To infinity and beyond: Something School 2024 empowers next gen innovators

Claire Halliday
Claire Halliday
Next Gen Award Winner Annie Rogers is a Year 11 student at St Andrews Lutheran College in Queensland.
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Hundreds of Queensland high school students – our next generation digital innovators – will connect with world leaders from Meta, NASA and Doctors Without Borders as part of Queensland’s premier festival for digital, innovation, and technology in August.

In the lead-up to Something Fest 2024 (26-30 August) – held across multiple stages within Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley precinct – students will take part in the Something School, delivered in partnership with BOP Industries, which focuses on empowering them as active participants in the digital economy. The initiative reflects this year’s Something Fest’s Empower Every Human theme, emphasising the role of digital in enhancing human capabilities. 

BOP Industries CEO Scott Millar says the core mission of the Something School was to help equip the next generation with the skills and mindsets to thrive in an ever-changing workforce.  

With data from the Foundation for Young Australians showing the average high school student today is expected to hold 17 jobs across five industries over the course of their careers, Mr Millar says “it’s essential that we provide them with opportunities to hear from the industry leaders at the forefront of this change”.

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He says Gen Z and Gen Alpha students of today are already incredibly digitally confident from growing up in a world surrounded by devices, Wi-Fi, social media, and work with technology in different ways to any generation that has come before. 

“We see 48 per cent of young people engaging with websites daily and 42 per cent engaging with TikTok daily to develop their skills and it’s clear they need a seat in the room at Something Digital to explore the emerging frontiers of technology and innovation,” he says. 

This year, the Something School has been reimagined and will feature two main activities: Youth Delegates and the Something School Breakfast.  

For the first time ever, a limited number of senior students will be able to attend the main Something Digital conference as Youth Delegates on 27-28 August at The Tivoli in Brisbane.

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As a Youth Delegate, students will hear from international headliners, participate in masterclasses and network with potential future employers.  

St Andrews Lutheran College Year 11 Student Annie Rogers will be one of the students attending Something Digital as a Youth Delegate.  

Enabling the voiceless to be heard

As the winner of the Next Gen Young Entrepreneur of The Year Award 2023 and Founder of MyVoice
– a company aiming to provide inclusion technology to non-verbal people – Ms Rogers
is already leading the charge for young people in the industry.

“As young people are digital natives, it’s imperative that we are involved in conversations around
technology, the digital world, and the future of work as we are the future and the ones impacted,” Ms
Rogers says.

“By including us in these conversations, we are empowered to thrive in the digital age and be prepared
for the future while our energy, creativity and passion are harnessed to drive positive change in these

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The Something School Breakfast will be held at The Precinct on 29 August and will enable students to
have a morning of networking, followed by a digital power hour featuring Brittany Brown, Director of Digital & Technology Division at NASA, leading into a panel discussing the future of work.

Mr Millar says events like the Something Festival and Something School provide an opportunity for young people to explore how technology will transform the way we live, work and learn.

“With 85 million jobs set to be displaced by a shift in the division of labour between humans and
machines between 2020 and 2025, it’s essential that every young person today considers the role technology will play in their life and their career into the future,” he says.

Thought leadership and digital innovation

In 2024, Something Digital will again form part of Something Fest and will deliver two days of thought leadership focussed on digital innovation, inspiration and capability building – bringing together the entire digital ecosystem, from start-ups and small businesses to large corporations, government, and educational institutions. 

Something Digital is created and curated by Bright Humans, a purpose-led organisation that designs  human-centred and knowledge-based experiences to bring people and communities together. 

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Key dates for the 2024 Festival are: 

  • May 14 – Warm-up event 
  • Early June – Something Digital full program announcement 
  • August 26 – 30 – Something Digital/Something Fest
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Claire Halliday has an extensive career as a full-time writer - across book publishing, copywriting, podcasting and feature journalism - for more than 25 years. She lives in Melbourne with children, two border collies and a grumpy Burmese cat. Contact: claire.halliday[at]