Think Big School at Wired 2013

By Telefónica’s Kelly Gosnay

Wired Next Gen 2013 took place on Saturday 19th October at the Tobacco Docks in London. The contrast between the venue and audience could not be starker, as the historic 19th century docks were filled with energetic and charismatic young people. I for one am honoured to have been invited to take part in the day.

Alongside fellow graduates from Telefonica’s Talentum programme, I joined the Think Big School and programme manager Ben Plain. Normally the format spans over one full day, which facilitates participants getting to know each other, sharing ideas, deciding upon and presenting their best ideas. So with a workshop of 45 minutes, the Wired format was significantly reduced: the quality of ideas however wasn’t sacrificed in the least.

Think Big School participants were tasked with using technology to create a service that would have a positive social impact, and they more than delivered. In the 10 minute session my group came up with three ideas that were revolutionary, cost-efficient, and met environmental conditions. For example, using Raspberry Pi, which is cost-efficient and lightweight, with solar energy where energy supplies are less advanced.

Times are undoubtedly challenging for our youth in the UK and opportunities limited. O2’s Think Big School provides the tools to get our youth thinking. It’s great to know that when the session’s finished, the opportunities are only just beginning. Those aged 13 – 25 who have a great idea on how technology can have a positive social impact can submit their idea online to Think Big. Selected successful ideas initially receive up to £300 cash, as well as the training and support from an O2 Think Big mentor, to develop ideas as well as the opportunity to receive further funds in the future.

Technology is thriving and advancing at an alarming speed that even generation Y are likely to become more reliant on generation Z, our digitally native future. Here at O2 we’re fortunate to be in a company with a vision on future development and growth, not just short-term gains, and that actively encourages staff to get involved during work time. The days at O2 are far from monotonous: they’re energising and inspiring. And that’s exactly what I’d say to those who want to get involved: Be More Inspired.


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