Imagine: Our participants have passed through boot camp and developed some digital skills. They have learned how to do a standup meeting and use some Agile techniques. They’ve taken a story point and turned it into code. They’ve pitched a business idea or delivered a presentation on a technical tool they use. In short they’ve grown to be a junior functioning member of the digital tech community.
So now what?
One option is to send them into the world as a digital backpacker.
To do that effectively we’re going to need a global network and that network is going to want to send their digital backpackers to us too.
So what will these digital backpackers do? Some of them will have commercial grade digital skills that they can turn into paid engagements immediately. Others will earn some income as backpackers do the world over. Everyone will have the opportunity to further develop their digital skills.
Participants will have opportunities to help community service organisations either by improving their use of digital technology or by assisting in more traditional ways. When enthusiastic problem solvers learn to deliver practical services in traditional ways they are much better placed to innovate.
Digital gap year participants can start in their home town, develop their skills, expand their contact network and then have a path to international travel, the generation of some income, can give something back to the community and have some amazing life experiences before returning to continue studies or develop their career.
Backpackers are already contributing $3.2 billion dollars annually to the Australian economy. They typically earn $15,000 dollars during their stay. If we can attract young startup talent to Australia before they get swallowed up by Silicon Valley we may encourage some to stay and those who do return home will take their contacts and relationships with them expanding everyone’s network.
If young people leave Australia with a solid foundation in digital industry skills and with a network that builds products and services in their home town not only will they have a much more interesting time away, they will explore the planet with a more positive outlook towards returning.
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