

In the interest of full disclosure, the Quicksand office structure is likely different from what you’re used to. We are a collection of professionals with diverse backgrounds that are united by an ideology, not an industry. We are passionate about applying user-centered processes to improve people’s lives and a typical project requires everyone on the team to roll up their sleeves and dive in.

Our work tends to be a mix of collaborative as well as independent, self-driven effort. There will be times when you are asked to take on responsibilities that may fall outside of those specified in the job description and at other times you’ll be expected to lead the team on a skill or a domain you specialise in. You will have the freedom to explore, create, and push-the-envelope.

This seemingly fluid nature of operations can be rewarding and frustrating in equal measures. We expect team members to figure the balance of openness vs structure they need at work, and unlearn top-down structured approaches that they might have experienced in other organisations or previous engagements. We expect to learn as much from you as you will learn from us.

Finally, regardless of the position you are applying for, there are a few traits that define us as individuals and as a team. We value a strong work ethic and thrive in a collaborative, cross-cultural, multidisciplinary, startup environment with minimal supervision. By extension, it is part of our job profiles to reach out to people - regardless of whether they are our clients, users or partners - and build genuine, respectful relationships that can make work both meaningful and fun. We value thinking on one’s feet, being resourceful and entrepreneurial. Deadlines energise us and no matter how constraining the circumstances may be, we would never drop our standards of high quality work.

 

Get in Touch

In case this resonates with you, please apply via this Recruiterbox posting with your most current resume/CV, a portfolio of work samples and projects that demonstrate your skills and credentials, and links to relevant online work, personal website, and/or blog. Please also include a thoughtful cover letter that shares a bit about yourself, and why you are excited about working with Quicksand. Submissions without these essentials will not be considered for the position.

In the course of our initial conversations, we might also require you to work on a small case study, which would help us gauge your skills and also enable you to understand our requirements better.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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