National Day of Action empowers young people to tackle environmental challenges during COP26
London, 10th November 2021: BIMA, the UK’s digital & tech trade body, today announces the launch of Digital Day 2021. The 10th annual event is happening today, 10th November and brings together digital and tech companies with students from schools across the country, and this year has a view to addressing environmental issues and the UK’s digital skills shortage.
Taking place during COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, this year’s Digital Day is sponsored by digital innovation leaders EPAM Systems and supported by WWF, with the latter setting a climate-related, real-world challenge for the young people involved. Students will work with a leading tech business local to their schools to establish a digitally focused solution to the brief, before submitting their ideas by 6 December to a panel of industry experts. Each of the winning schools will receive a cash prize and will have the chance to take part in workshops with leading brands and digital experts, giving them real experience of working in digital.
Over 10,000 13- to 16-year-olds took part in Digital Day last year, a figure that is expected to increase for 2021. More than 150 digital and tech companies have signed up to participate. On Digital Day, these companies will work directly with their school to help the students solve the challenge.
BIMA has found that Digital Day makes a difference. In 2019 we found that over 80% of young people who learnt about digital careers during Digital Day wanted to find out more, making the initiative has become a vital tool bridging the gap between education and the digital industry, as well as helping to address the growing need for digital skills in the UK.
Matt Larsen-Daw, Education Manager at WWF commented: “WWF is delighted to be taking part in Digital Day. There has never been a more critical time for our planet, and we’ve seen millions of people up and down the UK demanding action on climate change and asking what they can do to help. The need for change brings opportunities for innovation, and by equipping young people to understand and create technological and digital solutions we can help them drive – and thrive in – a sustainable future.”
“At EPAM, we strive to create positive change through education and are proud to be part of BIMA Digital Day for the third year running,” said Shamilka Samarasinha, Global Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at EPAM. “This year’s event coincides with COP26 and we’re excited to see how the next generation harness technology to help address climate issues.”
Natalie Gross, EPAM’s VP & Head of Brand Strategy said, “BIMA Digital Day gives students the opportunity to develop creative solutions for a more sustainable future with WWF, while gaining valuable digital skills for the future. WWF is doing vital work to protect the climate and our wildlife, and we’re delighted to partner with them this year.”
Matt Sullivan, BIMA’s MD, added: “One of BIMA’s core aims is to address the digital skills gap. We do that through a range of initiatives, but by far the biggest and most far reaching is Digital Day. We’re extremely grateful to our sponsors and partners EPAM and WWF, and to all the digital brands and agencies across the UK who’ll be supporting young people in their local communities and helping to make the 10th anniversary of Digital Day our biggest one yet.”
Danny Bluestone, CEO & Founder, at Cyber-Duck (a UX focused digital transformation agency) commented: “Cyber-Duck has taken part in BIMA Digital Day since 2013. In the years we’ve been involved, the team has helped hundreds of young people solve thought-provoking digital challenges, with several students going on to enjoy work experience at the company. The students inspiring us, as much as we hopefully inspire them. This year’s challenge could not be timelier and in tune with the Cyber-Duck belief in giving back. We cannot wait to see what the students come up with.”
Digital Day is part of the range of initiatives run by the BIMA. Visit the BIMA Digital Day website for more information: BIMA Digital Day 2021 | BIMA