Global Digital Week was an idea borne out of a clear need spotted by students at university in 2017. There is a major problem in education. Employers and governments everywhere across the world are crying out about the lack of digital skills among graduates and the significant ‘digital skills gap’ in the workforce. The initiatives trying to tackle this problem are failing.
The very large majority of people aren’t interested in technology for technology’s sake. They care how it helps them do whatever it is they want to do. That is why current initiatives fail.
Current initiatives are set up by, and arguably for, people who are already interested in technology. They are acronym heavy and focus on the technology - not what the technology can do. They make it seem like everybody needs to know how to code in order to survive when that really is not the case. Unless you are already a 'techie' it is very difficult to get involved in the communities necessary to fully engage with, and learn, tech and digital skills.
Rather than trying to make people passionate about tech, Global Digital Week was set up to help people realise how tech relates to their passions.
We knew that when you have people genuinely interested they take it upon themselves to learn the skills they require, they are empowered to succeed. We set out to run events at universities that bring students, employers, and universities together to engage young people with technology in ways they are genuinely interested. That is exactly what we did in 2018.
We built partnerships with 46 world-leading organisations to deliver events to 1,192 attendees across 4 countries, achieving an economic impact of £1m in 2018 alone. All from a total monetary spend of £120. Students who previously had little interest or tech ability have gone on to work for companies such as Microsoft and even set up their own companies using their newfound confidence, interest, and skills developed with Global Digital Week.
Additionally, we were one of the most inclusive tech events in the world. 51% of our attendees are female - the average percentage of females at tech events and in tech companies is just 17%. Events included a wide variety of topics; from robot-assisted surgery in Changsha, China, to virtual reality art in Leeds, UK. The events help put technology into context for young people and make them realise how it could be interesting to them. This sparks their interest in learning the skills they require and we help fan the flames by training them in digital skills throughout the year.
Global Digital Week is founded and entirely operated by volunteers who are either recent graduates or current students. Our 10 volunteers are deeply passionate about our mission and have excelled in sharing that enthusiasm with people across the world to engage them in the fight to develop digital skills.
If you want to join us in that fight,