Kids are surrounded by tech from an early age. Yet despite being avid consumers of the latest apps and devices, many don’t understand the basic concepts behind how they work or how tech skills could benefit their future lives. We call this the ‘tech literacy paradox’.

Today, Wednesday 9 September, BT is running a special event at the BT Tower to crowdsource solutions to this challenge – helping to keep the UK competitive in a tech-powered global economy, and to empower individuals to thrive and stay safe in our ever-more digital world.

The event recognises that the genuine cultural shift we need will only be possible by working together. That’s why BT CEO Gavin Patterson is hosting 90 movers and shakers from tech, education, business, and government to stimulate fresh thinking on this shared challenge. This includes Mumsnet CEO Justine Roberts, iRights founder Baroness Beeban Kidron, TV tech journalist Spencer Kelly, young tech entrepreneur Jordan Casey, and godfather of UK gaming and computer skills advocate Ian Livingstone.

Experts will break out into focused teams to develop new ideas, which will be captured and distilled into a solutions-focused report. BT will then make this thinking public, as well as looking for opportunities to take forward ideas that could improve tech literacy in the UK as part of our own long-term commitment.

The aim is to help young people to move from being passive consumers to active creators of technology, and to inspire a generation about the possibilities that being tech literate can unlock.  This means ensuring young people grow up really understanding the technology that underpins and shapes their lives, so they’re not left behind their peers and can thrive in an increasingly tech-enabled world.

We’re thrilled that some of the greatest minds in tech and education are joining us to help crack this challenge – and we look forward to sharing the thoughts and ideas that come out of the event!