Constance Agyeman, Head of Communities, Nesta

#LEP2019 - Investigating #ArtificialIntelligence and its impact on the world

Giving young people the opportunity for lateral and entrepreneurial thinking early on is vital to ensure they can thrive later in life. They need the freedom to think creatively and to problem solve in new ways, unlocking abilities and skills that stand them in good stead for both further education and employment.

As highlighted in Nesta’s Opportunity Lost report, currently only 1.5 per cent of the school age population across England have access to innovation programmes. This needs to change; all young people should have hands-on experience of innovation or invention during their time at school.

We need to make sure that opportunities to engage with innovation aren’t just for a privileged few, so that many more people from a wide range of backgrounds have the chance of a fulfilling career in an exciting sector.

One practical way to do this is to give young people the inspiration and space they need to come up with solutions to the issues they feel passionately about. The recent rise in youth environmental activism around the globe shows the desire of young people to create positive change – these are passionate, creative thinkers, applying problem solving to build a better future.

The rise of youth activism and engagement with societal issues also highlights even more the importance of the lessons young people learn outside the classroom. These are often the lessons that will prepare them to face the real world issues that can only be tackled collaboratively.

Education must support young people to develop a broad set of skills and attitudes to succeed in life – and that goes much further than sitting at a desk and learning for individual grades.

At Nesta Challenges, we run prizes to stimulate innovation and learning through competition. We pinpoint a problem and then offer a prize for the best solution.

As part of this, our Longitude Explorer Prize specifically looks to inspire creativity and entrepreneurship in young people within schools and youth groups to equip them with the skills they need for the rest of their lives.

The Longitude Explorer Prize fits neatly within the core curriculum but approaches creativity and thinking from a different angle. Now in its third year, the Prize provides practical experience of innovation and entrepreneurship to 11-16 year olds across the UK.

Using creative skills to advance society

As part of the application process, students are encouraged to think of artificial intelligence solutions to society’s biggest issues – from tackling pollution to living healthier lives. If their idea is shortlisted, they have the chance to work with expert mentors from the business and tech world to develop their ideas into a marketable product. This element of the prize is really important.

Advertisement

We’re not only running a competition to inspire innovation, we are helping today’s youth to understand that their ideas are valuable and could help to advance society and shape the future.

Previous finalists have worked with IBM to develop and test their idea and turn it into a reality. We’ve already seen some amazing concepts through previous years of the Prize, including an app which helps charities coordinate the logistics of supporting vulnerable people across the world.

Young entrants also came up with a navigation tool for ambulances, which allows crews to check live data about nearby hospitals such as available beds, as well as a wearable device for people on the autistic spectrum, which changes colour based on sensory information to reflect the emotions of its wearer, allowing teachers to be alerted to the anxiety levels of their students without verbal communication.

And it’s not just the young people taking part who benefit – the winning teams’ youth group or school is awarded £25,000 to invest in STEM and entrepreneurial activities, or support their team with the ongoing development of their concept.

Using competition to build confidence and capability

The element of competition is also a crucial part of skills development for the young people in building confidence and capability. Through a Dragons Den style pitching event, finalists of the prize get the chance to develop and put forward their business case.

This is one of the most rewarding stages of the process and pushes students out of their comfort zone, helping them to develop valuable skills for their future job interviews or building their own business.   

Data from 2017 showed that 100% of students had a better understanding of entrepreneurship and 100% of teachers would take part again.

These types of competitions play a crucial role in enhancing skills and opportunities, especially amongst those who are currently less likely to become innovators in future careers.

Over the last 15 years, just 7% of the people who applied for patents in the UK were women and 15% of UK scientists are from working-class backgrounds, even though these make up 35% of the overall population.

Through the Longitude Explorer Prize we ensure that we are doing all we can to reach these groups through direct outreach and our messaging to teachers. We’ve also, this year, expanded our target audience to youth groups. 

As we continue to live through the major societal transformations we are experiencing, it's more crucial than ever to bring young people together and equip them with the skills for life, so that they can feel prepared for navigating the world as it continues to change.

Constance Agyeman, Head of Communities, Nesta 

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Newsroom Activity

Kerry Boffey added a new event 16 hours

Introduction to Fellowship of Inspection Nominees

Join Kerry Boffey, founder of the Fellowship of Inspection Nominees (fin) for an informal session outlining fin support available to providers in...

  • Tuesday, 14 July 2020 02:00 PM
  • On-line. Longdon Hall, Longdon on Tern
Kerry Boffey - updated event, Safeguarding Masterclass 16 hours 57 minutes ago

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page