Dylan Collins joins forces with The Guardian to launch Future 8 awards

6 May 2014

Dylan Collins’ latest start-up venture SuperAwesome has joined forces with The Guardian newspaper to launch the Future 8 awards, aimed at highlighting young digital creators from schools in Ireland and the UK.

The Future 8 Awards, which are supported by Enterprise Ireland, will invite youngsters ages 7-17 to compete in eight categories, including games, music, animation, maker (hardware and software combined), online video, mobile development, web development, and writing and blogging.

Nominations will open later in May, and the finalists will be recognised at an awards ceremony on 11 October.

The digital generation

“There have never been more kids engaged with technology in a meaningful way,” Collins said.

“I’m not talking about simply playing games or watching videos but actually developing their own games and apps and creating their own online videos. We’re looking at a generation who are vastly more technically literate and creative than any before them.

“We’ve created the Future 8 Awards to highlight just how much talent is there and where possible to match up the best with opportunities that they wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else. These are the future Mark Zuckerbergs (Facebook), Patrick Collisons (Stripe) and Aaron Levies (Box), and we want to do everything possible to open up doors for their development.”

The Future 8 winners will be chosen by a high-profile judging panel drawn from the worlds of technology, gaming and digital media.

The initial selection includes James Whelton (co-founder of CoderDojo), Jemima Kiss (The Guardian‘s head of technology), Paul Kenny (founder Triperna, Emerge Ventures), James Bromley (former MD, MailOnline), Cathal Gaffney (CEO, Brown Bag Films), Alice Taylor (CEO, MakieLab), Eric Huang (development director, Made In Me), Niall Harbison (PR Slides) and Wil Harris (Condé Nast).

“There’s a whole generation of children and young people that live and breathe digital creativity – and this is the talent that we want to find, reward and promote,” said Kiss.

“For too long, digital skills have lacked support and recognition in education and the media, but the talent rewarded by Future 8 will reveal some of the UK’s most promising digital creatives.

“They’ve been doing brilliant work in their bedrooms, building audiences online, sometimes in the hundreds of thousands,” Kiss said.

Kid coder image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years