Festival of Ideas 2018 - St Clement Danes School

Just before Easter, students from 5 schools in the Hertfordshire area came together at St Clement Danes School for a day of community-focused collaboration and problem-solving. Students tackled challenges ranging from encouraging more girls into STEM subjects and careers, to elderly isolation. After a public speaking workshop, participants then pitched their ideas to a Dragon's Den-style panel, who awarded development cash prizes to those that had the most potential.

The overall winners were students from Rickmansworth School with their elegant plan for "Memory Mornings" - coffee mornings hosted at the school for the local elderly population to share memories and interact with the younger generation and each other.

Here are some pictures from the day... 

What the attendees thought...

  • The day was "amazing" and "a rollercoaster";
  • Students left feeling "proud", "buzzing", and "more confident";
  • 100% of teachers enjoyed the event and agreed or strongly agreed that students had developed practical skills;
  • Students reported a 79%increase in their self-efficacy and a 68% increase in their confidence communicating with new people.

#WeDayUK: “I feel strongly that you are the most powerful generation in the whole of human history. Use your power to create the world you want to live in.”

“I feel strongly that you are the most powerful generation in the whole of human history. Use your power to create the world you want to live in.” - Professor Muhammad Yunus

Last Thursday we were lucky enough to be a part of the second ever We Day UK, and what a day it was.

Not one of the 12,000 schoolchildren packed into Wembley Arena had bought a ticket. Each and every one of them had earned it through doing good to others - which is why some Franklin Scholars from Burlington Danes Academy were privileged to be in the audience.

Proclaimed “the coolest classroom in the world” - it probably was. A whole day dedicated to not just celebrating the good that our young people have done in their communities and beyond, but also hearing and learning from some of the most truly inspiring speakers, social entrepreneurs, activists and changemakers that the world has to offer.

Here are just a few of our highlights:

- The inimitable Martin Sheen making a supremely powerful call-to-action - “While acting is what I do for a living, activism is what I do to stay alive. We are all responsible for each other and the world. We make the rules that govern our hearts and minds. My fondest wish for each and every one of you is that you will find something in your life worth fighting for.”

- Learning about the ingenious Solarbox- transforming disused telephone boxes into free solar-powered charging points for phones - and BioBean- collecting waste coffee grounds and recycling them into advanced biofuels.

- Andy Barrow telling us about how he used to think it was all about him. And how empowering it was when he realised it wasn’t.

- Bars and Melody - nuff said.

“I learned that no matter what age you are, you can make a change. All of the speakers - of different ages, different backgrounds, and with different stories - were directed at one thing: change. There are no restrictions within change!!!” - Salwa, Y10 Franklin Scholar, Burlington Danes Academy

“It was a fun way to find ideas about helping other people while helping yourself too. My favourite speaker was Kweku Mandela. He had a strong relationship with someone very inspirational and he learned how to take his grandfather’s influence forward into his own life and the lives of others.” - Zak, Y10 Franklin Scholar, Burlington Danes Academy

A big thank you goes out to our founding partners, Big Change, who are also founding partners of We Day and were our wonderful hosts for the day.