Exciting news from Simpl HQ! We are happy to announce the forthcoming launch of round two of Google’s Interactivism challenge – this time looking to harness the power of the web to help young people get into the work, training and education that is right for them.
Dubbed appropriately Interactivism: Young People’s Hack Weekend, it will run much like the last Interactivism (if you are unfamiliar with the first one, you can read more about it here) with an online call for ideas on Simpl, culminating in a two day whirlwind hackathon in London to turn some of the best ideas into working prototypes. We are hoping this will be the best one yet, especially as our team has grown! In addition to FutureGov and Google, we’ve joined forces with practical think tank, the RSA, and the brilliant people at South London youth communications agency, Livity, to give new dimension and voices to the creation of the event.
This time around, Google wanted to conduct more research into the Interactivism topic, so the research brains at the RSA hosted a roundtable discussion about the issues affecting young people who are not in education, training or work. Prior to the roundtable, they wrote a paper based on existing research, using the Ashoka Discovery Framework to identify the key themes and barriers facing young people, proving just how big an issue this is. The paper also looked at how design principles can be harnessed to help think about and start to solve these barriers.
They then teamed up with Livity to talk to their young people to see whether the research matched real life experiences. I think we’d all agree that you have to understand the problem and what has and hasn’t worked in the past to be able to innovate and find new ways of solving it. We were particularly keen to know, by speaking to those young people directly affected by these issues, if the problem had been properly understood.
So, on the 16th November, young people came together with policy makers, researchers and people who work with young people to discuss the research, framework and start the buzz around the upcoming Interactivism challenge. Talk about a lively discussion! Everyone there was passionate and determined to help tackle these issues, while thoughts and opinions bounced around the room. People challenged each other to bring about new ways of thinking, with some brilliant young people from Livity sharing some wise words and fresh perspectives.
Questions like, “How could social media help young people access the 70% of vacancies that are not currently advertised?” and “How can we use the internet to help young people identify what they are good at?” were thrown into the mix, making everyone, including ourselves, light up with ideas. Our friends at the RSA have written a blog posting with their thoughts post the roundtable, including video interviews with some of the people who attended, which you can see here.
With the roundtable finished and the framework set, its now onto the action! The call for ideas opens on Simpl this Monday, 5th December and will remain open through to 25th January, which gives you ALL of Christmas and the New Year to come up with brilliant ideas! We are looking for anything and everything that could use digital tech and the web to help young people get into the work, education and training that is right for them. Whether you work with young people, are a young person, know young people, employ young people or just just have a great idea to help them, start getting those ideas ready!
After the close, the crème de la crème will be asked to join us for what will surely be a wild and wonderful hack weekend to turn those ideas into working prototypes.
So get those mental cogs turning!