Young Rewired State is now in its 7th year, which is an incredible thing — also a challenging one! Over the past seven years we have:
Thus far is has been a labour of love from a very small central team and a huge network of young people, parents, teachers, corporates, mentors and volunteers and in 2015 we reached our peak of scale. A navel gazing moment was required…
Our primary challenges were:
Gratefully accepting the offer of a pro-bono piece of work by the excellent Oliver Wyman consultancy, we embarked on an aggressive six week strategic review in January this year.
They looked at case studies from around the world of elite programmes, and looked at infrastructure and scaling mechanisms we could adopt in the Sports, Music and Academic fields.
In the coming weeks we will share the insights and outputs of this, as much of this work is hugely valuable to many who exist in this space. But for now we want to ensure everyone knows what is going on with us.
A number of partners have been identified for meeting the needs of YRSers beyond our own programmes, and we are in conversation with many of these already. Most notably Raspberry Pi and we now pause for a small message of support from the Raspberry Pi Foundation CEO: Phillip Colligan:
We had hoped that we would be able to pull one more Festival out of the bag in 2016, in the style we have produced them so far — but unfortunately time is against us, these conversations take time, and fundraising in the current climate is damn near impossible at the amount we would need to run it for the last time in the old format. Obviously the costs go up with size and risk — and we are having to raise in the region of a quarter of a million quid — which is not a task we would be willing to inflict on anyone!
So the first piece of definite news is that the Festival is to be postponed to 2017. It will be back in a different format but it will still focus relentlessly on the top programmers and those who are driven to teach themselves or find a way to learn. (Those people who have registered interest for 2016 will be sent information on 2017 later in the year.)
We can’t be as clear on how the Hyperlocal programme and other YRS initiatives will be affected by our new web of partnerships and suite of programmes proposed by Oliver Wyman, as this will take most of the rest of 2016 to agree — but rest assured that we will bring you news as it develops.
There will be a series of open consultation events throughout the year for the community and its supporters, to ensure that our bosses: the community! — are happy with the decisions we are making. Details and dates of these will be posted here, on the Festival and YRS.io websites and in our social media.
Finally, we are publishing a book with Walker Books — it is to encourage young people into coding with a rather brilliant and fun set of challenges, it has been written and produced by a group of Young Rewired Staters and mentors, and will be available in shops in the next six week. More on this in the next week or so.
Please watch this space for news in the coming months
When we say nothing is impossible, we really mean it! By experimenting with different technologies, and finding ways to turn your ideas into real prototypes at our events, you’ll quickly realise that when you challenge yourself to try something new, you can achieve more than you ever expected!
Being a part of Young Rewired State is not just about attending our events, it's about becoming a YRSer! Meeting friends who like the same awesome stuff as you is an opportunity to validate your skills, learn from others, and most importantly realise just how much more you can create when you work as part of a team.
We’re a truly open community who believe barriers keep the best from happening. That’s why we encourage you to open source your code so it can benefit others too. It’s also why we keep our events free to attend; we want you to have a chance to shine no matter where you’re from, or what your background is!