Over 500 Queensland secondary students visited the University of Queensland on 7th June for the final Big Day In event for 2018.
Senator the Hon James McGrath, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, opened the event with a clear message about how important it is for for young people to develop skills in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics.
The opening keynote session was from Steve Baxter, Queensland’s Chief Entrepreneur, very well known as one of the ‘Sharks’ of the Channel 10 show Shark Tank Australia. Steve is the founder of the River City Labs, an incubator for start up companies focusing on mobile, Internet, telecoms, and the technology field.
Steve encouraged the students to start early on their entrepreneurial endeavours. He said, the more experience you can get in turning your passions into a job as a young person the better. He encouraged the students not to be scared to take risks with their ideas, especially while they are young and have less financial commitments.
Rob the Robot and I had the pleasure to share with the students some of the research around what skills are required to thrive in the future workplace.
I asked the students to identify if they currently have passions for coding, design or video production. I encouraged them to start turning those passions into a job now while they are at school by asking their parents/relatives if they need help with a website, a mobile app or a video for their businesses. I challenged them to not wait till they have finished school or university to develop these skills.
We looked at the future workplace and the threat of automation/computerisation taking over many of today’s jobs and how to best prepare for that future. I shared with them some of the findings from the recent Innovation Science Australia study that recommended that today’s students should be developing interpersonal skills as well as skills in entrepreneurialism and creative problem. These are skills that computers don’t have (yet) so they are skills that will be required most in the future workplace.
It has been a real pleasure and a privilege to be invited to present at the Big Day In events around Australia this year. I would like to thank John Ridge and Kerrie Bisaro from the Australian Computer Society Foundation for all the work they do to make sure, these events are successful.
I’m looking forward to being involved in some of the Junior Big Day In events later this year and hopefully continuing Adobe’s support in the future.