Belfast to host teenage-led Future2016 STEM conference

11 Dec 2015

Next February, Belfast is to host a science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) event called Future 2016, which will be organised and run almost entirely by teenagers, to help their peers connect with the world around them.

While teenagers might not usually be the most agreeable of sorts when it comes to being told what they should and should not like, a new event taking place in Belfast next year is certainly putting a new spin on what ‘smells like teen spirit’.

Called Future2016, the event, organised by 14-year-old designer and developer Adam Flanagan, will be almost exclusively organised by teenagers for teenagers and hopes to attract around 250 attendees between the ages of 13 and 18.

To be held in the T13 complex, the event will begin on 12 February and finish the next day and, along with speakers, will give attendees an opportunity to take part and compete in an education-focused hackathon.

Unsurprisingly, many of the speakers at the event will be young achievers looking to inspire their peers, including the 18-year-old founder of Thinkspace, James Anderson.

Born from frustration

There will also be some slightly older speakers, including the head of BBC Trending, Anne-Marie Tomchak, and author George Berkowski.

Speaking about Future2016, Adam said:  “I decided to launch the conference after becoming frustrated with the lack of tech events aimed at teenagers. By speaking to peers and attending other industry events, my team and I realised there was a demand from other young people to learn more about these areas, which wasn’t being fully met via more traditional means, such as schools and colleges.

“Ultimately, we believe that teenagers are the future generation of disruptors and have an absolute requirement to understand tech, as it impacts every kind of industry they will eventually be working in.”

Titanic Quarter building image via Ryan Simpson/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey
By Colm Gorey

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic. He joined in January 2014 and covered AI, IoT, science and anything that will get us to Mars quicker. When not trying to get his hands on the latest gaming release, he can be found lost in a sea of Wikipedia articles on obscure historic battles and countries that don't exist any more, or watching classic Simpsons episodes far too many times to count.

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