Young People Creating Tech Solutions For Big Social Challenges

On Saturday October 13th, we’ll be inviting young people (aged 14-24) from Brighton and Hove to join mentors from the tech, creative arts and business industries.

Over one day, they will explore four BIG questions, creating stories and presentations in our workshop that they will then deliver LIVE ON STAGE that evening in front of a PUBLIC AUDIENCE.


We need inventive young people (aged 14-24) to take part.

You don’t need to have any experience in ‘tech’. Your ideas and passion on how to solve problems is far more important.

You can choose to tackle one of the four questions, or if you are interested in all topics, we will assign you to a group. See more info below or APPLY HERE.

Workshop/day schedule:

Venue: Floor 5, Platf9rm, Brighton

Doors open: 9am
Mentor briefing: 9:30am
Young people (participants) briefing: 10am
Workshop: 10:15am-5pm

All subject to change:

  • 9:15am-9:30am: Mentors arrive for briefing – plus food & refreshments
  • 9:45-10am: Participants arrive for briefing and meet mentors – plus food & refreshments
  • 10:15am-5pm: Workshop – incl. breaks, rehearsals, food & refreshments

Evening schedule:

Venue: Floor 5, Platf9rm, Brighton

Doors open: 5:45pm
Event: 6pm-8:30pm

All subject to change:

Note: we have two presentations on Mental Health as this was a very popular topic for applicants.

  • 5:45pm: Doors open – light refreshments available
  • 6pm: Welcome by Lizzie Hodgson
  • 6:10pm: DV8 College – screening of a short music video by DV8 student James Yexley, followed by a presentation on the role creativity and tech has in helping solve BIG social issues.
  • 6:25pm: Group 1How can tech help mental health support for young people?
  • 6:40pm: Group 2: How can tech help mental health support for young people? (Mental health issue was so popular, we created two groups).
  • 6:55pm: Group 3: What tech would YOU invent to eliminate beach pollution?
  • 7:10pm-7:20pm: Short break
  • 7:20pm-7:30pm: Screening of DV8 students short film about homelessness. Followed by a screening of 14-year-old student Varun Mahatme’s 2-min film on homelessness in Brighton, introduced by Varun: a short talk to the audience on what he learned from the experience and why he created the film.
  • 7:30pm: Group 4: How can tech help the homeless in Brighton and Hove?
  • 7:45: Group 5: How can Artificial Intelligence (AI) create a fairer housing solution in Brighton and Hove?
  • 8pm-8:30pm: Audience Q&A with invited panelists, plus a young person from the day, exploring the issues and ideas surfaced at the event.
  • 8:30pm: Wrap-up & event ends
  • 8:30pm-9pm: Optional – networking/meet the young people


The BIG questions – why they matter.

All questions that we’ll be tackling on October 13th are relevant to young people in Brighton and Hove. They will focus on tech for good and align to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Why the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

By using the SDG’s, we’ve found we can root young people’s interests in the local while giving a global perspective: in other words, YOUR ideas and views are important. But don’t worry – we’ll bring you up to speed about the SDGs on the day, you DO NOT NEED to be an expert on this stuff. We just want you to take part. But if you like, you can check them out here. We’ve also identified the specific Goals against each question.

Need inspiration? Check out our video below from NYC workshop!

ThinkNation NYC workshop round up

Discussions | | 3:32

How this works

1. Create & pitch.

Put simply, you get all your ideas down on paper: You’ll get pens and paper and will be sketching, doodling or writing things out together with others in your group, and on your own. Because everyone can doodle, yes? This is all about smashing creativity and problems together to create meaningful solutions that might have never existed before.

2. Share & explore.

You will then explore your BIG ideas with peers and mentors, creatively shaping your solutions, discussing as a group the pros and cons, finding themes in each idea, and identifying the single solution you want to explore and finally present.

3. Discuss & reach agreement.

With the guidance of talented mentors, you will debate, discuss and collaborate to imagine how you will articulate your solution, all the while adapting and honing. It could be it through a product or app concept, a talk, a film or even a story. Together you will find agreement before working in your group with your mentors to CREATE YOUR BIG IDEA for presentation in front of a live audience later that evening.

Question 1:

How can tech help the homeless in Brighton and Hove?

Potential ideas for exploration:

  • 3D Printing: Enshrined in the UN Decleration of Human Rights, everyone has a fundamental human right to housing, which ensures access to a safe, secure, habitable, and affordable home with freedom from forced eviction.
    What if safe, clean, temporary homes were built – in a matter of hours. How would it work? What infrastructure would be needed? Could it meet the requirements of Brighton’s 100’s of homeless people, or would it be a form of isolation? How could it work IN our communities?
  • Can big data and blockchain support homeless people – back into work, accomodation, health services – and the organisations that help them?
  • What about Voice activated or text chatbots? A daily – or even more frequent – ‘conversation’ with a homeless or vulnerable person that assesses their needs and risks, igniting support automatically based on their responses… or lack of? (THINK: what tech would a homeless person need to ‘own’ or have access to so this solution could work?)
  • How about preventative measures? Could data predict homelessness – thereby trigger preventative measures BEFORE the worst case scenario happens? How would we ensure the data is used appropriately?

Q3 ideas and responses will align to UN Sustainable Development Goal 14


Question 2:

How can Artificial Intelligence (AI) create a fairer housing solution in Brighton and Hove?

Potential ideas for exploration:

  • Could AI positively (and CRUCIALLY without discrimination or bias) better understand social housing tenants, providing a much more tailored housing service to their needs?
  • How about maintainance? Could a scrupulous property owner be better held to account for dodgy decisons and flakey upkeep?
  • What about house prices? Is there a RADICAL way to disrupt the housing market in a POSITIVE way through AI?

Q1 ideas and responses will align to UN Sustainable Development Goal 11

Question 3:

What tech would YOU invent to eliminate beach pollution?

Potential ideas for exploration:

  • Could blockchain create an ‘accountability database’ for debris and plastics that end up in the sea?
  • What role could drones have in managing beach debris?
  • How can we better motivate locals AND tourists to take responisbility for their beach trash?

Q2 ideas and responses will align to UN Sustainable Development Goal 14


Question 4:

How can tech can help mental health support for young people?

Potential ideas for exploration:

  • Can Artificial Intelligence be developed to create therapeutic support for humans?
  • How might gaming positively change or improve a player’s mental health?

Q4 ideas and responses will align to UN Sustainable Development Goal 3


Venue:Platf9rm, Brighton

Floor 5
Tower Point
44 North Road
Brighton BN1 1YR

Visit their website ↗

Meet the mentors - more TBA


Dan Forbes

Youth Worker


Rosa Fox

Developer at Government Digital Service



Rowena Price

Communications Specialist



Philip Anderson

Transformation Director at Legal & General Retirement


Ivanka Majic

User Research and Design



Christopher Weeks

CEO and Co-Founder of mental health app, Bounce



Rebecca Willis

BDM - international education marketing & management


Andy Cummins

Director of Product Development



Bianca Donnelly

Social Entrepreneur & Founder at Great2create


Jay Potton

Digital transformation, product delivery and marketing specialist



Kerry Holgate

Service Improvement Officer, Brighton YMCA



Dan Forbes

Youth Worker

Our partners: DV8 College

We've really excited to have commissioned media students from Brighton's DV8 Sussex college to create 1-2 minute film responses to the four BIG questions. We'll be screening the results on the night, and sharing online post event.

Visit their website ↗


We're delighted to be holding our event at Platf9rm in Brighton - a contemporary workspace that enable members to flourish through collaboration.

Visit their website ↗

Hove College

Hove College specialises in cutting-edge 'new media' business and design training built around skills that are in real demand in the commercial world.

Visit their website ↗


We’re partnering with StoryTagger to help you capture and amplify your ideas and stories on video.

Visit their website ↗

Apply to take part


Aged 14-24? Get involved!

I loved it. It was incredibly focussed and passionate, and whilst full on, that was what was part of the fun. It taught me a lot about my own self discipline.

— Emma Deacon, young participant
Apply ⇥


Apply to mentor!

Thank you ThinkNation for the opportunity to support some amazing women in discovering how far they can go... humbling and inspirational.

— Gavin Young, Accenture & ThinkNation mentor
Apply ⇥