On the 15th of July 2020, SwopItUp’s founder and CEO Zaqiya Cajee was given the
opportunity to present a speech at the Pupil Design Awards – national competition for proactive and dedicated secondary and sixth-form students aged 11-17, commissioned by the Royal Society of the Arts. The competition’s aim was to inspire and encourage design, innovation and creativity within schools to combat real life challenges people and the planet are currently facing and offer solutions to create positive social change.
In particular, the RSA Pupil Design Awards aim to:
• Broaden definitions of how design can be applied
• Introduce social design and design thinking to teachers and pupils
• Build creative confidence in young people
Zaqiya kicked off her speech by sharing her experience of the early days when she had set up her youth-led environmental initiative (SwopItUp) all the way to where it currently stands today. Despite her success with the initiative, she explained her plans to create a bigger and bolder social impact in the future.
Part of the success was due to the support she had received from adults and industry professionals, which helped to transform ideas and dreams into tangible and practical action. Zaqiya emphasised the need for young leaders to have support from adults and went on to offer ways in which young people could build strong connections to turn ideas into reality.
For example, LinkedIn was a key instrument she had used – and continues to use - to build professional connections and networks with industry professionals who support her goals. Zaqiya quickly realised that LinkedIn is a powerful social network when used effectively, which helped her grow SwopItUp and make it the success it is today.
A big thanks to the RSA for providing Zaqiya with the opportunity to speak at the Pupil Design Awards! Find out more about the Award here.
Interested in getting involved with the work we do at SwopItUp? Drop us a line!