‘Father’ of Tomb Raider and the man behind franchises such as Games Workshop and Fighting Fantasy, has highlighted the need to turn digital consumers into digital ‘creators’. He warned that without problem-solving and digital-making skills, tomorrow’s innovators would be unprepared for a world that is being transformed by technology and risks leaving them behind.
Speaking at the Digital 2015 event in the Celtic Manor Resort in South Wales, Ian Livingstone CBE urged educators and businesses to play a bigger role in making sure young people are equipped with the right problem-solving and coding skills needed to be digital citizens of the 21st Century.
As Creative Industries Champion for the Government’s Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, Livingstone led a number of panels which debated how the UK and devolved governments can ensure a relevant digital agenda is placed at the heart of education and learning – and make sure school leavers hit the ground running with practical skills not just qualifications in order to stand out from the competition.
In his keynote speech, Livingstone debated the relationship between arts and sciences and how educators in the creative industries can ensure they are at the forefront of digital change. Opening up the talks, Livingstone said: “We need to train people for the jobs that don’t yet exist, rather than keep training them for the jobs that will soon no longer exist. New career opportunities are opening up all the time and there needs to be a combination of a set of new digital skills, including coding, that include elements of maths, physics and art – the STEAM agenda – to equip young people for the digital economy.”
Livingstone’s speech came off the back of new research showing everyday objects being connected to the internet, such as texting our ovens and ‘smart’ babygrows (The Internet of Things), as the tech industry’s top prediction on what is going to dramatically shape how we work, live and play in the future – reinforcing what subjects tomorrow’s workforce need to be upskilled in in order to thrive.
Dubbed the ‘Future Five’ – the research showed the top five new technologies that will change our lives as:
- The Internet of Things (IOT) – Objects, animals or people that are connected to the internet
- Computing Everywhere – mobiles becoming our key computers
- Invisible Analytics – embedding analytics into devices to get data quicker and faster
- 3D Printing
Digital 2015 also saw the UK launch of EdTech UK, a brand new organisation that will help accelerate the growth of the nation’s education technology sector and support businesses in their journey to becoming self-sustainable and beneficial to the economy. The brainchild of Ian Fordham, Co-founder of the UK’s first cross sector think tank the Education Foundation, it will be a voice for the entire learning technology sector and benefit educators, startups, large corporations, investors, regulators and policy makers.
Also returning to the stage, Gianni O’Connor, one of Britain’s youngest and most successful entrepreneurs who built up his enterprise while studying at university, launched his brand new platform $tock Tickler. Inspired by the e-commerce industry as a way to quickly and easily buy completely commission-free stocks and shares, the project is aimed at letting consumers buy a part of their own favourite brands and earn from the products they love. The platform was developed with 15 children to make it as relevant and accessible as possible and was inspired by his conversations with young people at Digital 2014.
Digital 2015 brought together young people, educators and employers on June 8 and 9 to discuss the challenges and opportunities for young people as they progress through the education system and into the workplace. The day included gaming and coding workshops from Cardiff University, social media masterclasses and careers advice sessions for young people.