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Samsung Launches ‘Not A School’ Enabling Gen Z to Create a Better Future for All

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Educational experience from Iris inspires next generation of leaders to use tech for good and pioneer positive social change

Samsung Launches ‘Not A School’ Enabling Gen Z to Create a Better Future for All

Samsung has announced the launch of ‘Not A School 2020’, a free educational experience co-created by and for Generation Z. Now in its second year, Not A School forms part of Samsung’s global commitment to educate and empower future innovators to achieve their full potential and become the next generation of leaders, pioneering positive social change.

The unique learning experience is open to 18-25-year olds from a diverse range of backgrounds and enables young people to become game-changers of the future by offering the skills, support and technology know-how to pioneer a better world. 

In a year which has galvanised young people around the world to address societal irregularities, new research shows that young people are more committed to taking action based on compassion, and that nine in ten feel that technology can help solve some of the most pressing issues we face. Not A School offers money-can’t-buy access to unorthodox mentors, activists, entrepreneurs and business leaders through sessions that explore the most important issues facing young people today - and how technology can help solve them.

Samsung’s new findings show sustainability and financial/career stability ranked as the issues most young people feel are significant (88% and 89% respectively). 86% also felt that mental health/wellbeing is a pressing issue and racial inequality was similarly placed, with 83% stating it as a primary challenge to solve. 

Unsurprisingly, the research indicates that 93% of Gen Z believe education is vital for challenging inequalities, yet considering the disruption caused by the pandemic, 57% say that even being able to access the same education and training opportunities is an obstacle. This could explain that why despite evidence of their activism, two-thirds currently feel the chance to make a positive impact on the world is a difficult now (68%).  

2020’s curriculum builds on the success of last year’s inaugural programme, extending to a wider audience and pivoting online due to COVID-19 conditions. Non-traditional course mentors, considered experts in their field, have been selected to teach students about the all-important 4C’s; creativity, communication, collaboration and critical thinking, as well as life skills such as financial management, project management, building confidence and networking. 

The campaign, created in partnership with Iris, launches with a film starring British rapper, singer and songwriter Lady Leshurr, one of the programme’s high-profile ambassadors. The film aims to spread the word about the programme, highlighting how young people can sign up. In the film Lady Leshurr gives a flavour of the course themes that will be covered; 

  • Respecting Our Differences Online: How can difference of opinion bring us closer together online? 

  • Turning Climate Anxiety into Positive Action: How can technology unlock activism in everyone?

  • Solving Inequality in Education: How can technology allow us all to be ‘educators’? 

  • Building Human Connection in a Digital World: How can we use technology to end isolation? 


All themes have been curated by B+A, in partnership with a Youth Advisory research board and the 2019 Not A School alumni, who will also participate by delivering their own mini skills sessions alongside Samsung, Iris and B+A, on practical topics such as starting a new business, the importance of networking, collaboration and self-belief. 

The programme has been optimised for online in partnership with FutureLearn, which is home to 12M learners worldwide. Two courses will be available online; the first is an immersive course for 100 young people nationally recruited from diverse backgrounds who will receive intimate mentoring and support. The second is a self-led learning experience open to all, offering access to each of the programme’s themes, the ability for young people to learn at their own pace, and accessible all year round, allowing students to fit learning in with their lifestyles. 

Editor-in-chief of gal-dem, Liv Little and filmmaker and climate activist, Jack Harries will also be fronting the programme, along with Lady Leshurr and course contributors who’re experts in their field including; Andy Middleton - Founder of TYF group, Chloe Pierre - Founder of Thy.Self, Adah Parris - Futurist and Cultural Strategist, Matteo Bergamini- CEO of Shout Out UK and Samia Dumbuya – climate justice activist, to name a few.

Commenting on the launch, Jessie Soohyun Park, head of corporate social responsibility at Samsung Electronics UK said: “2020 has been a year like no other. Despite the future looking more uncertain than ever before, the compassion and drive in young people to make the world a better place is just incredible. Our research shows they find immense hope in continuing to learn and sharing knowledge to achieve this and that tech is also key to this picture. Not a School gives them the chance to connect with inspiring peers and mentors from a very diverse range of backgrounds and fields of expertise and we hope this will equip them with the support, skill and know-how to get started on their tech for good journey. 

We also understand that access to opportunities like this can be a barrier, particularly in the current environment, which is why Not a School will be going online for the first time this year because Everyone – regardless of their ability or background – deserves the opportunity to learn and achieve their full potential.”

Anthony Abrahams, managing partner, Iris, said: “Not A School is a genuine and worthy educational experience, addressing multiple hyper-relevant issues through both the people involved and subject matter of the course content.”

Justin Cooke, chief content and partnerships officer at FutureLearn said: “It is hugely inspiring to see that today’s younger generation remain full of hope, despite the huge challenges and increasing uncertainty the global pandemic is throwing at them in their daily lives. We’re extremely proud to be partnering with Samsung to provide the critical online learning capability for Not a School. Our purpose at FutureLearn is to transform access to education for everyone, so that no one gets left behind, and we are incredibly excited about how technology can redefine the ability to educate and upskill people during these uncertain times. By renewing the focus online, young people will have an unprecedented opportunity to enable new and transformational discussions between each other and make their world a better place in the future."

Ben Gallagher, B+A co-founder, said: “B+A’s vision is to create a world of cultural, charitable, profitable enterprise. But to do that, we need to equip a new generation to create the organisations of the future that will change the world for the better, forever. Not a School will do just that - at a time when it’s needed most. We can’t wait to see what this year’s participants go on to do in the months and years to come.”

Recruitment for the self-led course will be live on Samsung’s channels from 7th September, and will open on 21st September and remain available for one year. Applicants can apply online here.  

The campaign will be promoted via Samsung’s social channels; Snapchat, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, as well as Lady Leshurr’s and other influencers own channels. FutureLearn will also promote the online courses with their extensive database of learners via their CRM, owned social and PR channels. 


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Genres: People

Categories: Environment, Corporate, Social and PSAs

Iris, Wed, 09 Sep 2020 11:46:02 GMT