Building our children’s digital future

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Recently, Sherry Coutu CBE, our Executive Chairman at Founders4Schools gave a presentation at Digital Catapult to explain what we’re all about and what we’re doing to inspire the younger generations; removing generational blinkers and opening young eyes as to what their careers can be and raise their aspirations – with the longer-term goal of addressing the skills gap here in the UK.

We achieve this by using digital technology to make it easy and time efficient for teachers to create role-model events in their schools across the UK, which raises students’ aspirations. We’ve developed a platform through which teachers search for and invite successful business leaders, founders and entrepreneurs into their schools in just 4 minutes – think “Eventbrite meets LinkedIn and tripadvisor”. To date, 100% of teachers who’ve used our platform recommend us and we continuously strive to keep this record – making it as easy as possible for teachers to use.

What the entire team were excited by following Sherry’s presentation, was the number of people who stopped by to say what we were doing was amazing and that they didn’t realise we were utilising digital technology and data in such an intuitive and transformational way – something that the Digital Catapult is embodied by and strives to amplify here in the UK for many other growing and scalable digital businesses too.

Our story started three years ago in Cambridge with a group of high-profile CEOs and business leaders who were asked to talk about their careers in a number of schools, but more importantly, their life journeys too; What they’d been through, the struggles, the failures and the ultimately their successes.  These early events weren’t just successful, they were considered so inspirational by students, that it led to comments from head teachers and a metaphorical lightbulb moment… “We can scale this model and inspire millions of children and students with it” and thus our journey began as a project and now as a registered charity with over 100 partnerships including LinkedIn, Duedil, the BBC and many others helping to forward our mission and goal of changing lives.

It’s been remarkable to inspire tens of thousands of students on our journey to date. It will be great to inspire hundreds of thousands, but that’s just simply not enough from our perspective. We’re aiming for millions in the UK and by that we mean the 8.2 million children and students currently studying in primary and secondary education. One thing we’re not short on is ambition, drive, commitment nor the impact we can have on society, education or the number of students who we can help see so many more opportunities that they didn’t know existed prior.

Founders4Schools is part of a growing movement that is helping to forward the thinking of the young in education and our wider society. Our journey is made all the easier through our collaboration with Digital Catapult – with events, networking and an ethos that embodies our own – to help others grow. In a way, we’re acting as a catapult ourselves, but with the key goal of driving the ambitions and aspirations of children and students.

From our perspective, our children’s digital future isn’t a place we can magically travel to – It’s something we have to build and Founders4Schools is building it with the help of Digital Catapult and other like-minded and smart organisations.

If you can think of teachers that have not yet used the Founders4Schools platform, please contact them to get them started on their digitally enhanced journey to student inspiration and the jobs that will be there when they have finished their formal education.  Please contact your former school or the school your children are at – as we’ve seen already, it makes a huge difference!

We’ve set up the Digital Catapult now, so that you can see how many lives you have changed going forward – Click here to find out more.

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