5th December 2016

BIMA Digital Day - Deeson inspiring the next generation

Mike Jongbloet
Head of Design and UX
BIMA Digital Day

BIMA Digital Day is an initiative which links people working in the digital industry with 13-18 year olds at schools and colleges - with the aim of inspiring and turning some of them into the next generation of digital workers.

The day raises the awareness of these school pupils about the digital industry and all of its applications across our day-to-day lives, as well as the career opportunities and relevant skills required. This year is the first year Deeson have taken part in the day and we partnered with Norton Knatchbull, an all-boys grammar school in Kent.

We kicked off with a game to get the kids to relax and loosen up their minds, which involved teams trying to create a paper aeroplane with their weaker hand. We then asked them what they thought the digital industry was - this was a question they struggled to answer. However, when we asked them about ‘digital’, they obviously knew about digital tools we use like smartphones, laptops and computers, as they use these all the time.

The British Interactive Media Association, which supports the event nationwide, provided us with a presentation deck and a number of video clips to help us explain what the digital industry was.

We gave a presentation covering the digital industry in general, a selection of the work we do, and how to get into digital careers. This led up to the main event; working on challenges presented by Standard Life, Cancer Research UK and TATA Communications.

Cancer Research UK

Three in four people aren’t aware that obesity causes cancer, and the message around the damage that obesity causes just isn’t being heard. It’s expected that in 20 years, 72% of the UK population will be overweight or obese.

Cancer Research tasked Digital Day students to think of a new creative digital solution to raise awareness of the obesity crisis amongst young people, help them make smarter choices, and live healthier lives.

Standard Life

What if earning and/or saving money was fun? Standard Life wanted teams to design a fun game using the technology young people would have at home or school to get them interested in making and saving money.

TATA Communications

TATA Communications challenged teams to come up with a digital idea to help tackle some of the key issues for disadvantaged communities. This included unemployment, poor health, gender inequality, poverty and poor standards of education. But there was a twist - they could only use three pieces of technology - smartphones, laptops and drones!

The future is bright

These challenges showed us how bright and talented the pupils were. We were there for support and advice, but we didn’t need to provide ideas or take over. We were simply trying to get them thinking about the right things.

There was some very inspiring work - from paper prototyping, to coding, animation and graphic design. All the teams led their thinking with research, with a few even thinking about the commercial viability of their ideas.

We ended the day with six great ideas. Our overall winner was an idea to use drones for medical appointments with those who cannot afford hardware to run communication services such as Google Hangouts or Skype - technologies which doctors are currently using to run appointments. The team that put this idea together had done thorough research, successfully handling difficult questions from the other groups.

What became apparent is the increased focus schools have on digital today, particularly compared to when I was studying. What most impressed me was the self-led nature of the work and how groups organised themselves and their time to meet deadlines. The technical knowledge, confidence and enthusiasm displayed by the class was great to see.