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Generation Innovation 2021 - Anaeko Supports the Next Generation in Innovation and Entrepreneurship

17 Jun 2021 by Tim Bassett 5 minute read



Generation Innovation aims to inform, upskill and empower the young people of the current generation to thrive as the next leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs of the future. And Anaeko is proud to support this event founded by Catalyst by offering resources for their work experience programme 2021.


The initiative energises the imaginations and aspirations of young people in Northern Ireland by increasing their knowledge of 21st-century skills and awareness of future careers in innovation. The ethos of the program believes that young people are central to unlocking Northern Ireland’s future as a globally renowned knowledge economy. That’s why we put them at the heart of our inspirational community of entrepreneurs, companies and education leaders.



The work experience programme is for ambitious 17–18-year-olds interested in up-skilling for the jobs of the future. Students receive Design Thinking training over the course of five days, learning how to work as part of a new team made up of students from across Northern Ireland. The new skills are then put to the test by solving a company challenge by developing a solution, before pitching it to the partner company and their fellow students.


The 2021 Programme will engage with 600 students in June for a fully virtual work experience programme, working with some of the most successful and dynamic companies in Northern Ireland including Anaeko.


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So, what does a typical training week look like? This past week, the latest cohort of young people had to look at the challenge of ‘improving the school commute’. Below we wanted to show what a typical program looks like from start to finish, to give a real idea about what you can expect.


Generation Innovation 2021

Challenge Statement – Improving school commute 


Definition: Travelling to and from school poses a lot of issues, including the obvious like congestion and contributing to a build-up of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, it has also been found that long-term effects of dealing with a stressful commute can be significant, including depression, ongoing anxiety, and a dread of the commute cycle. 


Question: We at Anaeko develop systems to better improve both individuals’ wellbeing and the environment. Can you as a team come up with a solution that could reduce both the congestion and emissions associated with the commute to school? Additionally, on top of reducing both previously mentioned environmental issues, could this solution also improve the commute, so it is a safe and more pleasurable experience for both students’ and parents? 


This challenge was then put to Generation Innovation for review, and they were very happy with it; so much so that they asked us to get involved for week one and week three. Each of these weeks Varsha Modake and Dylan Wall from Anaeko were required to stick to the following agenda:


Tuesday: 11-12:10pm - Expert Interview 

Thursday: 10:20-11:25am - Testing 

Thursday: 12:50-1:30pm - Company Expo 

Friday: 10:50 -12pm - Virtual Visit 


Expert Interview - 1 hour with the students to help them get to grips with the challenge statement, ask questions and for you to share you company expertise with the students. This will be an opportunity to hear their initial thoughts and ideas for solutions to the challenge statements and for you to give feedback on these. 


Testing- 1 hour -This is when the young people will share their storyboard with you and you will give input and help shape the final prototype. 


Company Expo - An opportunity for networking and to meet the broad scope of young people on the programme. This will take place on the 4th Floor on Remo. There will be a table assigned to your company that you will join and wait for the young people to jump on and ask questions and find out more about your company. 


Virtual Visit- will last 1 hour and this is up to your company discretion how you shape this for your team(s). We would ask that the main requirement - the pitching of their final solution to the Senior Team and providing the teams with feedback – is kept in place and anything additional is built around that. With any additional time (this would be at your company discretion and within Covid guidelines) within the hour we would suggest that you could include a Q&A with Company reps (Varsha and Dylan).


To find out how to apply, and more about Catalyst,click HERE.


Topics: Anaeko, Innovation, Digital Transformation

Tim Bassett
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Tim Bassett


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