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Foundervine Visits Downing Street

Foundervine’s Head of Programs, Indie Gordon, was recently invited to attend Number 10 Downing Street to share her insights on policy focused on upskilling and entrepreneurship.

We sat down with Indie to talk about the discussion and the impact she thinks it will have on young people’s futures.

How was your experience visiting number 10?

This was my first time visiting number 10. It was phenomenal to step foot inside a monumental part of history and to be able to look at what some of the country’s leaders have created. The building itself is filled with so much history and beauty — I was blown away just by the space itself.

But most of all, I was blown away by having a room filled with powerful women and men, with the majority being women who either head or are founders of companies similar to ourselves here at Foundervine.

Indie Gordon outside 10 Downing Street
Indie Gordon outside 10 Downing Street

How were you invited to Downing Street?

I received an invitation from Myles Stacey OBE, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister. The meeting was a breakfast discussion on skills and entrepreneurship with Alex Brant, MP Minister for Skills.

Can you tell us a little about your policy discussion?

We touched on many important topics during our conversation. Topics we discussed at length were how do we get our young people the skills they need in an entrepreneurial setting? How do we bring entrepreneurship skills back into education, but also ensure that our young adults have the soft skills required to be able to effectively be ready for the working world?

The discussion itself was phenomenal. We spoke in-depth about the difference between entrepreneurship and mainstream education, the misalignment between the two, and how we could make it possible to integrate them. For example, entrepreneurship is built on creativity and thinking outside the box, whereas mainstream education is seemingly based on learned information, copy and paste with little creativity. In reality, we need to re-establish a new curriculum that entrepreneurship can flourish within, a more holistic approach.

We also touched on the importance of diverse role models. Having someone that our young people can look up to, someone who looks like them, within the same profession is integral to their development and understanding who and what they can become.

The full discussion panel outside 10 Downing Street
The full panel outside 10 Downing Street

What were your main contributions to the conversation?

My main contribution to the discussion was the user journey. The responsibility is on all of us to deliver success for our young people. We need to understand the user journey of our young adults: where they start, where they end up, their different circumstances, and how we can fit into that to help them to succeed.

I talked about the importance of all members of society coming together, founders, leaders, parents, organisations and councils to support our incredible young people.

What are the next steps?

We will be meeting again and have the opportunity to advise and feed into any changes. This is just the beginning of the journey!

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