An array of competitions, workshops, experts talks, after-school activities and hosted events have made for a dynamic and productive first year at the IDEAS Hub on Dover Campus. The Hub opened in August 2016 with a mission to provide a place that inspires and supports our community to explore, innovate, collaborate and create sustainable solutions to shape a better world.
The Hub is having a positive impact on the College and the wider Singapore community, offering a collaborative space that is connecting UWCSEA to local companies and innovators, as well as providing opportunities for people to share resources, learn from each other, work on projects, network and build. Students quickly became accustomed to spending their break time in the IDEAS Hub (there are vocal complaints from Junior School students when it is closed for a day), and families have been using the space on the weekends to work on DIY projects.
Thirty parents and alumni are providing support through the adult volunteer programme, giving their time as mentors to work with Hub users on a regular basis. The IDEAS Hub has also established itself as an innovative space to host entrepreneurial events in Singapore, having partnered with organisations including Intel, Microsoft, UN Women and Ashoka during this first year.
Ben Morgan, the Director of IT and Founding Chair of the IDEAS Hub Advisory Board said, “Why is it important to expose young people to these activities—in our case starting from age 4 upwards? Ultimately, entrepreneurship and creating are mindsets, they are attitudes far more than they are skills sets, although certain skills are important. If you study many of the world’s successful entrepreneurs who have become famous in their twenties, the idea they are famous for was not their first idea. They all started developing projects in their teens or younger, which tells us that waiting until post-school education to develop entrepreneurism is too late; we have to be doing this in mainstream K–12 education.
Our young students may not become famous for their first project, it may not be the next thing they create or the next … But the key for us as a school is to create the environment where they can try and fail and try again … and so help them develop the underlying attitudes that will eventually enable them to be successful.”
The IDEAS Hub is funded by gifts from the community. Gifts to the College, through the UWCSEA Foundation, enrich the unique UWC learning experience and bring the College closer to achieving its mission.