Today a UK-wide campaign is being launched to inspire a generation of kids to create, not just use, digital technologies.
Led by Mozilla, Nesta and Nominet Trust, the Make Things Do Stuff campaign will bring together technology super brands like Facebook, big business such as 02 Telefonica and grassroot organisations like Code Club who are already providing digital skills to young people in the UK. Our message is clear: if you are young person, get involved; if you are a business, get behind this campaign.
We already have commitments to offer workshops, coding clubs, competitions and thousands of hours of free digital learning from our partners including O2, Freeformers, Jagex, Stardoll , Apps for Good and Young Rewired State. This will be delivered over the coming summer culminating in Campus Party, one of the biggest electronic entertainment events, in the world, a weeklong, 24-hours-a-day technology festival at the O2 arena together we are already offering training in digital making to over 100,000 young people this summer alone- and we want to give this opportunity to many more children.
Make Things Do Stuff aims to inspire and support young people who want to get into, or further develop their experience of, digital making. Through a new website - www.makethingsdostuff.co.uk - which brings together the best projects, clubs, events and online resources - and a series of UK-wide events, young people will have access to digital tutorials covering apps, animation, games, remixes, physical computing and websites. It will help young people to explore new ways of bringing their interests to life through making, be it fashion, sport, music or games.
Two thirds of business leaders say digital skills are essential to the future success of the UK economy. Today's launch is also a call to arms to British business to get behind the campaign. Partners can help by providing mentors, resources, or digital content.
The campaign, backed by the Chancellor, is encouraging UK businesses to get behind Make Things Do Stuff. Speaking at the launch event at the Roundhouse, a digital making workshop for teenagers, the Chancellor emphasised the economic imperative of developing digital skills for future jobs, growth, innovation and business. He said:
"Over the past few years, the UK's digital economy has boomed. But we cannot take this success story for granted. The government is investing in our digital infrastructure and putting computer science at the heart of the curriculum. And I am delighted to be launching the Make Things Do Stuff campaign today.
"By offering digital training to 100,000 youngsters in the coming months alone, this campaign is backing the entrepreneurs of the future and helping ensure that Britain is equipped to succeed in the global race."
In a survey of business leaders polled for Make Things Do Stuff digital skills came top as the skills that are most essential to the future success of the UK economy (69 per cent) and over 81 per cent saying digital skills are either important (48 per cent) or very important (33 per cent) to their sector.
Commitments from organisations dedicated to providing digital making and learning opportunities can be made at www.makethingsdostuff.co.uk
Quotes for Make Things Do Stuff
"Digital technology is now a given for most young people, yet the UK and global job markets are crying out for digital skills. We need to make sure that our young people can meet this need. By coming together in support of Make Things Do Stuff, we can equip young people with the skills of content creation, collaboration and communication and inspire them to contribute to a rapidly changing, complex global society."
Annika Small, CEO, Nominet Trust
"Several generations of young people in the UK have grown up in a sea of digital technologies with virtually everything at their fingertips, from the worlds knowledge to idea, pictures, music and games. But most of what they use has been designed elsewhere, and generates profits elsewhere. The future great names of the digital economy are here in the UK and we need to make sure we find and support them."
Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive, Nesta
"O2 is delighted to support the Make Things Do Stuff campaign. We share a belief in young people and a commitment to help them develop their entrepreneurial and digital skills. We want young people to not simply be consumers of the digital world, but to create it - they hold the key to the UKs economic and social future and it is vital we give them the opportunity and skills to grasp it with confidence."
Bill Eyres, Head of Sustainability & Think Big at O2
"The Web is one of the most powerful tools for creation, invention and communication in human history. Once we understand it, we can create the world we want. That's why Mozilla believes that we must be the makers, not just the passive users, of the Web. We're thrilled to have found such like-minded partners in Nominet Trust and Nesta, and to be supporting the Make Things Do Stuff campaign and it's new generation of digital makers."
Mark Surman, Executive Director, Mozilla
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Notes to editors:
For media enquiries please contact Sarah Reardon or Natalie Hodgson at Nesta on 020 7438 2614 /2606 or email [email protected] / [email protected]
The survey was conducted by Vision Critical (amongst 400 UK business leaders) between 21-24 May 2013.
The Make Things Do Stuff partners:
Nesta Nesta is the UK's innovation foundation. We help people and organisations bring great ideas to life. We do this by providing investments and grants and mobilising research, networks and skills. We are an independent charity and our work is enabled by an endowment from the National Lottery.
Nominet Trust (www.nominettrust.org.uk): Nominet Trust is a UK-based charity, which believes in the power of digital technology to improve lives and communities. The Trust brings together, invests in and supports people committed to using digital technology to create social and economic value. Nominet Trust was founded in 2008 by Nominet, the not-for-profit organisation responsible for the smooth and secure running of the .uk internet infrastructure. Nominet has a strong public purpose and the Trust is one example of its commitment to creating a safer, accessible and diverse internet.
Mozilla (www.mozilla.org / www.webmaker.org): Mozilla is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the innovation, opportunity and creativity that comes with an open Web. Mozilla believes that the Web is a shared public resource to be cared for, not a commodity to be sold. Mozilla works with a worldwide community to create open source products like Mozilla Firefox. Mozilla's new Webmaker program is working to build a new generation of digital creators and webmakers, with tools aimed at helping anyone make something amazing on the web, learning as they go.