How we’re supporting young people to develop key skills for engaging with global action

13 Aug 2020

This week, we celebrated International Youth Day on the 12th of August. Launched by the United Nations in 1999, IYD is now celebrated every year, each time with a different focus. This year’s theme is youth engagement for global action –  at the local, national and international levels. IYD is focused on highlighting the importance of supporting more young people to engage with all three. 

Through the Longitude Explorer Prize, we aim to help support the development of some of the key skills for engagement at these different levels among young people, with a focus on both technology and entrepreneurship. 

We believe that young people are often best placed to come up with new ideas or approaches to problems, and do our best to support them to do this

This is shown each time a new cohort joins the programme, taking their ideas from a concept to a reality. This year’s all-girl winning team designed a smartwatch app to assist people with dementia. Runners-up included a fleet of autonomous boats that scoop plastic from the ocean, a wearable headpiece to help visually impaired people navigate their community, a map app specifically designed for wheelchair users and a robot therapy dog for autistic young people.

With over 800 young people across the UK who applied to the prize, the winners are representative of the whole range of brilliant ideas submitted, and evidence of a strong motivation among young people to engage with some of the biggest challenges we face today. All of the ideas were trying to solve serious challenges at both the local and the global level. 

Please take the time to read and share about the amazing solutions these young people have come up with, including the winners, finalists and semi-finalists

Although this year’s Longitude Explorer Prize has finished, we still want to support more young people to engage with some of the biggest challenges of today, which is why we’ve developed a series of online activities available to all which can be completed at home: the Longitude Explorer Digital Summer Camp!

These activities are for young people aged 11-16 who are interested in problem-solving and ready to take on a new challenge. We’re inviting them to come up with an idea that uses technology to help people to live longer, live better, live together and live greener. 

If you know some young aspiring entrepreneurs who might be interested in taking on a new challenge this summer make sure to share this opportunity with them!