As part of the Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs project, the first local AYCH Creative Jam was organised at the Plymouth College of Art last month and challenged young people from across Devon to re-imagine their city and step from ideas to prototypes with the support of experts from the creative and cultural sector.
Young people aged between 16 and 30 years old from across Devon met at Plymouth College of Art for the UK’s first Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs (AYCH) Creative Jam, an innovative, free two-day initiative to help young people develop their design thinking, digital making and enterprise skills.
Over the two days, young people were encouraged to re-imagine their cities and communities, with experts from sectors including the creative, technology and digital, startup and enterprise, on hand to teach them creative, design and enterprise skills to help transform their ideas into reality. Using tools ranging from 3D Printers to laser cutters, participants learned skills in coding, filmmaking and even virtual reality. Across the course of the workshops, the young people formed teams to develop their ideas ready for pitching to a panel of expert judges at the end, who scored each idea for factors including how much social impact the project would have.
6 Innovative ideas for a more sustainable & dynamic city
#1 The AR app (winner of the Creative Jam) from Alex Surgeon and Neo Tomlinson (between 14 and 16 years old) from Space* Youth Services came up with an application giving access to art and advertisement on the public spaces through Augmented Reality, a brand new and eco friendly communication style only visible on the city walls through the smartphone once the digi code scanned.
#2 The Empathy Centre (most investable project)
Chloe Bayliss, Kyle Mclaughlin and Faith Earls, all aged between 16 and 18, travelled to the Creative Jam from Space* Youth Centers in Tiverton and Exmouth. This centre would be a place to socialise and learn more about the needs of others, including neuro-diversity and mental health conditions, through a combination of physical and Augmented Reality experiences and workshops, in order to increase
tolerance and solidarity between individuals.
#3 The Fruit
opia project (most impactful project) by Kirri Hansford and Kezz Crockett both students at Plymouth University and Sophie Alie from Plymouth (all in the 20s). They came up with this urban farming project which would be located in the main avenue in downtown Plymouth leading to the Lido pool. Inspired by the Incredible Edible movement, their objective is to reconnect people with nature and promote a healthier lifestyle by having fruits and veggies grown by and for the Plymouthians, the local restaurants will also have the opportunity to buy the fresh fruits and veggies to promote the circular and sustainable economy.
#4 The Bio Dome Project from Thomas Martin Loveder, student from PCA and Jamie Fernandes from a Youth Service in Exeter and Anthony Wing, and Karl Okai Koi from Plymouth Youth Services (also in their 20s) which would be implemented on a roundabout of Plymouth, the objective is to create a biodiversity oasis to reconnect people and become a place to be and to socialise while growing plants and taking care of nature.
#5 The City Grid from Emily Baily and Aaron Piper (in their 20s) from Space Youth Services, came up with a new transportation system carbon free and electric powered to reduce the impact on the environment and be less noisy in the city but also have strategic connections to the different attractions / work spaces, that enables all ages and abilities easier access to a city / towns social / economic infrastructure.
#6 Get Set Charge project from Lucy and Emma Taylor (between 14 and 16 years old) from Plymouth Youth Services came up with a mobile charging system to include in the sports machine located in the parks, while working out your phone get charged thanks to your energy, one more reason to get some fresh air, enjoy the time outside and be more healthy.
Bringing European expertise to young people in the South West
Experts from across the Europe travelled to Plymouth to mentor the young people in everything from why startups fail and how to start a successful business, to social media marketing, sound design, immersive VR technologies, and how to successfully capture important moments in film and photography.
Adam Cook, Founder of HillValley Research and Chairman of the Enterprise & Innovation Subgroup at the South West Business Council, opened the two days of workshops with a keynote speech to the young people about what futurism is and the importance of thinking big when it comes to thinking about the future, conservation and transforming your community for the better. This led into a workshop for all of the young people, encouraging them to “Re-imagine your city”.
Adam said: “A lot of the projects that the young people have come up with are ambitious, but they’re all achievable. As an environmentalist I’m particularly interested in some of their ideas about greening. One of the great things to come out of the Creative Jam has been meeting all of these people at the beginning of their ideas. My door will be open for any of the participants who want to chat with me for business advice or tips about public speaking in future.”
Next Steps and AYCH opportunities
The participants now have the opportunity to take their ideas forward through the AYCH incubation programme.
- Creative Jams
September 2018 in Angouleme, France. October 2018 in Plymouth, UK. November 2018 in Brest, France. April 2019 in Gijon, Spain.
- Tech and Entrepreneurial workshops
- Internship scheme in the Creative and Cultural Sector
- Incubation programme and International Residencies across Europe
- Online Courses around design thinking and digital fabrication
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The overall AYCH project, that the Creative Jam is a part of, is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Atlantic Area Programme, designed to promote transnational cooperation among 36 Atlantic regions in five European countries. The AYCH aims to develop new approaches and interventions within existing youth settings, as well as in both formal and non-formal education settings, to connect young people, creative and social business leaders, with experts in emerging and disruptive technologies and creative industries. This will take place across a network of “Atlantic Horizon Hubs” that will help them to develop ideas, new products and services.
Oli Raud, Strategic Funding Manager and AYCH Project Manager at Plymouth College of Art, said: “Seeing young people at our first Creative Jam recognising the importance that digital and enterprise skills have in helping them to shift their societal roles from passive consumers, to active makers and agents of change, was a real privilege. We’re proud that the college is able to lead these activities, both in the city and across Europe with our transnational partners.
“There are more events and opportunities coming through in the project, locally and among the partner network, that students and young people across Plymouth can get involved with, so we’d be very happy to hear from you if you want to find out more. You can contact either me at email@example.com or Project Coordinator, Eli Zahoui at firstname.lastname@example.org.”