ConnectTVT bridges the skills gap with Green Meets Grey Connecting creativity with real life challenges


Louize Clarke | August 7, 2017

ConnectTVT, in partnership with Bracknell Forest Council and Design Thinking Ltd, has run yet another Green Meets Grey (GMG) challenge, this time focusing on inclusivity for the visually impaired. Green Meets Grey brings together students with business mentors for a day of creativity and collaboration to brainstorm real-world challenges impacting the local community.

Students from Easthampstead Park and Ranelagh schools were tasked with coming up with a community-focused solution that could be implemented in The Lexicon, opening on 7 September.  Hosted by Honda UK, Tom Conlin, CEO of Berkshire Vision, and Clive Wood and Joel Young from Guide Dogs for the Blind were on hand to inspire students.

The winning team was from Easthampstead Park and their idea was called Wrist-a-ractive a wearable to help the visibly impaired navigate their way around The Lexicon and make their trip a more interactive experience. The team will receive six months mentoring with ConnectTVT to review the feasibility of the idea, produce prototypes and test the idea further with potential customers.

Next generation skills
Green Meets Grey was launched by Louize Clarke, founder of ConnectTVT to build employability skills and confidence through innovation workshops. She believes in inspiring the next generation about careers in STEAM – putting the creativity back into STEAM using Design Thinking.

At the end of the day, students pitched their ideas to a team of judges, with Easthampstead Park School’s Team Cyrilia named as overall winners. The team will now receive six months mentoring from ConnectTVT and Design Thinking to help develop their idea.

Improving innovation and enterprise

GMG is not just aimed at young people; businesses need to be better educated about the next generation workforce and their expectations of employers.

Louize Clarke, Founder of ConnectTVT comments, “Once again we demonstrated that in the right environment our next generation are brimming with innovative solutions to every day problems. I can’t wait to work with team Cyrilia over the next six months.

“Much of the “they aren’t work ready” criticism is businesses simply not adapting their company culture. We aim to educate and open the eyes of business about the expectations of their future hires.”

Marc Brunel-Walker, executive member for economic development and regeneration, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed being part of this event and hearing the innovative ideas the students came up with for The Lexicon. Each of them approached the task with professionalism and enthusiasm while demonstrating a real understanding for the needs of people with visual impairment. It was fascinating to hear their ideas and passion for helping everyone in the community to experience all that The Lexicon has to offer.”

Mark Mason, Founder of Design Thinking, comments, “They say never work with animals or children…we did both and it was amazing! Encouraging students to wear ‘simi-specs’ (glasses that simulated visual imperfection) and bringing in guide dogs with their owners to the workshop, was a first for Green Meets Grey. It proved to be a valuable part of the experience however and allowed the teams to engage with empathy. We will definitely do this again.”

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