We are proud and excited to announce our partnership with The B!G Idea for 2022. The B!G Idea is a multi-award winning, creative and free educational programme for 15-16 year olds that runs all across Ireland and helps young people find solutions to B!G issues in a creative, innovative and fun way. We are so happy to play an important role in the development and recognition of our next generation.
The B!G Idea bridges the gap between industry and education. With 400 mentors on board (including our own Student Success Executive, Cathal Hayes), students learn how to use creative thinking to tackle societal issues, while also proposing solutions to issues that directly affect them and their communities. During the 16-week run of the programme (starting in January and concluding in May), students demonstrate their new-found knowledge to tackle prominent issues around mental health, equality, healthcare, the housing crisis and climate change. Young people are usually left out of these crucial conversations and the B!G Idea students have specifically identified these topics as ones that they would like to be able to do something about.
All programme materials, class content and resources are provided completely free to students, parents and teachers, creating an inclusive entry-point for all involved. Currently there are over 2,000 students in 42 schools across 22 counties partaking in the programme, with a growing waiting list of 10,000 students for next year. The potential for this programme is huge and we think that it’s essential that young people have their voices heard and their ideas shared.
Launched in 2021, just as Ireland was entering a third national lockdown and schools began the year online, the programme content has already hit the mark with teachers and students alike:
“We learned to empathise and try to have a deeper understanding of issues that are challenging us today.”
– Martin – Transition Year Student – Limerick
“It has presented our Transition Year students with a fantastic opportunity to develop themselves and their skill sets, which I believe will be of great benefit to them as they progress in the senior cycle stage of their education but also as they continue their life-journey after they conclude their time in post-primary school. The world that we live in today requires greater levels of creativity and innovation than at any time in our history. We have never seen a programme like this and we would like to thank the team behind The Big Idea for the opportunity they have provided to our students and our school community.”
– John Cullinane, Former Deputy Principal, Presentation De la Salle College
The programme itself allows students to understand the impact that creativity and design can have on everyday life. By using empathy maps, personas, storyboarding and journey maps, they pick up new problem solving activities in a fun and accessible way that will benefit them as they move through life. These are skills that we always look out for and admire in budding designers.
As the students collaborate and design on a chosen topic to focus on, they identify a “hero” – the person identified within the chosen issue – and each week they learn a new creative tool to help unleash their creativity, heighten their social awareness and, ultimately, solve real life problems.
The fruits of their labour will all come together in the final Showcase. Held virtually on the 20th of May, every student project is celebrated and the winners of each category and overall B!G Idea winner will be announced.
Cathal Hayes, B!G Idea Mentor, Student Success Executive, UX Design Institute:
“The B!G Idea is an initiative that I would have loved to take part in as a student. As a creative young person from rural Ireland, I had not been exposed to the idea of a career in design and the impact that it has in our every day lives. The B!G Idea is bridging this gap and introducing young people to the endless opportunities a career in design can offer in Ireland. The B!G Idea is not only providing a great learning opportunity for students but also a great opportunity for us all to learn from the young people of Ireland too.”
Colman Walsh, CEO, UX Design Institute :
“The future needs great design. And future designers will have wonderful careers. We’re delighted to help bring design into the educational mainstream where it belongs.”
We are very excited to be a part of The B!G Idea and help students learn critical 21st Century skills. We can’t wait to see students’ B!G Ideas.