£150,000 for new ideas to help young people develop their talents and make a living
Designers and youth organisations are being invited to join forces to design, build and launch new digital products and services that help young people secure the opportunities they deserve in a new challenge, launched today by Design Council and Nominet Trust.
At a time when youth unemployment is at an all time high, the Working Well Design Challenge will offer three teams £50,000 each to develop an idea that will offer young people new opportunities to participate in society, both economically and socially. The challenge is being funded by Nominet Trust, and the Design Council will provide professional support and publicity to help each team make their ideas a reality.
The challenge organisers want to hear from people with expertise either in design and technology or working with young people. The challenge will foster collaboration between designer groups with digital product and service development expertise and the organisations working directly with young people.
Commenting on the new challenge, Chief Design Officer at the Design Council, Mat Hunter said:
“With record numbers of 16-24 year olds not in education, employment or training, there is a pressing need to improve how young people secure the opportunities they deserve. Jargon such as ‘NEET’ not only does many a disservice, but presents the situation as a problem of economic policy rather than an opportunity to do something practical to help. We believe well designed digital technology can build upon the skills and abilities of young people and the exceptional work of those already supporting them.”
The submissions will be judged by an advisory board consisting of experts in design, digital technology, business and working with young people.
Annika Small, Chief Executive of Nominet Trust, explained why this challenge is so important:
"It's clear that our current systems are no longer sufficient to create the right opportunities for young people. We urgently need fresh thinking and new solutions. In particular, young people need products and services that help them prepare for, find and sustain employment. Digital technology allows us to explore new ways of helping them do just that in more meaningful and relevant ways".
Mat Hunter, Design Council went on to say:
“This is an exciting opportunity for designers and youth organisations to work collaboratively on a project that will make such a difference to young people’s lives. The statistics are shocking, but our previous challenges have shown the impact design plays in addressing difficult social and health issues and I think teams will re-engage young people and provide practical help in giving them a proper start in life.”
Working Well follows similar national design challenges run by the Design Council to develop design-led solutions to social and healthcare issues. The Design Council’s Living Well With Dementia challenge recently resulted in five innovative products and services that have been critically acclaimed by dementia specialists and the design community. Other recent examples have addressed reducing violence and aggression in A&E, improving patient privacy and dignity, and reducing health care associated infections in wards.
The Working Well challenge opens on 16 May 2012 and applications will close on 20 June 2012, with the final three teams to be announced in July 2012.
Notes to editors
1. The Design Council enables people to use design to transform communities, business and the environment for the better. As an enterprising charity, our work creates value by stimulating innovation in business and public services, improving our built environment and tackling complex social issues. We inspire new design thinking, encourage public debate and inform government policy to improve everyday life and help meet tomorrow’s challenges today. www.designcouncil.org.uk
2. Nominet Trust is a UK registered charity, which advocates the imaginative use of digital technologies to improve lives and communities. Since its inception in September 2008, Nominet Trust has invested in hundreds of projects, providing business support as well as financial investment, seeking to make a positive difference to the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people. www.nominettrust.org.uk
3. For further information, please contact:
Tim Crowley, Design Council: 020 7420 5263 / 07748 906897
For further information from Nominet Trust, or to arrange interviews with Annika Small, please contact:
Rakhee Shah, 020 7815 3960