Generation Innovation Night of Ambition
From left: Adeleine Salondaguit, St Joseph’s College, East Belfast; Malachy McKenna, Deloitte; Tom Minnis, Shimna Integrated College, Newcastle; and Leah Thompson, Deloitte. Image: Connect at Catalyst Inc

Night of Ambition shows students how to think big for the future

10 Mar 2017

Students in Northern Ireland were shown how to think differently and be more innovative at Connect’s Night of Ambition.

200 teenagers from schools across Northern Ireland gathered at St George’s Market on Wednesday (8 March) for the Generation Innovation Night of Ambition, run by Connect at Catalyst Inc, to discover the opportunities that exist for them to become world-class innovators.

Through interactive sessions, a buzzing innovation marketplace and messages from local innovators around the world, the teenagers were encouraged to aim higher, succeed faster and push what’s possible.

Deloitte was the headline sponsor of the event and Kieran O’Neill, head of growth and innovation, said: “The nature of work is changing, bringing many opportunities for our young people to think differently, challenge what they know and innovate.”

O’Neill said the Night of Ambition provided an excellent environment for young people to hear about these opportunities, as well as the ongoing work at Deloitte. “This is why we are excited to support Connect at Catalyst Inc and Night of Ambition, which encouraged our young people, teachers and parents to explore all the career options available, and not be afraid to think about what is possible,” he said.

The event was also sponsored by Aepona and Liberty IT, along with Ulster University, Enterprise Students’ Union at Queen’s University Belfast and the department of the communities.

Participants at the event could engage with 70 founders of innovative companies and interact with future employers and start-ups from across Northern Ireland.

“It’s amazing to get the chance to hear about all the opportunities that exist right here in Northern Ireland,” said Adeleine Salondaguit, a student at the event. “Working alongside entrepreneurs gave me a real understanding of what it takes to bring an idea to life.”

Diane Morrow, programme manager for Generation Innovation, said: “Connect at Catalyst Inc is committed to equipping and empowering local young people to join the mission to see Northern Ireland become one of the most entrepreneurial knowledge economies in Europe by 2030.”

She said the event was about inspiring young people to think big and show them how to make ideas a reality. “We believe our young people have the creativity and ingenuity to develop innovative products and solutions that can change the world.”

Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

Loading now, one moment please! Loading