What kind of world do you want to build?

WIRED Next Generation is gearing up to spark ideas for young people about the world they want to build for the future

On Saturday 3 November, WIRED Next Generation will take place in London to give young people a slice of the future. In a one-day event designed to help students aged 13 to 19 to anticipate emerging trends and work out how they can exert their own influence, WIRED Next Generation will host a series of talks and workshops connecting young people to the fast-paced world they’re entering.

With speakers including Sjoerd De Jong, a developer at Epic Games and Amika George, who has campaigned for free menstrual products for schoolgirls from low-income households, the event is designed to give attendees a range of perspectives in potential futures.

Aiming to empower and motivate tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, WIRED Next Generation hopes to spark ideas about what kind of world young people want to build. With the wish to inspire young people, talks and workshops look to draw young people into conversation – rather than keeping them out. 

Imagined with school groups, parents, children and other communities looking for a stimulating teenager-oriented day, this event hones in on trends and big conversations happening across science, technology, politics and business to paint a promising picture of a world beyond school.

Launched in 2014, WIRED Next Generation has previously welcomed a wealth of speakers, including actor Andy Serkis, British astronaut Tim Peake, experimental chef Heston Blumenthal, mental health icon Poppy Jamie and bionic arm-builder Samantha Payne.

This year, more hands-on workshops than ever promise to spark stimulating discussions. The Design Club believes all children, regardless of background, should be taught to think laterally through design, and will be hosting a workshop engaging attendees with the business of making and designing life tools. 

The Politics Project will also be at WIRED Next Generation. Their initiative aims to demystify the workings of democracy for and with the young, in the belief that everyone – especially teenagers – should be able to have their voices heard when trying to hold power to account. They will be joined by workshops from the Royal Institute, Industrial Light & Magic, and Euan Blair’s White Hat organisation, among others, along with a full day’s interactivity at the ‘Test Lab’ and a selection of curated exhibitions.

Joining de Jong and George as keynote speakers are Ben Morris and Ameenah Begum. As Creative Director of Industrial Light & Magic, Morris began his career as an engineer before segueing into computer graphics – eventually supervising the graphic design of the human figures in Ridley Scott’s epic Gladiator. 

He has since won an Academy Award and a BAFTA for his work on The Golden Compass, as well as receiving a BAFTA nomination for his work on War Horse.

Beegum is the creator of Cos Watercolours, a company which upcycles waste cosmetics to turn them into watercolour paint. Her wish is to show how better design helps us move towards a more circular economy – minimising waste and making full use of what we consume. Ameenah is an artist, designer and creative problem-solver, and wants to show how innovation can be used for good.

Hoping to harness today’s young minds for a better chance of solving tomorrow’s problems, WIRED Next Generation is a festival for the future.  

Visit wired.uk/nextgen for further info. Tickets are available here. Schools can access discounts for groups of 20 students and more. Contact wiredevents@condenast.co.uk for more information or call Kim Vigilia at 020 7152 3698.

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