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“Your questions. Your stories. Of our time.”
ThinkNation brings young people, creatives and thought leaders together to tackle how technology is impacting everyday life and our futures.
We are unique: ThinkNation is, by design, fast-paced, often pressurised and intensive but ultimately very rewarding and valuable to our participants and partners alike. We deep-dive into an issue while also holding a 'big-world' perspective. All in one day.
Format: Each ThinkNation event is built around a series of questions, or one single question. These questions can (and should) draw different responses and perspectives, encouraging debate. A very simple concept, we believe this approach is a powerful way to articulate some of the most engaging and influential stories of our time.
This isn't your average, elitist event. This is real people and creatives exploring big questions in innovative ways, alongside the thought leaders who are changing the way we all live.
All of these have been asked and answered at our events:
Applications: We welcome young people (usually aged 14-24) to answer the questions we set (online application) to share their stories, drawing on personal experiences - both positive and challenging. We work hard to get diverse voices - often socially excluded - partnering with orgs and ThinkNation advocates to engage young people in this process.
Approach: During our events, we encourage young people to use different mediums to respond to a question. This includes art, performance, spoken word, hacking, film and presentations, all exploring the dilemmas technology bring on everyday life and the future.
How: In one day (at a theatre, conference hall or similar - somewhere with a stage or film studio feel) we workshop - with expert mentors - all talks/stories/performances with the successful applicants.
This is invaluable for young people, not just in helping them develop their stories, but also given them kudos.
In turn the mentors learn new perspectives and challenges from the young people: this is all part of breaking free of the echo chamber.
Mentors in the past have not only been tech experts/thought leaders, but also rappers, artists… and even the UKs youngest female rally diver.
The twist: After a day of workshopping their story or talk, the young people present their 5-10 min pieces on stage in front of a live audience.
This is the ‘show’ element - and the talks/stories etc ignite a debate/Q&A session that is always addressed not just by tech experts - a panel - but also the speakers and audience.
Not only is this a really exciting event for all involved, we also tap into fresh, new ideas and perspectives, reaching out to give diverse voices a platform... and crucially take the thought leaders out of their bubble.
Documentary films: 2017 will see us taking those stories and conversations one step further with the development of short documentary films. Watch this space!