I think that we live in pretty extraordinary times, so much so I can find myself getting a bit numb to it all. A time of mass extinction, a time when politics feels like its breaking down and a time when things I always thought were certain are ever so shaky. At the same time, we live in a rapidly evolving world of opportunity, the 4th industrial revolution is seeing fundamental shifts to how we can communicate make and organise ourselves. We can print digital food, launch new products with the click of a button and watch, communicate and travel all at the same time. We are in a right mess but we have the tools to get ourselves out of it!
I am a parent in this age and think a lot about what it means for my daughter. From the moment Orla was born I felt a huge desire to prepare her for what lay before her. That desire to equip her (have her be ok) shows up in choosing her school, but also about thinking about what are those experiences I want her to have, skills I want her to develop and interests I want her to have which I don’t expect school alone to give her.
For a parent with a primary age child there is a plethora of clubs and activities to choose from but the clubs and activities on offer haven’t changed that much from when I was a child. Cubs, scouts, swimming, football, with a few schooly-feeling science clubs thrown in for good measure. Schools do a brilliant job at giving my child the building blocks of what she needs, a really great grasp and understanding of English and Maths but they haven’t yet caught up with the 4th industrial revolution and as parents nor have a lot of us!
I wanted a club that my daughter could belong to, a club that she wanted to go to but also a club that prepared her for what might be needed from her. A club to allow her to make the most of the opportunities of the 4th industrial revolution. I wanted a club where she could do tech, get excited by 21st century tools and at the same time do exciting stuff that allowed her to develop the mindsets she will need to flourish in this madly changing technological age. Something techy, collaborative and able to prepare her for rapidly changing environments her lifetime will see. Thus Future Make was born.
Since February 2019 we have delivered Future Make days to more than 500 children aged 7 to 11 and run 10-week after school intensives for 23 of them. This work has told us that we are probably onto something. The young people without exception have been hungry for what we are doing with them, schools fully supportive and parents hugely grateful for the experience we are giving them. This summer will see the very first holiday club intensives being delivered with our first crew of Future Makers taking on remote vehicle operation, immersive media making, extreme engineering and ideas designing. The autumn will also bring the development of our specialist strands growing out of the basic 10-week programme (Future Make Tech, Future Make Cyber, Future Make Immersive, Future Make Eco, Future Make Food).
If you want to find out a little bit more about the sort of things that happen at a Future Make club, visit https://staging.realideas.org/futuremake.