This talk was part of PSFK Conference London 2012

Debbie-Forster

Who better than today’s youth to address issues such as bullying and social insecurities? And they’re doing it through design, creating apps that could change their reality and ours. Debbie Forster, Chief Operations Officer at Apps For Good, leads the organization that works in tandem with school curriculum to offer young students the opportunity to brainstorm ideas for digital apps. The program leads groups of students through the entire design process, culminating in a sponsored national competition at the end of the course. The winning app design will be funded and launched with ownership rights maintained by the students who designed it.

Forster knows that the program is giving students digital life stills and has already inspired groups of students to continue marketing their app designs. Although she received a lot of slack from businesses and schools at the start (due to technological risks), the program has grown +10,000% since its launch. Businesspersons are volunteering their time and expertise to mentor and help students, often times even visiting the school groups. Their bold visions are causing barriers to shift and move, making us rethink the way in which we view youth’s role in design.

Some highlights from the talk:

  • Students are being taught that when they have a good idea, they should be prepared to make changes, pivot direction and alter their project.
  • Experts are seeing the potential that students have and continue to support the program.
  • By letting the young people decide why they want to design, they will continue to work hard toward achieving their goals.