Netwatch are proud and excited to partner and support The B!G Idea. The B!G Idea is a multi-award winning, creative, educational programme for 15-16 year olds, running nationwide. We are thrilled to be a part of the programme as it ticks all the boxes: it’s creative, fun, innovative and, more than any of that, it helps young people find solutions to B!G issues. There is no other programme like this in Ireland meaning we can play an important role in the development of our next generation.
The B!G Idea programme is the first of its kind, bridging the gap between industry and education. With 400 Mentors on board this year, including the Netwatch Team, who advise and share their expert knowledge, students learn how to use creative thinking to tackle societal issues proposing solutions to issues that are directly affecting them and their communities. The programme runs for 16 weeks from January to May and is for 15-16 year old students. Through co-created briefs, students use their new-found knowledge to tackle issues such as Mental Health, Equality, Healthcare, Housing Crisis and Climate Change. These topical issues have been identified by The B!G Idea students as being particularly worrying for them and ones which they would like to be able to do something about.
All programme materials, class content and resources are provided completely free to students, parents and teachers. There are currently over 2000 students, 89 teachers in 42 schools throughout 22 counties across Ireland participating in the
programme and a growing waiting list of 10,000 students for 2023. We love the inclusive nature and potential of this programme.
“The Big Idea reflects the Netwatch values of collaboration and innovation. Something our team strongly believe is the idea that strong communities, build strong companies. The Big Idea is something that is helping to build strong communities, and we are so happy to play our part. This initiative will allow young people around us to understand their creative potential and see the difference they can make in their worlds. ”
Laura Murphy, B!G Idea Mentor, Senior Marketing & Communications Manager – Netwatch
The innovative nature of the programme content has hit the mark with teachers and students alike after just one year:
“We learned to empathise and try to have a deeper understanding of issues that are challenging us today.” – Martin – TY Student – Limerick
“It has presented our Transition Year students with a fantastic opportunity to develop themselves and their skill sets, which I believe will be of great benefit to them as they progress in the senior cycle stage of their education but also as they continue their life-journey after they conclude their time in post-primary school. The world that we live in today requires greater levels of creativity and innovation than at any time in our history. We have never seen a programme like this and we would like to thank the team behind The Big Idea for the opportunity they have provided to our students and our school community.” – John Cullinane, Former Deputy Principal, Presentation De la Salle College.
The programme itself is unique in format, designed for all learning styles and abilities and it is truly inclusive. It brings students through the creative process in a fun and accessible way, consisting of empathy maps, personas, storyboarding and journey maps, problem solving activities with all learning materials provided in custom Swag Bags. Once the students have chosen their topic to focus on, they identify a ‘hero’; the person identified within the chosen issue. Every week The B!G Idea illustrates how to use a creative tool and through practical activities, this tool helps to unleash the student’s creativity.
This is all brought together in the final Showcase held on the 20th of May where every student project is celebrated. We will find out the winners of each category and the overall B!G Idea winner. At the Showcase the B!G virtual Exhibition launches hosting all of the students’ and teachers’ hard work with every one of the projects on show.
We are very excited to be a part of The B!G Idea and help students learn critical 21st Century skills! We can’t wait to see students’ B!G Ideas.