Connect at Catalyst Inc brought together 200 teenagers from schools across Northern Ireland to St. George’s Market to discover the opportunities that exist for them to become world class innovators. Through interactive sessions, a buzzing innovation marketplace and messages from local innovators around the world, the young people were encouraged to aim higher, succeed faster and push what’s possible here in Northern Ireland.
Deloitte was proud to be the headline sponsor of the Generation Innovation Night of Ambition. Kieran, O’Neill, Head of Growth and Innovation said, “The nature of work is changing, bringing many opportunities for our young people to think differently, challenge what they know and innovate. The Night of Ambition provided an excellent environment for young people to hear about these opportunities, including some of the ways we are being innovative at Deloitte. This is why we are excited to support Connect at Catalyst Inc and Night of Ambition, which encouraged our young people, teachers and parents to explore all the career options available, and not be afraid to think about what is possible.”
The event was also sponsored by visionary companies Aepona and Liberty IT together with Ulster University and Enterprise SU QUB and the Department of the Communities. During the event, participants had the opportunity to engage with founders of innovative companies and interact with future employers and start-ups from across Northern Ireland.
Speakers at the event included David Singleton, VP Engineering Google, originally from Belfast and now heading up Android wearable tech product innovations at Google London. Together with David, local innovators Dr Grainne Watson, Fujitsu, Fiona Bennington, Leckey Design, and Ricky Martin, Skunkworks Surf Co all inspired the young people to be innovators of tomorrow and develop products that change the world.
One of the young people attending the event was Adeleine Salondaguit, a pupil at St Jospeh’s College in East Belfast, who said: “It’s amazing to get the chance to hear about all the opportunities that exist right here in Northern Ireland. Working alongside entrepreneurs gave me a real understanding of what it takes to bring an idea to life ”.
As the young people enjoyed an entertaining and energetic design workshop with local creative genius Damian Cranney, CEO Big Motive, 60 teachers were given a glimpse of jobs of the future led by the Deloitte team and facilitated by Peter Worth, Educator and Learning Designer from the Institute of Design at Stanford University.
Speaking after the event, Cathy Moore, a teacher from St Mary’s CBGS in Belfast, said “for me as a teacher this has to be one of the most insightful and informative career workshops I have ever attended. I feel like my eyes have been opened to the vast opportunities that exist now and in the future for my pupils.”
Diane Morrow, Program Manager for Generation Innovation commented “Connect at Catalyst Inc is committed to equipping and empowering local young people to join the mission to see Northern Ireland become one of the most entrepreneurial knowledge economies in Europe by 2030. We believe our young people have the creativity and ingenuity to develop innovative products and solutions that can change the world. Tonight was all about inspiring them to think big and providing a pathway to making these ideas a reality.”
For more information on Generation Innovation visit http://www.generationinnovation.co
Pictured in the photo are: Adeleine Salondaguit, St Joseph¹s College,East Belfast, Tom Minnis, Shimna Integrated College Newcastle, Malachy McKenna, analyst for Deloiite and Grace Ginley, Shimna Integrated College, Newcastle