Looking back to go forward

Our very first HeyFuture! students began the programme on Tuesday 7th July, 2020. In hindsight, we see now that they got to expand their horizons right in between two lockdowns – a pretty specific moment in time; and perfectly suited to what we set out to achieve: how to progress confidently in times of enormous uncertainty.

That was prize number one. The goal of HeyFuture! is to get school leavers excited about possibility and to realise that they bring value to whatever workplace they find themselves in. That’s a great goal. But in true Mind Lab style, that goal needed to be cemented in physical, tangible experience. So we set about curating a programme that had real, practical and experiential outcomes. 

How do you get students excited about possibility? Show them what’s out there. 

We began by making a wish list of presenters and entrepreneurs who are doing things differently, boldly and successfully. We reckoned that a lot of 18 to 22 year olds are lacking enthusiasm because they have not been exposed to the sheer exhilaration of doing something you are passionate about.

We reached far and wide to find the most diverse, innovative thinkers and doers and asked them to share their ‘squiggly line’ journeys. Not just their success, but their heartache, isolation and difference too. And the result was more than we could hope for.

“It was incredible seeing the different ways that the presenters approached things, whole new worlds opened up” says Caitlin, a 17-year-old in her last year of high school.

How to gain confidence? Experience and trust your value.

The idea was to bring business and students together. For businesses to pose a challenge that they were battling to solve, and for the students to create a solution, using all the new ideas and frameworks that they were learning. This was our biggest gamble. If it worked, it would be a game changer, if it didn’t, it would leave a lasting impression. 

Mixit Charitable Trust, Radikal Neon and Xero jumped at the chance to gain valuable insight into a new generation’s thinking.

“I was hoping for a fresh take on the things that might matter to a new starter, and fresh thinking”, comments Pagen Plaizier, Xero’s People Experience Business Partner. “What we got was so much more than that! The HeyFuture! team really took the time to understand our business and the unique challenges. They delivered an idea as well as an app to execute the idea. I was blown away.”

How to be motivated? Experience hope and opportunity

We’ll let the students do the talking in this one….

“I am blown away and overwhelmed with opportunities flowing my way. It was completely unexpected. Every single time one of us put up our hand and showed interest, help followed.” – Faytarina

“After even the first week I feel like I did a full 180 on my perspective. Seeing and hearing from all these speakers, makes me feel like I’m not alone and it’s okay to not have a big plan, just to think about what’s next or what’s first.” – Cameron

“The whole experience was amazing; everything has opened up again” – Eden

We could not have hoped for a better outcome for our brave and bold first intake. The energy, excitement and sheer relief that exudes from these students as we discuss their very short but life changing three week journey is palpable, and we can’t wait to do it all over again!

How do we progress confidently in times of enormous uncertainty? By taking the next step.

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