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Generation Innovation

Aims to inform, upskill and empower the young people of this generation to thrive as the next leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs of the future

What is the Generation Innovation Work Experience Programme?

Generation Innovation energises the imaginations and aspirations of young people in Northern Ireland by increasing their development of 21st-century skills and awareness of exciting future careers in innovation.

The programme will inspire and upskill all young people who participate, building an innovation skillset through a deep-dive into ‘design thinking’.

The Work Experience Programme is for ambitious 17-18 year olds interested in up-skilling for the jobs of the future. Participants will receive Design Thinking training over the course of 4 or 5 days (depending which programme location they apply to), where participants will learn how to work as part of a new team made up of participants from across Northern Ireland, develop new solutions and communicate their ideas. Their new skills are then put to the test to solve a company challenge, developing a solution before pitching it to the partner company and their fellow peers.

Delivered in-person participants will improve skills such as communication, team building, resilience, problem-solving and creativity.

Throughout the programme, participants are guaranteed to learn in a fun, energetic and highly engaging way that will inspire and empower them for the future.

Applications for the 2022 Generation Innovation Work Experience Programme are now closed.


(Apply to only one of the events) 

1. 14th-17th June – Derry-Londonderry – University of Ulster, Magee Campus

2. 20th-24th June – Belfast – Catalyst, The Innovation Centre

3. 27th -30th June – Armagh – Armagh City Hotel

Key Dates:

Registration Opens: Monday 28th February 2022 

Daily Schedule*

  • 9:30am – 12:00pm: Morning Session 
  • 12:00pm – 2:00pm: Networking, expos & Lunch Break 
  • 2:00pm – 5:00pm: Facilitated Team Work 

 *Subject to change 


Day one: 

Overview of the week, introductions, team-building tasks, introduction to Design Thinking. Company details and challenge statements.  

Day two: 

Expert Interviews, make a challenge map and define the problem. 

Day three: 

Ideation – concept sketching, create and design your initial prototype.  

Day four: 

Prototype and testing.  

Day five: 

Feedback, visit to company offices, pitching to company teams, peers and celebrations. 

*Applicable to the 5 day programme. Lunch will be provided by Catalyst each day. Students must make their own transport arrangements to and from the event each day.   

Why apply for the Generation Innovation Work Experience programme?

Benefits of attending

Communication• Teambuilding• Emotional Resilience• Problem Solving• Creativity • Pitching• Empathy• User-centered design

Totally Free to Attend

What's Included

  • Hosted in-person

  • Access to exciting and innovative companies across Northern Ireland

  • Free Generation Innovation merchandise including our limited edition apparel

  • Free to attend

  • Access to the Catalyst School Alumni network to extend your tribe

  • Participants are guaranteed to learn in a fun, energetic and highly engaging way that’ll inspire and empower them for the future

  • Participants build new friendships and connections beyond their network


What Participants Can Gain Over Their Work Experience

Hosted In-person

What's Included

  • Communication Skills

  • Teambuilding

  • Build Emotional Resilience

  • Learn Problem-Solving Skills

  • Creativity

  • Presentation and Pitching Skills

  • User-centred Design

  • Design-led Thinking Skills

The Work Experience Programme within Generation Innovation showed me how to accept others' ideas and appreciate their skillsets. I got to experience what it was like to solve a real challenge, present to a real company and work in a professional environment, something many work experience programmes do not offer. I have met so many new people and thoroughly enjoyed the chance to roll my sleeves up and get stuck in!

Rose Templeton, Generation Innovation Alumni Student

Generation Innovation Programmes

Our programmes now work in three stages

Stage 1: School Workshop

Stage 1: School Workshop

Stage 2: Impact Day

Stage 2: Impact Day

Stage 3: Work Experience Programme

Stage 3: Work Experience Programme

Generation Innovation | Workshop

A bespoke high-impact workshop for 5th to Upper 6th Year students.

The workshop will help your students stretch their imagination and begin a journey exploring:

  • An Introduction to Design Thinking
  • Innovation Mindset
  • Upskilling for the future job market
  • Careers in Tech, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Early access to register for the Generation Innovation Work Experience Programme 2022

This lesson can be delivered in a bespoke way to meet your schools’ needs and can take place in-person as a lesson, year group workshop, or even virtually, as well as being shaped to suit your school timings.

Generation Innovation | Impact Day

Fuel ambition, spark ideas and empower your students through design-thinking.

What is an Impact day?

A one-day, fully immersive design-thinking experience for groups of 50+ students aged 17-18 year olds held onsite at your venue. No need to mobilise, we’ll come to you and take your students on a design-thinking journey that will lead them from identifying a problem, working through several stages to iterate and design a prototype/solution all in the one day.

On this journey, your students will learn important skills at each stage, including user-centred design, working in a team and critical thinking. The impact day will also help foster softer, intangible elements such as empathy, emotional intelligence, and resilience.

What happens on the day?

Our team of design-thinking trainers will come to your venue and will deliver a design sprint, working through several stages of the design-thinking methodology. During the design sprint, there will be creative icebreakers and fun games to stimulate ideas and keep the energy alive.


Understanding the user base and ‘consumer’, how they interact with the world/system or product, and understanding their needs and behaviours.


Together each team will work together to define a problem and then design solution for it. This could even be applied to improving something within your everyday life, asking the question ‘How might we…?


Our team will work with your students in different groups and walk them through an ideation phase where they can start to design and develop a solution for the defined problem. Here, students will contribute ideas, challenge assumptions, and work together as a team to develop a solution.


At the end of the day each team will present their solution to the group in a very welcoming and engaging environment.

At the end of the design sprint, students will become part of the Generation Innovation community, and will be given branded tokens and merchandise to remember the experience alongside resources to continue their journey

What will it cost?

Absolutely nothing, this is a fully funded programme with no cost to you; all we need is a dedicated space and time to deliver the Impact Day.

Workshops and Impact Days Fully Booked. Reopening September 2022.

Contact us to register interest.

Steering Team

Andrew Fulton MD Dawson Andrews | Chairperson
Aimee Clint Generation Innovation Alumni
Rose Templeton Generation Innovation Alumni
Catriona McGirr Bank of Ireland
Carol Fitzsimmons Young Enterprise
Stephen Dallas Bytes
Johnny Parkes Trov
Brian Shevlin Allstate
Richard Kirk Workplus
Andrew Sterling Deloitte
Francesca Morelli Queen's University Belfast
Judith Camblin Catalyst
‎‎ Ulster University
Northern Regional College

2022 Impact Day Company Collaborators

Contact the team

If you have any queries, don't hesitate to get in touch

Meet the Generation Innovation Team

Judith Camblin

Judith Camblin

Programme Manager

Carla McErlean

Carla McErlean

GI Project Lead

Carolyn Halferty

Carolyn Halferty

GI Project Administrator

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