For too long, digital skills have lacked support and recognition in education and the media, but the talent rewarded by Future 8 will reveal some of the UK's most promising digital creatives
London, England (PRWEB UK) 6 May 2014
SuperAwesome, in association with the Guardian and supported by Enterprise Ireland, today announced The Future8 Awards, a groundbreaking initiative to highlight the top young digital creators across schools in the UK and Ireland.
The Future 8 awards invite talented children and young people aged 7-17 to enter, either as individuals or groups, across eight categories:
Maker (combined hardware and software)
Writing and blogging
An integral part of the awards will be once-in-a-lifetime prizes for each category winner. Prizes and category sponsors will be announced over the course of the program but will include exclusive internships, product development experience and opportunities to work alongside the leading names in that respective industry.
Nominations will open later in May with the finalists being recognised at an exclusive awards ceremony on October 11th 2014.
The Future 8 winners will be chosen by a high-profile judging panel drawn from the worlds of technology, gaming and digital media. With more to be announced the initial selection includes James Whelton (founder of CoderDojo), Jemima Kiss (The Guardian's Head of Technology), Paul Kenny (founder Triperna, Emerge Ventures), James Bromley (former MD MailOnline), Cathal Gaffney (CEO Brown Bag Films), Alice Taylor (CEO Makie Lab), Eric Huang (BD Made In Me), Niall Harbison (PR Slides) and Wil Harris (Conde Nast).
This generation of kids and teens is markedly more technical than any previous. 26% of 8-14s have written code and 33% of the same group have used Photoshop or InDesign. Over 33% have uploaded a video to YouTube (SuperAwesome Research, March 2014)
Dylan Collins, CEO of SuperAwesome: “There have never been more kids engaged with technology in a meaningful way. I’m not talking about simply playing games or watching videos but actually developing their own games and apps and creating their own online videos. We’re looking at a generation who are vastly more technically literate and creative than any before them. We’ve created the Future 8 Awards to highlight just how much talent is there and where possible to match up the best with opportunities that they wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else. These are the future Mark Zuckerbergs (Facebook), Patrick Collisons (Stripe) and Aaron Levies (Box) and we want to do everything possible to open up doors for their development. We’re incredibly proud to be bringing this initiative to the UK and Ireland with our brand partners.”
Jemima Kiss, head of technology at The Guardian: “There's a whole generation of children and young people that live and breathe digital creativity - and this is the talent that we want to find, rewards and promote. For too long, digital skills have lacked support and recognition in education and the media, but the talent rewarded by Future 8 will reveal some of the UK's most promising digital creatives. They've been doing brilliant work in their bedrooms, building audiences online - sometimes in the hundreds of thousands. The Guardian is proud to be working with SuperAwesome to show the world what young UK talent can do.”
Sarita Johnston, senior development advisor at Enterprise Ireland: “The growing importance of digital technology in education and in everyday life cannot be underestimated. Kids and tech go hand in hand, and in the digital world we live in today there has never been a time when technology and kids have engaged in a more unified way. Future 8 is an awesome initiative to foster, encourage and recognise excellence of youth in technology. Enterprise Ireland is delighted to partner with the Future 8 Awards and looks forward to working with these great entrepreneurs of the future.”
Leading electronics company Belkin has confirmed its involvement. Kieran Hannon, chief marketing officer at Belkin International: “As a company, Belkin believes strongly in the intersection of education and technology and is honoured to recognise the next wave of tech industry superstars through the Future 8 Awards.”
Various members of the judging panel also added comments:
Wil Harris, head of digital at Conde Nast UK: “The new generation of digital entrepreneurs in the UK and Ireland are starting younger and younger, and what they’re achieving - on YouTube, in gaming and across the web - is simply incredible. I’m excited to support the Future 8 Awards as a great way of focusing everyone’s attention on these up and coming stars - they represent the future of digital media.”
Paul Kenny, CEO of Triperna: “I’m absolutely delighted to be involved with the Future 8 Awards. It’s a brilliant initiative because we need to do as much as we can to foster kids' engagement with technology at every level.”
For more information about award categories, how to get involved or if you’re a teacher please visit http://www.TheFuture8.com or @TheFuture_8
SuperAwesome is Europe’s largest kids and teens marketing platform, reaching almost 30M uniques each month across mobile, web, online video and physical discovery. The company has over 90 content partners as well as several proprietary kids properties including Swapit, Bin Weevils, Box of Awesome, SuperAwesome Club and SuperAwesome Games.
SuperAwesome works with brands from all categories to communicate safely and effectively with the elusive kids and teens market. Clients include Lego, Warner Bros, Hasbro, Disney, Nintendo and many others. SuperAwesome Research, the company’s dedicated research arm is highly regarded within the FMCG market and has the largest kids research panel in the UK.
ABOUT GUARDIAN NEWS & MEDIA
Guardian News & Media (GNM) publishes theguardian.com, the third largest English-speaking newspaper website in the world (comScore, February 2014). Since launching its US and Australia digital editions in 2011 and 2013 respectively, traffic from outside of the UK now represents around two-thirds of the Guardian's total digital audience.
In the UK, GNM publishes the Guardian newspaper six days a week, first published in 1821, and the world's oldest Sunday newspaper, The Observer.
The Guardian is renowned for its Pulitzer Prize-winning revelations based on the disclosures made by whistleblower Edward Snowden. In 2014, the Guardian was named newspaper and website of the year at the Society of Editors UK Press Awards.
The Guardian is also known for its globally acclaimed investigation into phone hacking, the launch of its groundbreaking digital-first strategy in 2011 and its trailblazing partnership with WikiLeaks in 2010.