Last week, Engine Shed director Nick Sturge and I started a two-week run of ‘Idea surgeries’, as we approach the 18th September closing date for our ‘Call for Ideas’. These short sessions offer anyone planning to submit project ideas the chance to pick apart and develop the proposal with us.
Engine Shed are looking to fund and develop ideas that will ‘inspire and prepare young people from diverse backgrounds for opportunities in the high-tech, low-carbon, creative-digital, and entrepreneurial sectors’ – we admit it’s not the snappiest of briefs! It is a broad call out, and we have been excited to see the range of interpretations in the proposals we have been receiving, including classroom sessions that bring maths alive, and games that merge science, art and history.
In the sessions, we listen to the ideas and ask question relating to our judging criteria. We are looking for innovative ideas driven by passion and purpose, that will produce something valueable beyond the budget. Nick brings his business skills to the table, reviewing the ways in which projects could last or develop beyond initial funding, whilst my focus is on the ways the project will reach and impact young people, whose backgrounds are currently underrepresented by adults in the tech and digital sectors.
We’re also interested to hear from you about where our criteria may be too vague, and how you can capitalise on what ‘Engine Shed can offer’. Whilst we have venue spaces that projects will be able to use, it is our relationships that we hope these projects will capitalise on, and that will really help these ideas create an impact. We want to get the highest impact for our £15k investment, because above all else the ‘Call for Ideas’ is about developing ideas that will support a diverse workforce for the future.
So if you or someone you know has an idea that they think can make an impact, tell them to get in touch. We are happy to hear all ideas, no matter how wild. Applications close on the 18th September.