2020 was a record year for Future Anything. As the year that everyone wants to forget finally draws to a close, the Future Anything team reflects on the biggest ever year of our youth entrepreneurship program with our Activate 2020 Review.

Activate is an immersive, in-curriculum program that empowers educators to embed 21st Century Skills and build entrepreneurial mindsets in classrooms across Australia. Activate shifts the question to young people from “can you be an entrepreneur?” to “how entrepreneurial can you be?”

In 2020, 38 schools across Queensland and South Australia participated in the program. With over 2000 students and more than 100 teachers taking part, students empathized, ideated, prototyped, and pitched innovative, scalable, and sustainable businesses that will make the world a better place.

Educators accessed extensive Australian Curriculum aligned resources in Business, English, And Science/STEM and used Future Anything’s Entrepreneur’s Odyssey to embed 21st Century Skills in their classrooms.

Students connected with the Aussie entrepreneurial ecosystem through two online Future Fests and heaps of bespoke video case studies. Over 50 social entrepreneurs and changemakers were part of Activate 2020 as judges, speakers, panelists, and mentors.

Activate 2020 culminated in 8 – yes 8! – live pitches events, featuring 43 live pitches and an epic line up of Aussie and international judges.

Future Anything also undertook a detailed evaluation of Activate 2020 assess its impact on educators and their students.

The evaluation found that:

Activate 2020 improved students’ enterprise skills, self-confidence, and sense of self:

97% of teachers noted that Activate improved their students’ enterprise skills, and of these 76% felt their students’ enterprise skills improved significantly or a lot.

Activate 2020 students were generally more engaged with their learning compared to other units or programs:

93% of teachers noted that Activate improved students’ confidence and sense of self. Of these 76% felt their students’ enterprise skills has improved significantly or a lot.

Activate 2020 drove meaningful and positive change in students including notable increases in:

  • Motivation, purpose, and connection, particularly in previously disengaged students.
  • Willingness to ask for and act on feedback, and be resilient in the face of this feedback.
  • Willingness to go outside their comfort zones, think ‘outside the box’ and become independent learners.
  • Self-confidence, particularly in regard to public speaking, belief in the validity of their own ideas, and sharing these with others.
  • Creativity and ability to generate innovative and/or entrepreneurial ideas.

Teachers identified a range of benefits of Activate 2020 for their students including:

  • Seeing that their learning has a purpose and connects to the real world.
  • Building self-confidence and awareness that they can make a difference.
  • Knowledge of hands-on business and entrepreneurship skills.

Activate delivered significant increases in teachers’ understanding of, and ability and confidence to teach Project-Based Learning:

  • 100% of teachers said they had a good understanding of the pedagogy of Project-Based Learning, compared to 73% before Activate 2020
  • 86% of teachers said they now have the tools, skills, and resources they need to teach Project Based Learning, compared to 67% before Activate 2020.
  • 80% of teachers now feel confident to teach Project-Based Learning across different contexts and subject areas, compared to 64% before Activate 2020

Activate delivered significant increases in  teachers’ understanding of, and ability and confidence to teach enterprise skills:

  • 96% of teachers now have a good understanding of what enterprise skills are and how they relate to the curriculum, compared to 71% before Activate 2020.
  • 90% of teachers now have the tools, skills, and resources they need to embed enterprise skills development in the curriculum, compared to 60% before Activate 2020
  • 90% of teachers now feel confident to teach enterprise skills across different contexts and subject areas, compared to 57% before Activate 2020

Teachers identified a range of changes in their personal teaching practice as a result of participating in Activate including:

  • A deeper appreciation of the benefits of student-led learning
  • Effective use of ideation, group work, feedback, discussion, and collaboration
  • Methodologies including design thinking, Project-based learning, enterprise skills

Teachers identified a range of benefits for educators of participating in Activate, including:

  • Rethinking the role of the teacher as a facilitator or guide, enabling student agency to drive their own learning
  • Exposure to new teaching strategies and techniques and access to a broad range of resources, materials, contacts, and events that connect learning to the real world
  • Igniting their passion for teaching through a fun subject that engages and empowers their students

A huge thank you must go to the 50+ entrepreneurs and eco-system leaders that we had engage with our young people throughout this year’s Activate program. You can download the Activate 2020 Review below.

Future Anything transforms young people’s passion and curiosity into innovative ideas that make the world a better place. We support educators to lead authentic Australian curriculum-aligned learning experiences that connect students to the real world.

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