The focus of illuminate Education is activate the next generation of confident, creative and capable young people that they have the potential to be, and do that through delivering entrepreneurial, inspiring and meaningful education programs where students solve the problems of their community and the world. All of our programs are focused around developing core skills that help students prepare for the changing world they are entering which we’ve organised into four distinct groups of capacities that young people should have;
- Communication – Speaking, Writing & Presentation Skills
- Understanding – Critical Thinking, Inquiry, Digital & Financial Literacy
- Solving Problems – Creativity, Problem Solving & Reflection
- Working Smart – Collaboration, Organisation & Perseverance
All of our education experiences are practical to ensure students can authentically experience these skills and abilities to grow in their confidence, as well as providing an opportunity to showcase their ability to family members as well as the wider community. To do this, students work through an issue that is relevant to their community and fully understanding the causes of the issue, developing possible solutions, investigating the financial viability and community license for their proposed idea all the way through to pitching and presenting their solution for investment – as well as being aligned to the Australian Curriculum and employability frameworks and delivered by experienced educators with real world business experience.
Founded in 2010 by Adam Mostogl, illuminate Education is a multi-award-winning business that has inspired over 10,000 students across Australia having been impacted by our programs so far, along with international recognition for our work, with the young people and communities we work with remaining our priority. Since our launch, we have had the privilege of partnering with organisations who share our passion for the next generation, including professional bodies, universities, various levels of government and importantly schools, which has helped us grow our impact and inspire communities in urban as well as regional areas.
The illuminate:nextgen Challenge is a week-long intensive program that allows secondary students (Year 7 to 12) to experience first-hand what it takes to be an entrepreneur and small business champions. Facilitated by skilled staff with the support of the local business community, students learn what it takes to start a new business in a week, going through the process of developing the idea, refining it, making sure it connects with customers and is viable – all the way up to pitching for investment to get it off the ground!
The illuminate:nextgen JNR Challenge is an exciting program that introduces primary school students (Years 4-6) to the skills that are key to being leaders of the future, what it takes to think like an entrepreneur and the capacity to succeed in education into the future. Facilitated by skilled staff from illuminate Education with the support of the local business community, students learn about solving a relevant problem in the world, how to develop and refine an idea, look at how to make it financially viable and present it in a persuasive way – all skills students will need to succeed in the future.
With years of experience and knowledge of entrepreneurial education, illuminate Education enjoys opportunities to engage with schools and businesses to design custom programs where we can share our insights and deliver a program based on the intended outcomes. With our mix of experience across business, education, economic and community development, we understand the key outcomes of partners and what schools are looking to achieve and help create and deliver an authentic and engaging opportunity for all involved.
What Others Say
Don’t just take our word about the benefits of the illuminate:nextgen Challenge – here are some teachers who have been involved in past programs reflecting on the program.
“In this rapidly changing world with the rise of emerging economies and onset of digital disruption, programs like the illuminate:nextgen Challenge are absolutely critical to regional communities. Rather than seeing change as a threat, illuminate Education opens the eyes of our young people to the opportunities that change presents.”
““I have enrolled students in the illuminate:nextgen Challenge for many years. illuminate Education excels at motivating young people to become the independent learning, self-directed adults that our nation so desperately needs. Their provision of real-world learning is second to none and their programs are still talked about by students many years after they’ve left school. Best of all illuminate Education’s programs target those cross-curricular priorities that are so difficult to address in the day-to-day classroom.”
“Technical capabilities are the necessary, but not sufficient attributes for people hired into my organisation. The best candidates complement their technical capability with emotional intelligence along with the skills taught by Illuminate Education. Working at today’s speed of business requires employees to bring more to the workplace. Creativity, a willingness to collaborate, natural curiosity and the ability to contribute to effective teamwork are key characteristics of tomorrow’s high performing leaders.”
“The illuminate:nextgen Challenge pushes students to extend themselves in a positive, supportive setting. It helps student to develop the real-world skills necessary for any workplace, and exposes them to study and career options. The program helps students to unlock their full potential and discover their future.”
“The illuminate:nextgen Challenge was exactly that, a challenge. The students really enjoyed the program and were able to stretch themselves and learn new skills. It also changed their perspective on learning and propelled them to the top of their classes.”
Catherine Eppen-Van Der Aa
“The illuminate:nextgen challenge was, as described by one of our students at our school’s end of year awards ceremony, a life changing experience for our Year 10 students. The week created such a positive vibe amongst those doing the challenge and indeed, throughout the entire school, and students from all years seemed to be taking an active interest. It certainly allowed our students to develop all of those ’21st century skills’ that everyone is talking about – self-directed learning, leadership, team-work, stress management, time prioritisation, meeting deadlines, innovative and creative thinking and public-speaking, with that all important exposure to how a business works.
I really do believe that this challenge, and the skills that were developed by students, will have a lasting impact on them, not only for success in Year 11 and 12, but also post-school education and in their working lives. A huge thank-you must go to the illuminate Education team and to our local business people that so willingly volunteered their time to be a part of the program. What invaluable mentors our students have had!”
“The value of illuminate Education cannot be underestimated. Their expertise in terms of being able to connect with students, industry experts and curriculum content – and bringing them all together in a dynamic and meaningful way for our prospective students – is very powerful.
We’ve received so much positive feedback about our illuminate:nextgen Challenge business workshops that we’ve expanded our program with them– in order to reach out to even more students than we can ever bring to campus. One of the most common things we hear from our students is the illuminate:nextgen Challenge experience has been life-changing for them. In addition to opening their eyes to the basics of running a business, the illuminate:nextgen Challenge program inspires them about the opportunities of a business education, and the life-long skills that it can give them. Even our staff who participate have said that the illuminate:nextgen Challenge has literally been one of their career
“Thank you and your team for the fantastic experience had by our students during the illuminate:nextgen Challenge. Our students were engaged throughout and took away many valuable new insights in regards to the world of business and also valuable insights into how they respond to a challenge. The event was fantastically managed, flowed effortlessly and delivered the right balance of expert input with student work. The facilitators were excellent role models for the kids and ran the week in a professional and engaging manner. As a staff member supervising students, I enjoyed myself throughout the week and would love the opportunity to attend again with another group of students ready to take our business pitch to a new level!!”
“From my previous experiences working with illuminate Education, I have seen kids given the opportunity to explore their ideas and put them in to practice in front of real people from the business community and have the opportunity to receive constructive feedback. It seems incredibly powerful to give children from primary to secondary school age these opportunities – I think the more children that can be reached with these programs the better. The world is a fast changing place and we need the leaders of tomorrow to learn these sort of things differently and earlier than past generations.”
“The future of our world is in these young people’s hands and this program allows the students to have an opportunity to think outside the box and have input into changes that they would one day like to witness. The 21st century skills that this program offers can’t necessarily be taught in a classroom. It is a great kick-start to their career pathway.”
“Regional Development Australia Tasmania has been a long-time supporter of the work that illuminate Education undertakes with our next generation of potential business leaders. The team at illuminate Education deliver a comprehensive program introducing secondary students to the basic foundations of running a business. Importantly, they do it in a way that enthusiastically engages students, which no doubt installs a level of confidence for the participants to become small business champions of the future.”
“The nextgen Challenge has evolved and grown over past few years. It has become one of Riverside High Schools priorities as an educational activity outside the normal curriculum. The students are given an amazing opportunity to experience the world of work in a truly invigorating and educational environment. All aspects of the week-long challenge are well planned and relevant to the challenge. All students should experience something like this in their journey through high school.”
“I have been really impressed with [illuminate Education’s] program and the quality of the ideas that the students generate… As a member of the business community, I have valued the opportunity to share some Marketing theory along with industry/business examples to bring this to life, keeping the attention of the students. This opportunity and experience has helped me in other presentation work that I conduct as part of my professional role, simplifying concepts and practising presenting to an audience of 100+ is always a valuable opportunity.”
“With only a fledgling knowledge of the business world, I see young people use imagination based design to create business models, products and services. Educating them to turn something new into reality is the spark in the illuminate:nextgen challenge.”
“What a week! The students were engaged, the presenters were authentic, and the simulations were as close to a real business experience as one could ever hope for. illuminate Education have created a brilliant programme that is accurately targeted at Years 9 and 10 – they really understand what they’re about. We will be looking to expand involvement next year and beyond.”
“Bringing illuminate Education into a regional area is fabulous for our students who often have to travel to attend events. Bringing the program to them and making the focus for the week on their community gives them a broader understanding of the local issues and potential of the area in which they live. It is great to see the students develop their skills during the week, becoming more self-directed, being resourceful and developing their team working skills. It also great to have teachers in the room who can see the potential in their students as well as learning new skills including teaching strategies that they can then take back into the classroom.”
“The illuminate:nextgen Challenge gave our students from 13 schools an extraordinary experience where they applied the great skills they are getting to a real world situation beyond the classroom. They excelled throughout the entire challenge process using real life skills around interrogating information to solve a problem creatively, research, digital literacy, presentation, market research and collaboration. The students grew so much throughout the experience and they readily articulated that learning. A wonderful opportunity to try the real world in a great learning environment. Cannot recommend the challenge highly enough!”
“I have had the pleasure of judging illuminate Education’s programs which was a fantastic opportunity for me to contribute to the development of our community’s future leaders. Adam and his team have put together a phenomenal package that thrusts our young people into the challenges we face as contributors to the workforce, whether that’s managing a project, leading a team, or developing and pitching a business idea. It is delivered in an inspiring and encouraging way. Whilst I am always blown away by the creativity and perseverance shown by the students, a major benefit I see in this program is the ability to identify at this early stage, the key areas of improvement for the students to work towards (I’m a stickler for polished communication!). I am sure that each and every student walks away with a greater understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses, and an insight into the skills required for entrepreneurship”
“The illuminate:nextgen Challenge was an amazing opportunity for our students to discover things about themselves they would not have been about to explore in the everyday classroom. The way the program was run was exceptional, teaching students about the various elements of running a business, giving them practical skills and then allowing them to “get their hands dirty” by applying their new enterprise knowledge. Students were extended and pushed to achieve some incredible results and the comments since they have returned have been nothing but positive. We will definitely be involved in this program in years to come as it offers opportunities that we are not always able to offer within the school environment.”
“The illuminate:nextgen Challenge was a valuable experience for our JTC year nine students. Yes, students learnt a lot about what it takes to start up a business. Importantly, they also learnt a lot about collaboration, communication, working under pressure and problem solving. Students were encouraged to participate in a real-world experience, beyond the classroom, to bring their ideas to life. Students stepped up and pushed themselves that little bit further to complete the challenge. We look forward to working with Adam next year to take nextgen to the next level in W.A.”
“The illuminate:nextgen challenge was an awesome experience for our students. They were provided with a level of challenge greater than they would normally experience and were placed in a working environment that allowed them to explore their ideas and skills in a mature workspace. The ownership that the students demonstrated of their idea from brainstorming to the final product was key and their sense of achievement at the end of the week was enormous. Students were empowered by the experience and felt great pride in their success.”
We’re always eager to hear from people who are interested in what we do – whether you are a school, a potential partner or someone who just wants to get on board with what we do. You can either get in touch with us directly below, or else use the form on this page and we’ll respond to you shortly;
Partners & Supporters
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