Technology, entrepreneurship and training are the three premises that define the Gigas for School project, one of the winners of the EnlightED Awards 2021, given at the end of each EnlightED.

This conference, organized by the Telefónica Foundation in partnership with IE University and South Summit, brings together leading international experts in the fields of education, technology and innovation to reflect on the challenges posed in the field. of learning and draw practical conclusions about the great education debate. in the digital age.

Gigas for School was one of the winning projects in the category “schools and projects for primary, secondary and post-compulsory secondary education”, together with the Colombian projects titled Huertas Comunitarias STEM and PROYECTIVIDA, and this is a clear example of what an event the size of EnlightED is is paramount.

Technological and entrepreneurial talent

It is a program that aims to design new ways of educating, but also to inspire and identify the technological and entrepreneurial talent of students as a clear commitment to the future.

It is defined as competitive practical training to bring students closer to new technologies and commercial or social entrepreneurship as a professional option.

This is an initiative led by the Spanish multinational Gigas and Educsi Educación Jesuitas involving to date more than 2,000 young people aged 15 to 18.

Team work

Aimed at high school, baccalaureate and vocational training students, Gigas for School aims to educate differently. In other words, it seeks to promote values ​​and skills such as teamwork, self-improvement, effort, mistakes as a source of learning, and the sharing of knowledge and skills.

This training concept arises from the demand for new professionals based on technological talents able to respond to the digital transformation taking place in the business world, which is not sufficiently covered in Spain at the moment.

In fact, 23% of job offers recorded on the Telefónica Foundation job card are digital. This percentage is increasing year on year, while the pandemic has also contributed to this increase.

To change direction

This report is only the confirmation of a change of course in the training of our young people, as well as the retraining of older workers. These facts justify the decision of the EnlightED jury to present projects such as Gigas for Schools, which seeks to combine business and social entrepreneurship and the creation of any element related to innovation and technology.

Based on this, projects resulting from a competitive process are developed, culminating in their presentation to experts who will evaluate them, make recommendations and choose the winner.

In addition, training lectures on entrepreneurship and technology are included throughout the course and the projects carried out in the centers are supervised and tutored.

Colombian projects

The Colombian Huertas Comunitarias STEM project won an award in the same schools and projects for the category of primary, secondary and post-compulsory education. It is a project that was created with the aim of reducing the social divide between the urban and rural sectors through the creation of STEM community gardens to contribute to food security in the villages of San Francisco, Santa Inés and Holanda in the municipality of Pitalito Huila (Colombia).

The other initiative rewarded in this section is PROYECTIVIDA, the name of an institutional experience developed in three institutions in the department of Caldas in Colombia.

This initiative aims to support the life project of students through information and communication technologies, respecting the environment and using innovation as a means for students to achieve all their goals and enter at a college or university.

The awards also highlighted Spanish and Colombian initiatives in the category of universities, vocational training and higher education institutions. Specifically, the prizes were awarded to the Technology and Design Laboratory of the University of Oviedo and to the Medialab, where students carry out their graduation projects and internships associated with projects in robotics, IoT and 3D printing while receiving interdisciplinary training in eco-design, ethics and communication.

In addition to the Asturian project, the winners included the gamification program called The Last Days of Magic, based on magic oriented towards the development of digital skills in the initial phase of teacher training, and the Colombian agricultural engineering program Misión Utopía, which integrates the generation of educational and productive opportunities for young people in rural areas affected by violence with limited economic resources.

Technology and education

In the corporate training, lifelong learning, upskilling and continuing education category, winners included the Brazilian project Integração de Tecnologia na Educação, which promotes digital inclusion through the integration of technology into public education, and the annual Hacking for Humanity hackathon, which brings together IT professionals, students, and people with no computer knowledge of all ages to solve social problems through technology.

The third winner in this section is the CoderDojo Valencia project, an inclusive programming club for young people aged 7 to 17 to inspire technological vocations, especially for girls.

The award for recently created companies, startups and entrepreneurship ecosystems traveled to the United States. The winner was Symba, a comprehensive platform that helps organizations streamline the management of their talent development programs, by collecting key success indicators and creating dashboards to monitor long-term program impact.

Terms such as technology, education, integration and interdisciplinary training, among others, characterize these winning projects, but they also indicate the direction that the training of young people must take to meet the needs of the current and future world of employment.