Designed to help empower, inform, and upskill young people for the workplace of tomorrow, the Generation Innovation programme hosted by Catalyst provides 17–18-year-olds with an insight into the world of work through innovative workshops and challenges that help students explore their interests and skills.
Digital transformation company Fujitsu was delighted to partner with Catalyst for the second consecutive year to help deliver the programme, held in the iconic Guildhall, Derry-Londonderry, Catalyst in Belfast, and The Junction in Dungannon. 650 young people participated in this year’s events, the highest number of participants since the programme was first established in 2018.
As a business, Fujitsu is passionate about championing education and paving the way for careers in technology, working closely with many local schools, charities, and organisations to shine a light on the benefits of a career in STEM.
At each Generation Innovation event, students had the opportunity to work together to tackle a real-life company challenge using a design thinking approach. The task focused on developing teamwork and problem-solving skills, and with support from the Fujitsu mentors, they developed a solution, and pitched their ideas for feedback.
On the final day, the teams of students had the opportunity to present their ideas to members of Fujitsu’s Senior Management Team and learn about the company’s technologies and innovations before the event concluded with a Pitch Off competition.
Throughout the Generation Innovation programme, various keynote speakers including Owen McGirr – founder of ‘SayIT!’ and Ronan Healy of ‘How Might We?’ addressed the students and shared their words of wisdom to the next generation of innovators.
Sharing her thoughts on the Generation Innovation experience, Keelin Duddy, People Operations Lead for UK & Ireland at Fujitsu said:
“Partnering with Catalyst on the Generation Innovation program this year gave us the opportunity to engage with our local future talent and provided a unique experience for us to work with these future innovators, seeing how they would design solutions to real-life challenges using design-led thinking. Their perspective on these challenges was enlightening.
Generation Innovation also gave us a platform to raise awareness of career opportunities locally to a huge number of interested students and we’re already looking forward to next year’s event!”
Emma McCrory, Senior Business Consultant at Fujitsu attended the event at Catalyst, Belfast, adding:
“It was great to see how the students progressed throughout the week, challenging themselves to try new things, work with new teammates and to step outside of their comfort zones to present to industry leaders.
Generation Innovation is a fantastic opportunity for the participants, and a very enjoyable experience for the mentors.”