I’m lucky enough to be a judge at the Young ICT Explorers event this coming weekend. YICTE is “a non-profit competition, which has been created by SAP to encourage school students to create their best Information and Communication Technology (ICT) related projects.”
No doubt the entries will be as marvellous as ever. But I’ll be particularly pleased to see entries that do something smart with data. In my role as Chair of Open Data Institute Queensland (ODIQ) I am firmly convinced that students can lead the movement.
Ever been asked what becomes more valuable the more you give it away? The answer of course is information, which increases in value exponentially as it is shared and used in different ways, by many more people, to create value. The young people at YICTE understand this instinctively through their use of social media and their expectations about the availability of information in the world around them.
They probably don’t give two hoots about ‘open data’ in the way we understand it, but ask them if they want to know what the government knows, to know stuff that other people know, especially if this ‘stuff’ can be used in cool ways to write apps, create visualisations or simply to share through social channels, then the answer will be ‘Yes!’.
I hope that the YICTE entrants’ instinctive, if unarticulated, thirst for information and willingness to share it will be reflected in some of the innovations put before the judges. I hope to see entries that inherently share data with a wider audience, perhaps opening the door to expansion or improvement through open data. It would be great to see social elements in some of the innovations, and best of all entrants who have thought about the potential for wider application and value creation for a wider audience.
I’ll be sure to update again after the event. For now, I’m looking forward to seeing what Queensland’s young innovators have to offer this weekend.