I’ve truly treasured my time as a recent addition to The Knox School community, where I’ve had the privilege of connecting with staff, students, and parents. The vitality of this community is truly remarkable, and I’ve been captivated by the impressive creativity that unfolds in the diverse learning opportunities, both for our dedicated staff and our enthusiastic students. Our young minds at TKS are not mere learners but active co-creators of their educational journey, and they’re exhibiting an eagerness to initiate projects that contribute meaningfully to their community.
An instance that stood out to me was during a Junior SRC meeting, where I witnessed a Year 4 student confidently and eloquently proposing a project aimed at fostering sustainability within our School. This emphasis on social responsibility deeply resonates with the defining traits of our present Generation Z and the emerging Generation Alpha, born after 2009. We are poised to see a growing number of students stepping up, fuelled by a genuine desire to create positive impacts within their community. Generation Alphas naturally seek a collaborative role, desiring inclusion in decision-making processes.
Looking ahead, as we contemplate their path into professional fields, it becomes evident that these young individuals will prioritise aligning their values with those upheld by their chosen organisations. Generation Alpha is positioned to claim the distinction of being the most educated generation in history, equipped with an extraordinary adaptability that seamlessly navigates a world influenced profoundly by the internet of things, smart technologies, and virtual reality. The seamless integration of Artificial Intelligence into their daily lives is on the horizon.
As our Gen Z and Alpha students traverse into the realm of employment, staggering statistics predict that an impressive 86% of them will embark on entrepreneurial ventures or seamlessly integrate a primary job with a side hustle—an entrepreneurial endeavour. (McCrindle, 2023) Fostering an entrepreneurial mindset and skill set becomes paramount. It’s truly striking that numerous young entrepreneurs commence their journey while still navigating the school years. Often, these ventures are ignited by passion or a sincere aspiration to address a community need, resulting in profound social impacts.
Consider the remarkable narrative of American youth, Ryan Hickman. A visit to a recycling centre at the tender age of 3 ignited his fervour for recycling. This interest propelled him to establish ‘Ryan’s Recycling,’ a for-profit enterprise that collects and recycles cans and bottles, yielding revenue. Over time, Ryan’s ecological consciousness blossomed, leading to the recycling of over a million bottles and cans. Furthermore, now 13 year old Ryan actively teaches others about recycling and environmental education through his founding of a nonprofit called Project 3R, as well as actions such as community and beach clean-ups. He is channelling profits from the sale of ‘Ryan’s Recycling’ t-shirts and hats to support injured sea life through the Pacific Marine Mammal Centre fund. Ryan is focused upon a future career in recycling.
This year, the Junior School offers our budding entrepreneurs their first foray into entrepreneurship, empowering them to conceive products for a market. Simultaneously, within the Senior School, Mr Paul Rossiter, the driving force behind our entrepreneurship initiatives, will commence to invite applications across Years 7-10 for the immersive Future Anything Spark workshop scheduled for October. This transformative two-day experience immerses participants in the world of Australia’s most innovative young entrepreneurs, all while honing their leadership, collaboration, and project management acumen. Vital concepts, including design thinking, prototyping, and persuasive pitching, will be diligently cultivated. The workshop is designed to foster not only resilience but also a wholehearted embrace of risk – two qualities quintessential to any entrepreneurial journey.
We are eagerly anticipating the emergence of entrepreneurial thinking from students across the School during this phase of our entrepreneurial strategy. Who knows, from these very seeds of creativity may spring forth the budding careers of tomorrow.
Ms Liana Gooch
Head of Teaching, Learning, and Innovation