Children & Young People in 2030 Ensuring a bright future for Children & Young People in Brighton & Hove

Brighton & Hove Connected and city stakeholders are running a series of events to help the city examine how we can prepare for the future. This is not intended to be a traditional consultation process where organisations present proposals on which to comment. This will be a series of discussions led by a range of people from across the city, which allow us to look at the issues and decisions that we need to face in the future and provide insight and opinion to help those who have to take those decisions over the next few years. We hope this will help them to make the best decisions possible to ensure that our residents and visitors alike are able to take full advantage of our vibrant and exciting city.

Children & Young People in 2030

Technological innovations are developing at a speed it is hard to keep up with and our children and young people have not known a different world. As our young population grows and we have the opportunity to lift our heads up and look to the 2030 horizon, we can begin to consider what their lives in Brighton & Hove will be like in the future. Understanding the way they do use and will use technology to socialise, play, learn and travel will help inform the decisions we make about their wellbeing and what they need to thrive in Brighton & Hove.

If we can envisage a healthy and fulfilling future for our children and young people, including those most marginalised or vulnerable and enable them to share in every aspect of life in Brighton & Hove we will have set ourselves on a journey to creating a city for all.

Children & Young People in 2030 EVENT

Brighton & Hove Children's Services Partnership Forum hosted an event at Brighton MET on 10th July 2018 where a discussion took place framed around 2 key questions:

  • How do you think children & young peoples’ lives will be different in 2030?
  • What will Brighton & Hove need to provide in order for children & young people to thrive in 2030?
The event was aimed at sparking imagination and helping us plan for the future

Who was there?

Those attending the event came from a variety of places including the city's public services, universities, third sector organisations, social enterprises and businesses.

What happened?

Scroll down to see more about what happened at our event

From L to R: Globes shared among attendees, Ben Glazebrook sharing the Globe Session outcomes, , MakerClub's presentation picking out a keen observation from a hack day participant, Declan Cassidy talks through the MakerClub Hack Day activities & outcomes

Opening the event was Ben Glazebrook from Brighton & Hove Youth Collective and Declan Cassidy from MakerClub presenting the outcomes of the engagement activities with children and young people from across the city and beyond.

What do our children and young people think will be different about the city in the future?

The Globe Sessions being run by Brighton & Hove Youth Collective

What are the Globe Sessions?

We worked with Brighton & Hove Youth Collective to run a series of fun sessions with young people from across the city where they were asked to use inflatable globes and marker pens to doodle on or graffiti them with the issues they feel are important to them and asked what will be the issues in ‘your world’ or ‘our world’ in 2030?

Throughout May/June 2018 we engaged with groups including:

  • Hangleton & Knoll Project
  • Allsorts Youth Group
  • Brighton Youth Centre
  • Trust F|or Developing Communities
  • Amaze
  • Young Carers
  • Whitehawk After School Project
  • Brighton & Hove Youth Council

The Globes

Just some of the globes used in the sessions

The views gathered cut across a number of different themes inc. Equality & Rights, Environment & Global Warming, Health & Wellbeing, Education & Opportunity, Community and Technology. The most popular mentions are presented below.

Highest number of mentions:

  • Lower/cheaper house prices / affordable homes
  • Ocean pollution / Dead seas / Toxic seas
  • No homelessness / Homeless sorted – It’s unfair / More support
  • More mental health support / awareness / shorter waiting lists
  • Free/Cheaper Travel / Free Buses / Free Parking
  • No discrimination/prejudice / Accepting Everyone
  • We are all going to die / Everything blows up / We all die anyway

Next Highest number of mentions:

No homophobia - No Trump - No war / weapons / World peace - No racism - Less violence / please don’t fight - Animal rights / improved animal rights - Free wi-fi - More help to overweight people / obesity / Everybody will be fatter - Global warming - Free healthcare - Less plastic waste - No more guns! / Better gun protection / global gun control

MakerClub invited young people to Brighton & Hove Albion to hack their city!

What is the hack day?

Children from schools across Brighton & Hove and the surrounding area were invited by MakerClub and Albion in the Community to a hack day at Brighton & Hove Albion on 25th May 2018, where they had the opportunity to take part in a number of fun activities shaped around four key questions:

  • What are your favourite bits of the city and why do you care about them?
  • What are the biggest issues in our city?
  • What new tech ideas are there for improving cities?
  • What will be different about our city in the future?

Through analysing the outcomes of the activities MakerClub were able to draw out some of the key challenges young people believe the city faces now and some of their ideas for improving the city in the future:

Not unfamiliar challenges to most residents and visitors in the city
Encouraging signs of a generation thinking about potential solutions to our challenges

We are really grateful to the Brighton MET students who put a film together of the Hack Day that literally brings all the data to life. Thanks as well to the MET's Creative Industries Lead, Emma Harrington for making that happen.

See what the hack day attendees had to say:

What do the experts think?

After hearing the views of children and young people we asked some older experts what they thought are important considerations in helping us plan the city's future and outlined the work they do to tackle and embrace the challenges and opportunities we know about:

Dr Liam Berriman - Lecturer in Childhood & Youth Studies, CIRCY, University of Sussex

Dr Berriman presenting potential data futures for children & young people

Dr Berriman outlined how the Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth (CIRCY) engage with children & young people and their current projects including 'Everyday Childhoods in a Digital Age':

  • Longitudinal study working with children aged 7-8 years and young people aged 12-15 yrs.
  • Focusing on how technology features in children’s transition from mid to late childhood both at home and in school.
  • Focusing on how children and young people place their data online and how their data is in turn then collected and used.

So far some of the key issues raised through the research process have been:

  • Children see the management of their data as their individual responsibility.
  • A recurring theme is uncertainty over how their data will be used in the future, such as photos and personal information.
  • They feel compelled to share in order to participate (social media platforms) but also concerned about how visible that makes them.
Some of the key questions for researchers and service providers around the use of children's data

Lizzie Hodgson - Founder of ThinkNation

Lizzie Hodgson speaks about the impact of tech on young people

Lizzie outlined the work of ThinkNation in humanising the impact of technology on young people and how they go about doing this through many different innovative avenues including mentoring and creative engagement events that empower young people to define and share their thoughts on the challenges and opportunities of tech.

Young people being able to surface ideas/questions/concerns through creative methods has allowed more impactful thought on solutions and helped to highlight talent and where people should be working together and not in silos.

Lizzie went on to highlight the fast pace of technological change and what that means for work, education, society, cities and...EVERYONE! The main message being there is opportunity here to help improve lives using technology or we risk becoming passive or worse still...irrelevant.

ThinkNation also work with Corporates, Universities, Youth Orgs to ensure as many influencers and brokers are part of the conversation with young people.

Recent activities have been focused on some key themes:

  1. Mental health (social media/screen time)
  2. Poverty (how tech can help and also exacerbate stigma)
  3. Longevity/health
  4. Environment (eg. Blockchain)
  5. Employment (eg. AI)

A case study of ThinkNation's recent work on engaging young people in registering to vote can be found HERE.

Workshopping the BIG questions?

We asked the Children's Services Partnership Forum to consider, in groups and informed by the views of children and young people, 2 big questions and encouraged them to discuss freely and to BE BOLD!

1. How do you think children & young peoples’ lives will be different in 2030?

2. What will Brighton & Hove need to provide in order for children & young people to thrive in 2030?

Stay pumped! This is not the end of the conversation!

Where will this info go?!

The results of our engagement activities across all age groups will be collated and used by Brighton & Hove Connected members and others to inform ongoing planning and discussions in the city.

What we have made available here can already be used by those making plans for children & young peoples futures in Brighton & Hove and help guide decision making with it's insightful challenges and opportunities.

We hope to have further events in different formats over the next few years under the banner of our 2030 Vision that will provide the city with further insight into how best to prepare for the future. If you have any ideas on how to do this please drop Brighton & Hove Connected a line HERE.


Below we have gathered some resources that might help stimulate thinking as we look to the future for the city and what changes are happening around us now that could impact the lives of our children and young people.

2030 population projections for Brighton & Hove based on 2014 estimates

Our young population is predicted to continue to grow
These figures are based on 2014 Annual Public Health Report projections

The Impact of Artificial Intelligence

In this thought provoking 11 minute video, futurist and writer Calum Chace delivers a keynote address to 14-18 year olds on the potential changes to their world due to the development of artificial intelligence:

Following this talk at the ThinkNation Conference a discussion and Q&A featured big questions around the use of AI. Areas covered included:

  • Whether AI and humans will remain separate or merge
  • How AI will impact employment, and unemployment
  • Conflict drones and AI - the moral question
  • What politicians should be doing to assess the impact of AI
  • The possibility of sociopathic AI

How is children's data being gathered?

"The data from AI toys contains everything a child says to the device, including their most precious secrets"

Understanding how AI can now be used to gather data through a routine daily occurrence for our children and young people can help us understand how easy it is for businesses to gather information that may be of considerable value to them...and public services. But is it their data to own? And can they use an AI tool in the form of a toy to shape the way a child grows, to reflect their own values and corporate messages?

This interview with The World Economic Forum's Head of AI & Machine Learning helps to unpick what this could all mean and the ethical questions we could be mindful of.

Predictive Analytics in Children's Services

As part of the 2030 Vision programme we welcomed EY & Xantura to present at our Data & Intelligence event. They highlighted a key strand of their work being the use of predictive data analytics to identify vulnerable children. What will this mean for service provision in the future? And how do we eradicate the inherent risks of certain data usage and avoid issues similar to the recent Gang Matrix controversy.

"Children’s Services are facing ongoing pressure to ensure that all children are kept safe from harm and to intervene before crisis occurs. Xantura’s system uses data from multi-agency sources to identify children that are statistically most at risk of maltreatment, helping transform the way Children’s Services respond to need and enabling the Early Help agenda to become a viable model"

Impact of Screen Time on Children

When we think about the technology used by our children and young people now we tend to think about phones and tablets...exactly as everyone uses. Most adults fear that increased use of this tech is having a negative impact on children's development but do we know that for sure? What if it wasn't? What if it was helping? As this tech continues to evolve and be a part of children and young people's lives perhaps we should try to understand this more.

In this TedTalk children's media expert Sara DeWitt attempts to unpick the fears we have over increased screen time and what the benefits could be:

Technology in the classroom

Recent investment in development of virtual reality and augmented reality technology has opened up new ways for young people to learn, away from their textbooks and locality, to anywhere in the world.

In 10-15 years time what opportunities or challenges will this present to our schools? Where will it fit with more student-centered learning a distinct possibility?

The promotional video below from Google Expeditions in 2016 shows what their widely available app was able to do even then.

Technology Inequality

So with the speedy evolution of technology happening around us it can be easy to leave gaps and only cater to those who can readily access the tech and have the skills to use it. In this piece from Chris Ashworth of the Nominet Trust, he discusses the need to address this, using Salford as a case study of a place with huge investment in tech and media but with a high percentage of children living in poverty. The digital divide is very real. What future can we envisage where we narrow it in Brighton & Hove and enable the whole city to share in the opportunities afforded by tech innovations?

"Technology allows us to reimagine how we tackle pressing social issues in unique and innovative ways. It can profoundly help those most in need, but we have a collective duty to ensure it does not leave anyone behind"

A Hacker's Story

This short film from ThinkNation explores how an informal or "casual" group of mainly young people - who has a vision but no contract - assemble and act on it to hack global organisations. What triggers them to carry out a hack or share confidential intel? In other words, why do hackers work, and what role could or should they play in our world? What risks do they pose to our security - are they an asset or a threat? How can young people be better informed on the realities of hacking and the wider implications?

Designing a Child Friendly City

Although it cuts across many areas, the use of technology is not the only part of children and young people's lives, the look and feel of the city's urban environment will also shape the way they grow up and can provide massive social and health benefits for everyone in a city when designed with children in mind. Rainbow street lighting, elevated parks & green spaces, family friendly housing & neighbourhoods, a pedestrian city centre, a slide alongside every stairwell and swings on every lamppost! How much do we consider the everyday freedoms of children & young people now in our planning and designs, whether that be transportation or built environment, and what more could we do in the future?

Arup are a multinational design and planning firm. Their Cities Alive programme has used case studies to evidence the way we could create a child friendly city. This is outlined in their report:

"The amount of time children spend playing outdoors, their ability to get around independently, and their level of contact with nature are strong indicators of how a city is performing, not just for children but for all generations of city dwellers. If cities fail to address the needs of children, they risk economic and cultural impacts as families move away"

The report outlines the key challenges of urban childhoods:

The messages that will pave the way for beginning to tackle these challenges:

Now some questions for you:

If you would like to share your expertise on what the future of the city holds for children & young people please complete our short survey monkey which will help us plan for the future.


Created with images by Max Goncharov - "Curly blonde boy" • TeroVesalainen - "thought idea innovation imagination inspiration light bulb" • Alexas_Fotos - "teddy soft toy bears"

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