For any of you who are unaware of Young Rewired State, here is a video from this year’s Festival of Code
To date we have made it our focus to find and foster every child in the UK driven to teach themselves how to code; to support them through community and peer-to-peer learning, and introduce them to open data, primarily open government data. If you would like to read up more on what we do and why, here is a White Paper written by Dominic Falcao, a student at York University.
So we have come far in the last four years and as we enter our fifth year we really are going hyperlocal and global – as I mentioned in a previous post.
Since that post I have had some very great discussions with developer communities in several regions outside the UK, including Berlin, Amsterdam, New York, Kenya and San Francisco – and the narrative has become more clear, why this is so important and how this very well could be the beginning of a game-changing, independent, worldwide community.
Let me explain…
The idea is to start as we did in 2009 in the UK with one weekend in a number of International regions. Find 50 local children, aged 18 or under, driven to teach themselves how to code, and introduce them to open government data in a traditional hack-style event. During these weekends these young programmers will be mentored by their local coding community, as they are in the UK, but as well, they are remotely supported by the worldwide members and mentors for YRS, through twitter hashtags and IRC channels.
If history can repeat itself over the following five years, each of these first 50 will continue to be mentored and add to their number, growing to 500 in five years, maybe more – and then becoming hyperlocal.
The dream is for a child in Berlin to find it completely usual to be supporting a child in New York, for example, with a local civic problem, or just in their learning. For them to grow up expecting and understanding open data and open borders. And almost more importantly to be forever a part of a worldwide community of like-minded people – never again coding alone.
The beauty of this network is that it is so local, we are working with established developer networks and organisations in all of the countries, and as these children become 19 they *typically* fold back into Young Rewired State as mentors. This is important as it creates a support network for teachers and educators worldwide that is so needed.
We work also in partnership with those organisations teaching young people to code, giving them somewhere to continue the learning through collaborative, peer-to-peer education that can scale according to talent and desire.
This weekend sees the very first of these hyperlocal events in the UK, with a group of young programmers in Scotland starting their YRS journey. You can follow the action and add your mentor support by following the hashtag: YRSSCO2012 on twitter.
I really do believe these children can actually change the world, and I am grateful to the huge community who have supported us in the UK and overseas to get to now.
We are run as a not-for-profit social enterprise. Here is how you can get involved