Marc Lewis on running the world's most successful advertising school
Imagine the world’s most awarded advertising school.
Perhaps you’re picturing it housed in an imposing campus of magnificient Edwardian buildings made of stone and marble, or a gleaming high rise in midtown Manhattan.
In fact you’ll find it on the top floor of a former church and nightclub in a South London neighbourhood.
Its unexpected characteristics don’t end there - from the curriculum design to the class size, the mentors to the learning outcomes.
It’s called the School of Communication Arts, and its Dean is Marc Lewis.
In this entertaining and enlightening conversation, we talk about Marc’s personal journey from comedy clubs and tech startups to the world of education, coming back from a mental health crisis, and what it means to find your Telos.
And there is a little bit of swearing, so listener discretion is advised.
03:00 Marc's origin story - from stealing car radios, to copywriting and comedy clubs
17:00 Selling a company, and finding Telos
23:00 SCA v.10
27:00 How v2.0 got going in 2010, and being equipped for diversity
35:00 Inside the curriculum Wiki
42:00 Customizing learning design
51:00 AI, technology...and why didn't cover it in this episode
Marc Lewis was a scholarship student at SCA when it last existed in the 1990s. He left to work for Leo Burnett as a writer, but ended up creating technology companies.
Marc’s start-ups created over £50m in shareholder value. but he fell out of love with money and wanted to do something more meaningful. A heart-to- heart conversation with Sir John Hegarty and Rory Sutherland led to the re-opening of SCA in 2010. John and Rory became founding Governors.
Marc runs the SCA learning experience. If he’s not in SCA, then he’s teaching at a Chinese or a French ad school, or out bringing live briefs into the classroom.