Written by Claire Honey, RIO Consultant
The past year has been a demanding one for Our Way Tech; they’ve had exams, moved on to 6th form or college, and ventured into the world of A-levels, courses (including RIO’s Social Enterprise Qualification) and part-time jobs. In addition to this they have been exploring concepts, playing with tech, working with their existing contacts and making new connections. While they have said farewell to some fellow students, their passion and drive for technology has not waned one bit!
So, what have they been up to?
Last summer I had the joy of spending time with some of the Our Way Tech crew on an intensive week along with RIO consultant, Jonathan. We set them the challenge to progress an idea which had been bubbling away for a while: To create a digital solution and campaign that connects the city to its heritage, and brings generations and localities together.
They enjoyed valuable time together to improve how they articulate the essence of their enterprise and purpose (there was also a lot of food involved!)…and what intensive planning would be complete without a road trip?! Bristol, known for its rich heritage and culture, was the city that Tech picked to visit. They had a tour of The Engine Shed, essentially ‘a shed’ but a ‘knock-your-socks off with creative brilliance and imagination’ sort of shed, locally known as a hub where entrepreneurs, business leaders, academics, students and corporates can collaborate, inspire and be inspired (we were definitely inspired); we visited M-Shed, the museum that tells the story of the city and its unique place in the world – a remarkable place but highlighted how quickly technology can appear out of date (especially in the eyes of teenagers). Finally, it was on to meet a director from the Mubaloo Group who kindly shared some valuable trade secrets and knowledge linked to developing innovative mobile strategies and mobile apps – a couple members of the Mubaloo team also joined in to offer even more superb advice and intelligence. Everyone left buzzing and full to the brim with thoughts of what could be made possible (We finally made our way back to the train after stopping for more food!).
The week ended with a round-table discussion with an impressive panel including: Adam from Plymouth Museum, Paul from Elixel, Julie from Plymouth NHS Trust, Dave from Actuate (thanks for the use of the board room) and Gemma and Dominick from Viewhear. Ben, Reece and Dan from Our Way Tech did us and their team proud sharing their incredible idea for a heritage campaign, with the main objective to make heritage in Plymouth relevant to teenagers, in particular, but also to create new energy around the city’s heritage for everyone. Their plans include a series of pop-up events that will connect heritage and technology – I won’t go into too much detail but it involves lots of images and goggles, I am told!
These initial events will enable Our Way Tech to explore, test and play with new interactive technologies, and create a wave of digital sharing.
Oh, and did I mention they made a film? Thanks to the talented support of Viewhear, Reece, Dan and Tom are now stars of their own film: watch it here. It gives a really great insight into young people and heritage, and how technology can play a big part in bringing heritage to the young people of Plymouth.
The team meet regularly after school to move their plans forward and keep momentum going. I’m always delighted to see the latest update email which often comes with small requests (or shall I say instructions!).
In the very near future they will be increasing their presence through Twitter and Facebook so I encourage you to follow and support their truly impressive and inspiring work.
Check them out on Twitter @OurWayTech
Follow them on Facebook Our Way Tech
More from Our Way Tech
Our Way Tech has an interest and passion for new technology; for gadgets, tablets, phones and entertainment systems. We are also a group of 15 and 16 year olds from Plymstock School, Plymouth. Our Way Tech was born from our passion of the importance of technology. Growing up in the digital world which is constantly changing, we have a good understanding of new technology which older generations may not have. We’d like to help people of all ages and backgrounds access and unlock all types of technology that can help benefit our lives.
The enterprise is split into 3 mains areas. Read on to find out more!
We showcase and promote new technology. We build partnerships with new, cutting edge businesses and support them by giving a young perspetive on their products; showcasing at events and through our networks and promoting them through social media.
These are practical sessions with the people who know. We listen and respond to people’s technology needs. We find the right solutions to help our clients in a practical and clear way. We value our clients and help them gain confidence with technology and have a fun experience!
We offer a consultancy service to organisations looking to get a young person’s perspective and input. We take on real commissions for technology related projects. Got a project in mind you’d like to get off the ground but want to work with young people to make it happen? Contact us at Our Way Tech.
The Our Way gang share their thoughts on what it’s like to be a part of the project below.
“Our Way Tech brings me fulfilment that I am making the world a better place.” Tom, Our Way
“I am looking forward to what the project brings us and for what Our Way Tech holds in store for the future.” Dan, Our Way
“I can’t wait for the project to take off and bring new technologies to Plymouth.” Reece, Our Way