More connected than any generation before them, Maltese students in their final year of secondary school have an unprecedented entrepreneurial drive.
All they need is a little push to set them on a path to change the world.
With this in mind, Budding Rockstars, an annual event organised by the Malta Communications Authority (MCA), aimed to do exactly that. Gathering 140 students from Malta and Gozo, the event inspired and encouraged them to be the best versions of their entrepreneurial self.
To really push their creativity, students started their exciting day with a plenary featuring talks from many entrepreneurs, like Josh O’Cock, Nathan Farrugia, Abdalla Kablan, Robyn Pratt, Brian Azzopardi, Cecilia Mzayek, Zach Ciappara, Jonas Eneroth, and finally Chris Borg, Nicole Borg and Steve Scerri.
After this, lecturers from the Edward de Bono Institute coordinated hands-on workshops aimed to encourage lateral and creative thinking. Students were all divided into groups, given a random word and asked to come up with an app or project that used communications technology to change the world by solving a problem
What followed was a series of projects no one saw coming. Apps that create friendships based on your shoe preference (called CONVERSation, by the way), programs that allow you to take a photo of lecturers’ notes and have them automatically turned into a word document and even a website that allows you to choose where to go to dinner based off any allergies you may have.
Voting for their favourite projects from among their peers’, students had a chance to see what their friends were creating before the three top-voted initiatives were then presented in front of four professional judges.
There was stiff competition, but in the spirit of communication and helping others, the winning project was a pen designed for those with motor difficulties or visual impairment. The idea is simple: based off thoughts or spoken commands, the pen can write for the user.
Sure, some technologies are yet to be developed for it to work, but the forward-thinking nature of the project clearly resonated with the judges.
Win or lose, everyone present left a little more excited to create, and a little more equipped to handle the ever-evolving world of business.
This is the fourth edition of Budding Rockstars, and we cannot wait for the next one.