Future Creators showcase real digital innovation at work for social good

– An intelligent shopping cart to reduce use of plastic
– A ship that cleans up plastic in ocean and processes the waste
– A drone surveillance system to monitor anti-social behavior  

Inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, students aged 13-16 years participating in this year’s Future Creators after-school digital learning programme have harnessed their new digital skills to showcase how technology can be deployed to support the social good and a more sustainable way of living.  At the Future Creators end-of-year Graduation and Exhibition event, attended by special guest of honour, Richard Bruton T.D., Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, the students from the Class of 2019 exhibited a range of innovative digital projects using skills developed over the last six months, in digital media, engineering, coding and design thinking.

Among the interesting projects on display was a prototype of an intelligent shopping cart that could be used to reduce single use plastic packaging in supermarkets.  Other projects of note included a prototype of a ship that cleans plastic from the oceans while simultaneously processing the waste on board and the creation of a prototype of a potential  Drone Surveillance System and an accompanying App that could be used by Gardai to monitor anti-social behavior and criminality around the city.

Pictured from left to right at The Digital Hub’s Future Creators end-of-year Graduation and Exhibition event were Future Creators graduates Valentina Cecan (15 years) and Kevish Arjoon (14 years). Photo: Peter Houlihan

Congratulating all those who took part, Minister Bruton said: “Throughout history, it is big challenges which promote creativity and great achievement. Never has a generation faced a greater challenge than that of global warming and climate disruption. However, this is also the first generation to have the powerful digital toolkit to come up with creative solutions to complex problems. Today’s future creators seek to combine passion and creativity which will both be vital if we are to overcome this challenge.”

Minister Bruton presented each of the 21 graduates of the programme, comprising 13 boys and 8 girls from a variety of schools in Dublin 8 and its surroundings, with a special certificate of recognition from the National College of Art and Design with digital badges accreditation.  The digital badges provide a digital record of the students’ learning journey through Future Creators.  The individual digital badges can be shared with third level institutions and future employers to illustrate the range of skills and competences they developed in the programme.

Speaking at the Future Creators exhibition and graduation event, Fiach Mac Conghail, CEO at The Digital Hub said: “Today’s class has really demonstrated the power that digital technology and creative thinking can play in solving many of the problems and challenges we are facing, both in Ireland and globally and in particular around supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.  At The Digital Hub, it is our intention to focus our support on companies working on solutions to address major societal issues.  The Future Creators Class of 2019 can be very proud of their achievements and I have no doubt that their work will inspire others to build on what they have created today.”

Established in 2011, by The Digital Hub and delivered by H2 Learning with the support of the National College of Art and Design (NCAD), the Future Creators programme aims to equip young people from the local community with a set of digital and STEM skills, including coding, music, animation, film-making and editing.  The programme is designed so that the young people can also develop key 21st century skills such as teamwork, collaboration, problem-solving and communication among participants.  The programme supports an active learning approach where learners, supported by their tutors, are afforded time and space to create and collaborate in an atmosphere of challenge, trust, fun and friendship.  To gain a better insight of the Future Creators programme, please see video here or for further information visit here