Inspiring the next generation…

I am a geek

On Wednesday I’ve been invited to Albion High School for their World of Work as part of the BBC’s outreach programme. Its something I’ve always wanted to do more of but till now not really done anything about till now.

I’ll be talking with year 9, considering there options for GCSEs next year. I have roughly a hour with each group and they will shuffle around each hour. It was suggested if I wanted to give a presentation of what I do, that might be good. However I’m unsure what exactly I would present if I did…

This is consistent with the new economy of work and dare I say it rework. How can/do you explain what you do to people outside this new economy? I have this problem all the time when meeting new people or going on dates.

Most of the time saying I work for the BBC tends to throw up many more questions like “which TV show do you work on?” I then explain I work at BBC R&D and ask if they have an idea what R&D means? After a second or so, I chip in with its Research & Development. They usually start saying, “oh you research for which programme?” To which I tend have to try and explain I’m work on technology which underpin what the BBC does and will do into the future.

If I’m feeling a little more playful, I will say something like “I work in the grey area between legal and illegal, seeking out emerging technology/opportunities which hackers, startups, early adopters are working on to scratch their own itches.” Although stretching the truth its not far wrong.

So back to the main question… How best to communicate what I do and the opportunities available to the next generation?

Ultimately I’m really hoping to bring out the geek in each one of them (tall order in less than a hour), convince them they can follow their passion no matter what it may be, because frankly life is too short (oh good video to show).

I’m tempted to show i am i do the all new Google Schemer, and maybe some podcast videos then talk about different aspects of my work life/aspirations. Hopefully it will inspire some questions and if not I can ask the young people about their media/social habits?

If this goes well, hopefully I’ll do some more as the BBC does quite a lot of outreach.

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.