National Innovation Nation Campaign Launched
27 January 2015 at 9:40 am
A major national campaign targeted at young people with the goal of getting them to reveal their best ideas for building a better Australia has been launched.
The Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) launched its Innovation Nation – 1000 Ideas for a Better Australia campaign this week, calling it the first youth-led conversation about innovation and entrepreneurship in Australia.
CEO of FYA, Jan Owen, said the campaign would help drive real change in Australia and would engage young people to take charge of their future.
“Innovation Nation gives young people the opportunity to drive Australia’s future by sharing their ideas and solutions to some of the country’s most pressing problems,” Owen said.
“FYA, in collaboration with leading Not for Profit, corporate and philanthropic partners, wants to uncover young people’s innovative ideas for tackling major challenges across the nation. Those with the best ideas will have the opportunity to secure $10,000 in seed funding to turn their dream into a reality.
“Young Australians live and work in a rapidly changing world and we need to back our young people to develop enterprising skills and innovative thinking to create a world they want to live in.”
Owen revealed the plans for Innovation Nation to Pro Bono Australia News this year when she featured as a Changemaker.
This week she said she had big hopes for Australia’s future.
“FYA is relentlessly optimistic about young people’s ability to shape our collective future – only by engaging with the young people of Australia will we be able to create a strong and positive future for the whole country,” she said.
“Innovation Nation aims to inspire our young people to live a life of giving and connection. It celebrates the extraordinary, ordinary Australians who are already engaging with their communities and giving back, by thinking up ways to build a brighter future for us all.”
Owen said the two month campaign would tap into the networks of community leaders and organisations working with young people around the country to provide opportunities to engage young Australians in the vital national conversation about how they shape their collective future.
Ideas can be submitted through the Innovation Nation digital platform, hosted on the FYA website at www.fya.org.au/innovationnation. FYA will also be collecting ideas suggested via the campaign hashtag #ImIN2015.
“No idea can be too big or small. It can be anything from a very simple desire to create social, economic political or environmental change through to a highly resolved action plan to bring a solution to some aspect of life,” Owen said.
“It can be as simple as ‘I want more recycling services in my street’, or as complicated as ‘I have a plan to get more young women studying in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at school by running engaging role-playing workshops’.”
Young Australians, aged 13-29, are invited to submit their idea by March 27, 2015.
Those with the best ideas will gain access to the Foundation for Young Australians’ Young Social Pioneers (YSP) program – a mentoring program created to give young emerging social entrepreneurs and innovators the chance to develop their ideas.
The program will culminate in the Young Social Pioneers pitching their ideas to peers and partners for the opportunity to secure $10,000 in seed funding to develop their project.
Ms Owen said the Innovation Nation campaign follows last year’s release of FYA’s Unlimited Potential report, which showed how rapidly the world is changing, and that public debate on Australia’s ageing nation needs to shift to focus on those who will be responsible for making this changed world work.
“If young people are to take up the challenge of growing an economy with a shrinking workforce, and navigate a changing world that is more complex, global and flexible, they will need to be innovative, creative and enterprising,” she said.
“Innovation Nation brings all of these areas together and is a demonstration to businesses, governments and the broader community of how youth investment can work.”