Calling ThinkNation NYC mentors!

APPLICATIONS CLOSED: Due to overwhelming response, we are at full capacity for mentors – but please register your interest HERE to participate as a mentor at future ThinkNation NYC events.


ThinkNation humanizes the impact of tech on young people, and empowers them to ask BIG tech questions. We do this through workshops, speaker bootcamps, films, talks and productions. We’re based in the UK, but we’re crossing the Atlantic to hear from young people in NYC, with the support of mentors.

WHEN: Sat May 19 and / or Sun May 20
TIME: 10:30-3pm
ADDRESS: 158 W 27th St, NY 10001

Why ThinkNation:
It’s time to break down the barriers, challenge new ideas and think for the future. We want you – the experts – to help young people from across NYC articulate their ideas and views on the BIG tech issues that are affecting, and will affect, THEM.

About the Discovery Stage workshops:
We are holding two very special collaborative ‘idea’ workshops at TechHub NYC on Saturday May 19 and Saturday May 20 (you can sign up to mentor at one or both days).

The highly structured workshops (inspired by Design Studio techniques) will bring together up to 30 young people across the weekend (approx 15 young people per day) to work in small, focused groups with mentors. Each group of young people will tackle one BIG topic, to create a BIG tech question.

What then:
After the BIG questions have been created, ThinkNation will share them with other young people across NYC later in 2018. We will invite young people to apply to tackle them as a talk, or similar, at our main event in Spring/early Summer 2019.

The ask:
We are reaching out to experts and generalists to attend one or both of the Discovery Stage workshops to help young people participating shape the questions.

The big topics:
We specifically need mentors who have experience in the following fields of interest:

  • Artificial Intelligence: Ethics, opportunities, implications… and global security
  • Technology vs. The Brain: Are YOU the cyborg generation?
  • Defend or destroy: How the environment is being affected by technology
  • Surveillance and YOUR privacy: What price is ‘free’?
  • Enhanced and longer life expectancy: With, and as a result of, technology

We need you…
We preferably require ONE EXPERT MENTOR per topic – to explain some of the issues associated with the topic, and help guide the young people in how to better articulate their ideas.

….And you!
We also need generalists – mentors who have an association with or proven interest in tech from the science or creative industries in one form or another, but not a specific expertise.

Usually the young people we work with have no experience in the topic – just an interest or passion to learn more and have a say in the big issues that will impact them today or in the future.

We need YOU to bring their ideas to life and create a meaningful BIG QUESTION. Read more about our aims and focus here.

The detail:
We’ve planned the workshops so they do not disrupt your day too much. It’s a comfortable start for mentors on both days:

Saturday May 19:
– 10:30am: arrival for mentor briefing etc
– 11:30am: start
– 3pm: finish

Sunday May 20:
– 10:30am: arrival for mentor briefing etc
– 11:30am: start
– 3pm: finish

The prep:
All mentors will be required to participate in a 1-2-1 briefing call with ThinkNation ahead of the workshops, and will be supported with a briefing doc, but the idea is that this is very low-effort for mentors: all you need to do is turn up on the day!

Although there is no fee for mentors, we do provide lunch and refreshments.

The BIG picture – into 2019:
ALL mentors will be guaranteed an invite to either participate again as a mentor or attend the MAIN event in 2019 at a major NYC venue with range of global organisations from education, entertainment/arts, tech industry, sports, science and sustainability. This event represents huge networking opportunities. You will also get a free pass to our pre-MAIN event ‘social’ in NYC.

Aligning to the UN Sustainable Development Goals:
Part of ThinkNation’s focus in 2018 will be to use some of the UN Sustainable Development Goals as trigger, inspiration and education points for young people – and mentors. By doing this, we create a meaningful dialogue that helps ground all ThinkNation efforts and big tech questions in possible real world outcomes. This is immensely important for young people who have never been consulted on issues that impact them directly.

Example – SDG Goal 10, Reduce Inequalities – extract: “Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements”

Potential topics and discussion points inspired by SDG Goal 10 issues that could be explored at Discovery Stage workshops:
What are fundamental freedoms? Are they universal? How does surveillance and personal data online impact on these freedoms? Will these freedoms change in time? For whose benefit? Will right to privacy and fundamental freedom be a luxury in the future?

So, if you want to help young people with passion to learn and make THEIR voice heard, then you’re already ready to be a ThinkNation trailblazer.

Reading this, know someone aged 14-24 who YOU think should participate? GET THEM TO REGISTER HERE!

Still need more info? Just email: [email protected]

Our partner: Columbia Global Centers

ThinkNation is delighted to partner with the Columbia Global Centers. Columbia’s nine Global Centers facilitate collaborative engagement of University faculty, students, and alumni with the world in order to enhance understanding, address global challenges, and advance knowledge.

Working with the Centers, ThinkNation will inspire thought leaders and young people alike to break down silos and articulate fresh, new ideas and perspectives.

Learn more: Check out Columbia Global Centers to learn more about how you can get involved with the Global Centers around the world.

Venue:TechHub NYC

TechHub is the global community for tech entrepreneurs, supporting the growth of over 750 companies across the world, whether they’re founders getting started, or fast-scaling companies. Headquartered in London in the UK, TechHub is also in the US, India, Latvia, Romania and Wales with additional countries planned. TechHub member companies have been acquired by Google, Facebook, Twitter, Oracle and Microsoft among others, and have raised over $1 billion in funding.

Address: 158 W27th St

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Supported by Pair Digital

Pair Digital is a team of agile professionals working together to deliver successful outcomes for all their clients. They're passionate about creating digital products that meet user needs and committed to working alongside teams to help develop the right culture, in-house skills and capabilities needed to keep iterating and making things better.

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