Year 13 pupil Harly Videan has recently embarked on a mission to encourage young people to debate the things that will shape their future.
Upon returning to school in the spring, Harly enrolled with the ‘School of Future’ to build a business plan that he could pitch to his cohort.
All from his bedroom desk, Harly got to know his 58 peers and eventually pitched against 9 others from across the globe including students from Germany, India and the US.
Harly’s concept is called ‘Open’- an online debating platform that includes podcasts, online group discussions and a community of young people who want to fight for a better future.
We caught up with Harly to find out more about this exciting project.
A huge congratulations Harly, this is an incredible achievement! How did you feel when your pitch won the heats?
It felt really good to win in the initial heats, but my attention immediately turned to the next heat! I was a bit scared at first, but I psyched myself up for the next round and was ready to go.
Did you have to adapt your idea for the next round?
Yes, I did, the turnaround time for competition is fast, so you do your best to form your idea quickly and make your business plan as sound as you can in the time given. I got to the semi-final too, which was such a strong field. I managed to get down to the final 20, at which stage I had to do a 3-minute pitch to an online audience of 150 people. It was frightening to see the timer ticking down as I spoke, knowing that this content would be presented on YouTube and other social channels.
What an experience Harly, this is life changing stuff!
Despite not getting through to the final, this experience has been a huge eye-opener for me, which has been fun and informative at the same time.
Has there been anything that has surprised you about going through this process?
It has been fantastic to meet (virtually) people from across the globe, and I have made quite a few friends from Germany in particular. This has led me to learn the German language, which has been a fun challenge and I really can’t wait to visit one day.