On the fourth day of the Acorn Aspiration Accelerator, the teams met up again at the Central Working Paddington venue. This day started off with a brief introduction before quickly clustering up again to decide the roles and goals of each individual within the teams. One activity we did the previous day by was used twice to discuss the roles and the aspirations of everyone in the team and to identify what their “blocker” was. This was a useful reflection task and it really helped set a clear goal. You could tell this worked effectively because the teenagers sat quietly getting on with their tasks for two hours straight, something which I thought to be impossible until today.
Our first speaker was Jenny Dean who is head of client services at Digital Whiskey. She talked about how she (and her friends) changed their career direction and stressed the idea of the decisions not being permanent. She epitomized herself as someone who ended up somewhere completely different to where she is now. On the other hand, Jonathan Kinsley, a 17 year old software engineer talked about his passion being derived from the very beginning. Attaining his first iPad at the age of 12, Jonathan expressed how he was in awe and his passion fueled his curiosity from then on. Within his 15 minute lecture, Jonathan managed to take his audience on an emotional roller coaster; describing his laughable abandonment of his team “when you know you’ve given up on a project” to watch a drone crash into a tree. Jonathan then went around the teams to advise them on how to improve their projects.
After lunch and another productive hour of progress, Sanj Surati gave an inspiring talk about the advancement of technology and how he has helped companies use it in a new way to accommodate the public. Various visual examples were included such as the iconic Burberry holographic fashion show in Beijing. This never before used technology transformed the company and even “increased the traffic near where the show was held by 300% the same week”
Sanj even gave unsuccessful examples of how holograms could be used in ways such as trying on different clothes. This idea is unsuccessful today because it simply doesn’t look appealing and real. Through this, Suraj stressed the importance of using future technology in a way that is controlled by us not the other way around.
By Rajbir Virdi
Also published on Medium.