26 September 2018

Abertay hosts Dundee pupils for Innovation Lab

Abertay hosts Dundee pupils for Innovation Lab

Young people from across Dundee are designing innovative new ways to tackle bullying, stress and mental health issues with a view to directly influencing council policy.

Abertay University hosted around 120 high school pupils for an Innovation Lab session, run in partnership with Dundee City Council and as part of the national Year of the Young People 2018.

Entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter of the Hunter Foundation delivered an inspirational welcome to the participants ahead of a full day of co-design, brainstorming, workshops and presentations, all working towards finding new solutions to serious issues affecting young people across the city.

Ideas from the day will be collated and presented back to Dundee City Council, with the aim of informing future policy, affecting change and creating a legacy of service improvement for future generations.

The groups were made up of S4-S6 pupils from all Dundee schools, as well as others aged up to 26 years-old from other organisations including Lift Off, Family Nurse Partnership, Dundee Carers Centre and Dundee Youth Council.

Gavin Oattes, award-winning entrepreneur and motivational speaker for workshop provider Tree of Knowledge, delivered the closing address.

Dundee City Council children and families service convener Councillor Stewart Hunter said: "This will be a fantastic experience for everyone who takes part and is a fitting way of celebrating the Year of Young People.

"The input of young people into a range of topics will lead to some very interesting ideas and I will be very interested to hear their opinions on these issues.”

Abertay University Principal Professor Nigel Seaton said: “Bringing young people into the decision making process for new policy on these important issues is a fantastic idea.

"I have no doubt that Innovation Lab will bring a fresh perspective to the table.”

Sir Tom said: “Putting policy into the hands of those the policies will impact upon makes absolute sense.

"Our young people are Scotland’s future and we need to engage with them far more to co-design that future where opportunity prevails for all.”

In addition to the workshops, the young people took part in taster sessions across a selection of Abertay’s academic departments, including Games & Arts, Cybersecurity, Marketing, Business Management, Accounting & Finance, Law, Food Innovation, Forensics, Science, Civil Engineering, Sociology, Psychology and Mental Health.

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