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If you think the illuminate:nextgen Challenge is difficult, then consider the following – 1000 people gathered from 106 countries across the world all being gathered in one city for eight days to come up with new ideas to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals which are some of the most pressing issues on the planet. This is the UNLEASH Innovation Lab, which illuminate Education founder Adam Mostogl has recently completed.

Considering most days were fifteen to twenty hour days trying to get through the innovation lab process (don’t worry students, we wouldn’t do that to you!) it was an intense process, but there are so many takeaways that will be considered for what we are doing in schools, including the following;

  • Get to know the people on your team. Everyone has skills and abilities that are worth learning from to help your team work together, and once the team gels, then you’ve got the right foundation to take you to the next level. While we would’ve had more diverse teams at UNLEASH to a normal illuminate:nextgen Challenge, we’ll be challenging you to get to know more people, especially when working with other schools, as the community all working together to solve these big problems is what we need for the future.
  • Be aware teams, we’re going to be on to you about working hard to frame what problem you are looking to solve. Some teams spent three days working on this alone, but got down to the real issue they were looking to solve through this, so the value is there out of the process.
  • Reflections are key to realise how far you’ve actually come. The UNLEASH process was intense, and those moments where we stepped out and got a drink was a great opportunity to unpack and see what we had achieved – and this will mean The Learning Log will become even more important for the future.
  • We’re going to shoot for bigger problems too. The UN’s SDGs are some of the biggest challenges we face as a planet, and considering the unique ideas that were presented across all of the focus areas and comparing it to what we’ve seen you as students complete in the challenge, we’ll be setting the bar even higher. We’ve got some great industry support across our programs, and we’ll be challenging them to give us bigger issues that your creativity can be applied to – so get ready teams!

And for those looking at this from UNLEASH, we won’t be putting in a morning assembly each day – so we won’t have daily sing-a-longs in the morning! Even though…

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