Finalists will compete in this year’s Young Entrepreneurs Challenge showcase in a bid to win £10,000/€12,000

“With the current challenges in the technology sector and reduced startup funding across the EMEAregion, dragged by inflation, higher interest rates and geopolitical events, programs like the Young Entrepreneurs Challenge are even more important to ensure we continue to support and nurture budding entrepreneurs.”

This year saw 100 competitive entries from a broad range of countries across Europe including the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, Finland and Greece. These entries were narrowed down to five finalists.

“It’s inspiring to see somany new and innovative business concepts in the areas of sustainability, climate change and healthcare, and we’re proud to play a key role in helping scale these ideas.”

The five finalists now compete for the grand prize during a live event on March 7th where they will pitch their ideas to a panel of judges that includes former Grand Prize Winner JamieBankhead, as well as guests in business and education. The grand final will be live-streamed on LinkedIn.

The top winner receives a whopping £10,000 Grand Prize, mentorship, a technology support package to help kickstart their business proposal, and a trip to the One Young World 2024 Global Summit in Montréal, which brings together many of the brightest young leaders from over 190 countries and more than 250 organisations.

Each runner-up will receive £1,000 to fund their start-up business, a personalised development plan that focuses on key priorities, and access to a series of masterclasses overt he next yeart hat will pair the finalists with various industry experts.

  • Sanjiv Gossain, Group VP & Head of EMEA, Verizon Business
  • Ella Robertson-McKay, Managing Director, One Young World
  • Piers Linney, Formerinvestor on Dragons’ Den, Co-founder: Implement AI, Adviser & Speaker
  • Jamie Bankhead Previous YEC Winner & CEO of Konglomerate Games
  • John Williams, Marketing Director & CMO – EMEA & APAC, Verizon Business

Phytavaren Technology, a Prop tech startup in London, specialises in building thermal dynamicsR&D with passive design and developing eco-friendly building materials and other low-energy construction materials by integrating architectural solution design to address thermal regulation, carbon sequestration and structural integrity in construction. The Interlocking Semi-Calcite PassiveBrick (ISCPB), Phytavaren Technology’s flagship product, has been recognised by prestigious and global awards in innovation, sustainability, and real estate of a product that is making a significant impact on the industry transition. ISCPBis a sustainable construction material with eco-design integrated with thermal dynamics to use less electricity to regulate building temperature.

The ISCPB re-engineers common waste from the ocean as a sustainable construction material that can make the building temperature independent from the outside temperature. ISCPB helps consume less electricity by regulating the building temperature through its insulator properties. This enables the company to save more energy and makes the construction process faster, safer, and more eco-friendly. With thermal properties benefits, Phytavaren Technology is lowering the workload of the HVAC system and energy consumption in buildings through passive and eco-design to make the building energy efficiency more resilient.

Lung cancer accounts for over a fifth of cancer fatalities annually. With approximately 38,000new cases diagnosed annually, it is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. This is due to ineffective screening processes and delayed symptom recognition associated with lung cancer detection. Devi’s solution, Pulmo Guard Pro Scan, is a novel breathalyser intended for both routine GP exams and high-risk individuals (e.g. smokers, exposure to environmental pollutants) to determine lung cancer susceptibility.

It analyses volatile organic chemicals and biomarkers in exhaled air, such asmiRNAs, isoprene orNNK, which are linked to lung cancer risk. Early detection is aided by the device’s rapid and non-invasive results. Due to Pulmo Guard Pro Scan’s user-friendly design, this facilitates widespread, seamless integration into standard GP procedures.Healthcare providers and patients can take proactive preventative steps that align with the evolving nature of personalised medicine. The Pulmo Guard device stands out by offering a distinctive solution that tackles the challenge of detecting lung cancer at an early stage and reducing NHS costs associated with lung cancer, which currently costs the UK economy £2.4 bn each year.

The relatively low production cost, its mobile nature and its ability to be re-used makes Pulmo Guard a device which is accessible to healthcare workers around the world, including doctors, and can be easily introduced into routine checkups. This will promote good health and well-being and reduce inequality as individuals from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds would have access to preventative care.

Introducing “The Swirl.” – one of the first truly bladeless hydro generators that harness the power of the
vortex effect, setting it apart fromconventional generators. Crafted fromrecycled plastics using 3D
printing technology, Swirl. operates withoutrotating blades. The innovative bladeless design of Swirl.
eliminates perpendicular obstacles for passing biomass, and its rotating systemfollows the water stream creating a safe passage for fish and other biomasses through the middle section, all while generating sustainable power.

Designed for easy assembly by a single person, Swirl requires no heavy machinery, featuring components compressed into flat packages for convenient transport. Swirl. is an ideal choice for individuals seeking a greener future through their own sustainable energy source -requiring only a small stream of water. The Swirl. is sustainable as it aims to support the commercialisation of clean energy sources for eco-conscious individuals or those in need of a green backup source. Furthermore, the product is made of recycled materials, aiming to support the current green shift and make green energy more accessible worldwide.

Eye disease screening programs worldwide are not performing well enough, which is causing millions around the world to go blind. From his research work with NASA astronauts, Ethan found a way to use Generative AI to allow the eyes of astronauts to be better monitored while in spaceflight, where limited imaging equipment exists.

Ethan is bringing this same technology to Earth withAngioGenius, an app where anyone can take a photo of their eye at home to help detect and monitor eye disease progression.

Solar Optic is a hybrid sunlight system that utilises advanced optics and a sun-tracking mechanism to
provide natural illumination indoors. The system concentrates sunlight on the surface of the lens and the light beam is guided through a polymer optic cable. Similar to normal lamps, Solar Optic diffuses sunlight from cables inside the building.

Solar Optic does not convert heat into electricity like solar panels do, which is how the solution avoids losses of energy and achieves high-efficiency illumination inside the building. The Solar Optic system works together with artificial light, compensating for the missing light when there is not enough sun outside. High electricity prices and carbon taxes are forcing organisations to think about the implementation of sustainable solutions. Solar Optic technology has a potential application in various markets such as schools, warehouses and supermarkets.


Young Entrepreneurs Challenge Winner Olivia Simpson talks about her Grand Prize Win!


A few weeks ago we were thrilled to crown 21 year old Olivia Simpson the Winner at our Young Entrepreneurs Challenge Grand Final in collaboration with our wonderful partners Verizon Business.

Held at the impressive new V-Suite in Verizon’s London headquarters, our Grand Final event welcomed all five finalists Evan, Anjali, Olivia, Marion and Idan to pitch their ideas to our panel of industry experts. The event was streamed live through Verizon’s cutting edge technology so that people across Europe (and beyond) could join in the competition as it unfolded.


Our five amazing finalists this year (left to right) Anjali, Idan, Olivia, Evan and Marion


It was the toughest final yet! All five finalists delivered exceptional presentations and wowed the room with their business acumen and awareness of important sustainability issues on a global scale. Their ideas and ingenuity were simply astounding, and our judges had an incredibly difficult time choosing an overall winner. 

After much deliberation the amazingly impressive Olivia Simpson from was crowned our Grand Prize Winner, taking away a cheque for £10,000, entry to the One Young World Global Summit and a mentorship package.


Olivia will be investing her Grand Prize of £10,000 into her business aiming to transform the medical industry’s use of plastics


Now that Olivia’s had time to catch her breath we caught up with her to hear all about her experience and how it felt to be announced our winner!


Olivia, once again, huge congratulations on your win, your vision for your business was simply inspiring and will have such far-reaching impact in the medical industry. Have you managed to take it all in yet?

Just about! Honestly it was such a big achievement to me and I am still so ecstatic about it!


For those who didn’t see the final, give us a brief overview of what your business is and what it does, and where you hope to take it.

My business SymbioTex aims to replace single use plastics in the medical sector.  We are working to produce class 1 medical devices (such as inhalers, covid-19 tests and pregnancy tests) that are home compostable- currently these devices are made of non-renewable materials and at the end of their life they go to landfill or incineration creating harmful byproducts such as microplastics. 

We aim to licence our patented technology to current medical device manufacturers- to help us get to this point we are working on optimising our formulation, undertaking focus groups and working closely with the NHS. 


So so impressive and shows a huge awareness of the sheer amount of plastics used in the medical industry. How did you prepare for the grand final? 

I practised my pitch a lot! In the mirror, to my family.  I think even they knew it off by heart by the time the final came around! Our CSO worked very hard with me on the content of the slides and refining our pitch – the science and our business model alone is quite a mouthful to explain. 

We worked hard to produce a PowerPoint which allowed the judges and audience to understand both- whilst being straight to the point delivering the facts and sharing our passion! 


When you arrived at the venue on the day, how did you feel and what did you expect?

When I arrived I was mainly excited- being in the final was a huge opportunity for us and our concept. I was not expecting how magnificent the Verizon office would be! Of course I had some nerves but I knew we had a full day of preparation before the pitch! 

The Unloc team were incredibly supportive, both on the run up to the day (sorting logistics of transportation, accommodation, and catering) and on the day itself. On the day they spent a lot of time ensuring we were comfortable- we even did a full dress rehearsal! 

We got some really helpful key tips and feedback before the final, and even warmed up our vocal chords! I felt so prepared! All the Unloc staff went above and beyond and were incredibly friendly and supportive! 


What did you think of the other finalists and their business ideas?

The judges definitely had a tough choice! The other finalists were all so friendly – it was a pleasure to pitch alongside them! They all had fantastic ideas which I know will go on to make significant impacts in the field of sustainability! 

We also all got on really well on the day and have been in touch with each other since! I’m excited to follow their journey too! 



When the big moment came to do your pitch how did you find it?

When it came to presenting my pitch in front of the audience, judges and cameras for the livestream I actually felt really confident! I knew I had put in the preparation for my pitch and I had been uplifted by the Unloc and Verizon team all day – I was ready to show off our hard work!! 

Of course there is always the initial 30 seconds that you feel anxious but once you get into your stride it becomes really exciting! 


What did you think of the other finalist’s pitches, did anyone really stand out for their delivery or knowledge?

I still remember key points from all the finalists pitches- that shows the impact they had on me! They all delivered extremely well and were so knowledgeable! Their pitches had me hooked from start to finish (and we had listened to each other’s pitches quite a few times by that point). 

Our five finalists just await the start of the competition in Verizon’s new V-Suite at their London Headquarters


When they called your name as the winner, how did you feel? 

I was totally shocked- everyone had impactful businesses with great pitches! All of the finalists’ deserve to be a winner! They all showed passion, and knowledge. I was over the moon with happiness that I won (I even had happy tears!) I was so happy that our work was being recognised!

10) How will you invest the £10,000 prize money?

We will use the money to run extrusion trials to produce enough material to do biodegradation studies with, and enough material to carry out commercial pilots with selected partners.

What would you say to anyone considering entering the next Young Entrepreneurs Challenge?

Don’t just consider! Apply! Never have I felt so empowered at a competition/event by the other finalists and the staff! I thoroughly enjoyed the day! 

My top tip would be to get your passion across! All of the finalists get a support package! 

You never know the next winner could be you!!


Olivia proudly displaying her Grand Prize cheque for £10,000 alongside her fellow finalists and Unloc’s Managing Director Hayden Taylor

Olivia thank you so much for catching up with us, you join our Hall of Entrepreneurial Fame with our previous Grand Prize Winners! I have no doubt there are amazing things ahead for both you and Symbiotex – we’ll be watching closely!


Unloc, Burberry, Verizon Business and GRP Solutions have joined forces to launch a new initiative to level up the lives of young people and change the game for tomorrow’s young workforce. The Unloc Changemaker Alliance will bring together leading business organisations who believe in creating a positive impact on the lives of young people in society, even the playing field for those from disadvantaged backgrounds, and develop their skills and potential as future employees.

Multiple factors lie at the heart of the issue. Simply put, opportunity is not meeting talent when it comes to underrepresented communities in the workplace, and young people are not being given opportunities to forge a path and have their voices heard.


More than half of young people feel totally unprepared to enter the world of work and lack the skills, experience and knowledge to begin their career journey, or know which way to turn when seeking help or advice.


Social enterprise Unloc has joined forcing with global communications giant Verizon Business, international luxury fashion brand Burberry, and leading composite manufacturer GRP Solutions to address these issues, forming the Changemaker Alliance.

This collective of forward-thinking businesses all possess a commitment to developing the potential of young people, and ensuring they have access to the skills, the knowledge, support and guidance to excel in their futures, creating positive impact on the employability and trailblazing the way for their peers. 



Through the Alliance partnership they will work with schools, colleges and young people to develop the skills and career pathways that have a tangible impact on young minds and future aspirations.

The Changemaker Alliance provides them with an avenue to bring these ideas to fruition, and will provide funding for programmes which promote inclusion and diversity, social action, empowerment, and level the playing field for young people from all economic backgrounds and communities.

It can be especially difficult for young people starting out on their career path to secure funding or finance to begin their potential business or entrepreneurial ideas.


Young people will be able to apply for seed-funding grants of up to £1,000 in order to help make their ideas a reality.


To tackle this the Changemaker Alliance will enable 16 to 25 year olds to apply for small seed funding grants of up to £1,000 to trial their entrepreneurial ventures, community projects or social enterprise ideas. These grants are designed to give young people a chance to test their idea and get it off the ground, whilst creating a positive impact in the wider community.


Hayden Taylor, Unloc’s Managing Director said:


“We are thrilled to launch the Unloc Changemakers Alliance, and simply couldn’t ask for better founding partners than Verizon and Burberry. Their work with Unloc in the past has allowed us to take programmes and support out to disadvantaged young people in the community, and provide programmes on global issues such as sustainability, inclusion, racial justice, diversity and women in the technology sector.”

“United we understand the importance and social value to the future economy when we look at young people. Today’s school pupils and college students are the future customers and workforce. Collectively with the Changemakers Alliance we can help young people realise their full , whether that’s through mentoring, support, skills development, or financial funding support. We’re so excited to make a difference to their future career journeys.”


Unloc’s founders Ben Dowling and Hayden Taylor


Mark Turner, Business Relationship Director, Burberry said: 


“We are honoured to be a founding partner of the Unloc Changemaker Alliance. We’re looking forward to continuing the amazing work we’ve started in partnership with the organisations to date. Supporting the next generation and making a lasting positive change is important to us, and we know there’s so much more we can do.”

“Through the Alliance, we have a unique opportunity to work alongside like-minded companies, supporting young people and helping them reach their potential.”


Xavier White, Head of UK&I Marketing and EMEA Social Purpose said:


“We are delighted to be a founding member of Unloc’s ChangeMaker Alliance and this new grant making program. For the past few years, Verizon have been working with Unloc to hold the annual Young Entrepreneurs Challenge, a competition for those aged 16-25 to win funding to scale up their tech-related startup idea. However, we’re aware that there’s a certain amount of privilege in having access to the first few hundred pounds required to bring such an idea to life.”

“This led to the idea of a test-and-learn grant: the new ChangeMaker Alliance Grants. We are delighted to be working alongside Unloc, Burberry and GRP Solutions to bring this to life and even the playing field for young people and provide them with access to funding, training and new opportunities.”


Verizon Business Managing Director for UK&I Tony Judd with Xavier White, Head of UK&I Marketing & EMEA Social Purpose

GRP Solutions Director of People, Culture and Community, Michele Harpur said:


“Supporting the Change makers of tomorrow is a team effort and we are honoured and delighted to be working with such leading organisations to create positive change through the Changemakers Alliance.”


As the Changemaker Alliance grows the members hope that other leading businesses will join them to grow the Alliance network and it’s reach, ensuring more and more young people across the UK have access to the training and support which will allow them to take a bolder first step into the employment market.”


Interested in your organisation becoming a part of the Unloc Changemaker Alliance? Click here

About the members of the Unloc Changemaker Alliance

About Unloc & Changemaker Studios

Unloc was founded in 2013 by award-winning young leaders Hayden Taylor and Ben Dowling. The organisation’s mission is to empower young people to be innovative changemakers who seek to build stronger communities and sustainable businesses. 

The organisation is focused on developing young people’s skills, enhancing their potential and boosting their determination to succeed. Unloc works towards achieving its mission by delivering inspiring educational programmes, including on entrepreneurship and self-employment, in our network of 100+ schools and colleges in the UK and beyond. 

Get the latest from Unloc with our Digital Update. Click here to subscribe!

About Burberry

● Burberry is a global luxury brand headquartered in London, UK.

● Founded in 1856, Burberry is listed on the London Stock Exchange (BRBY.L) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index.

● BURBERRY, the Equestrian Knight Device, the Burberry Check and the Thomas Burberry Monogram and Print are trademarks belonging to Burberry.

● For more news: 

About Verizon

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) was formed on June 30, 2000 and is one of the world’s leading providers of technology and communications services. Headquartered in New York City and with a presence around the world, Verizon generated revenues of $133.6 billion in 2021. 

The company offers data, video and voice services and solutions on its award-winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers’ demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control.

VERIZON’S ONLINE MEDIA CENTER: News releases, stories, media contacts and other resources are available at

News releases are also available through an RSS feed. To subscribe, visit

About GRP Solutions LTD

GRP Solutions Ltd is the UK’s leading provider to the Glass reinforced plastics industry. A highly experienced team of composite experts, dedicated to setting the standard in composite distribution. Working with world class suppliers the company prides itself in offering the very best solutions and service to customers. 

Growing from strength to strength, GRP Solutions provides customers across every sector of the UK with the most comprehensive range of composite solutions and services. 

Further information can be found at: 

Beth Hunt joined Unloc this year as our Programme Facilitator for Entrepreneurial Skills & Career Pathways, but she’s also an entrepreneur, running her own business for the past two years ‘Beth’s Boutique‘. She’s also just gone through to the final for the Business Mum, Small Business of the Year Award 2022!

We’re proud to have so much talent and entrepreneurship within our team, so as it’s Global Entrepreneurship Week we thought we’d catch up with Beth to find out how she became an entrepreneur and started running her own small business.

So Beth give us the low-down on how this all began!

“Before Unloc I was a teacher, teaching secondary Drama and children with special educational needs, which I have always loved. It was an ideal job when my two children, Leo and Daisy were growing up.

I have always had a love of clothes and fashion – especially Italian clothing for women! During the lockdown of 2020 when everything shut down due to Covid-19, 2020 my own little business ‘Beth’s Boutique Clothing’ was born.

It’s a new online Boutique Clothing Shop that offers customers a place to find unique and timeless fashion pieces. I now sell quality clothing to customers across the UK. I’ve also collaborated with a jewellery company ‘Sharkie & Bear to create an exclusive range of earrings, and now there’s another collaboration in the pipeline too – watch this space!

Through my business I’ve met some brilliant women, reconnected with others and the support around me has been amazing.”

So how did you get the idea to start the business?

“Well I’m originally from North Wales, and I was out shopping with my mum in a lovely town called Llangollen one day. We came across and walked into a little boutique that funnily enough specialised in Italian clothing!

The lady that owned it had a soft Welsh accent and she was so friendly and warm. Whilst browsing I said to my mum “This is it! One day this is what I want to do”

That was about 10 years ago, before I’d ever been to Italy (that’s another story!). My children were 3 and 1 years old, and I was rather busy with them and teaching part time in a secondary school!

I loved teaching but also felt it was time to attempt something I’ve always wanted to do, a point for a change, time to bite the bullet so to speak. Many years before i’d gone to evening classes to study Business and I felt it was time to put that knowledge to good use!”

What made you choose Italian fashion in particular?

“There’s something so stylish and opulent about Italian clothing. It’s absolutely unique I think, they really know how to dress, and make it look so effortless to ooze style and creativity. There’s also the high level of craftsmanship and attention to detail in italian clothing, you just don’t tend to see the threadwork, embroidery, luxury fabrics or appliqué on clothing from other countries. It’s just stunning.

Fashions from Italy are also well renowned around the world for their elegance and refined construction. They don’t body shame women for not being a size zero like a lot of the fashion world, they absolutely embrace curves and hourglass figures, and use construction and fabrics which accentuate and compliment a woman’s body shape.

I wanted to take that love and share that with other women who don’t always get the chance to see or buy that kind of clothing on the high street. As much as i’d love to be selfish and just buy it all and keep it for me – i’m prepared to share lol.”

Beth’s Boutique sells a wide range of fine Italian clothing

How did it feel when you made the decision to go for it?

I was incredibly nervous. All I knew was whatever happens I’ll have lots of lovely Italian clothes! (what’s not to like about that?!). So here we are, a family run business (they chip in and help from time to time) that now specialises in Italian clothing in one sizes.

My models are my customers – check-out the gallery on my website! I love that the clothes I sell look good on every day women, and figures of all shapes and sizes. It’s about feeling good and self confidence, and the clothes I sell reflect that. The feedback from it all has been incredible. Body confidence is key no matter what your age or shape or size!

I’m especially proud as I have just gone into the Final for the Business mum, Small Business of the Year Award 2022- which I am absolutely thrilled to bits about!

It just shows that one moment, one small thought or event can have a major impact on your future and your happiness – you just have to seize the opportunity and be brave enough to do something about it!”

Click here to visit Beth’s Boutique

Click here to check out Sharkie & Bear

Applied for the Young Entrepreneurs Challenge 2023 yet? Our Europe-wide competition in partnership with Verizon Business aims to discover the best of up and coming new business talent, and is officially open for applications!

Now in its fifth year, the dynamic competition uncovering new business minds is open for young people across Europe aged between 16-25 years old.

With a focus on technology, digital, sustainability and the environment, entrants will submit their tech-led start-up business concept online.

Five finalists will be chosen from the entries, and they’ll go head to head pitching their business idea, concept or start-up to a panel of expert judges at the Grand Final in the Spring.

The winner will claim a £10,000 (€11,000) Grand Prize, mentorship, and a technology package to launch their business.

In addition, they will also receive a ticket to attend the Global One Young World Summit in Belfast in October 2023.

“It’s hard to believe we’re now in our fifth year of the competition,” said Hayden Taylor, Managing Director of Unloc ”Year upon year we’ve seen the sheer quality and standard of entries from budding young entrepreneurs rise. Last year’s competition in particular attracted some truly outstanding young people, with amazing leadership and business skills, an exceptionally high standard.”

Hayden Taylor, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Unloc

We were absolutely blown away and had a really difficult time choosing an overall winner. I know we, and our partners Verizon are looking forward to seeing what talent from across Europe the competition attracts this year.”

To enter, entrants are asked to record a 60-90 second video, as well as completing an online application form outlining their business idea.

Applications will be judged based on their viability, technology innovation and sustainability.

The finalists will then compete head-to-head in a Grand Finale held in February 2023, pitching their business concept live to a panel of expert judges and invited guests representing both the worlds of business and education.

Winner of the Young Entrepreneur Challenge 2022 Nick Cotter

Las year’s Young Entrepreneurs Challenge Winner Nick Cotter of Cotter Agritech

Nick Cotter of Cotter Agritech was crowned the winner of the 2022 Verizon/Unloc Young Entrepreneurs Challenge. Nick’s company, based in Limerick, Ireland, have a vision to dramatically reduce chemical use in agriculture while improving productivity and profitability.

Nick and his Brother Jack developed a system that uses advanced algorithms to enable livestock farmers to identify and target animals that need treatment with anti-parasitic drugs without blanket treating the entire flock or herd.

Nick’s triumphant victory won €11,000 for Cotter Agritech, funding, a business mentor package and entry to the 2022 One Young World Global Summit.

Nick said: “Enter, because the sooner you find out whether it’s a good or bad idea, the sooner you find the right idea, and the sooner you can have an impact and achieve your ambitions. It’s just a fabulous experience to be a part of.

Startups go through 6-7 life and death moments every year, and some even every month, so awards like this are of huge value in terms of being undeniable achievements that you can’t deny from yourself, and you can look at them and they will give you the confidence to go with the idea, and keep moving forward.”

“We have invested in the production of video testimonials with test farmers who used the solution in 2021, so the funding has been of huge immediate value in kickstarting our launch and accelerating uptake and adoption, and we’re very grateful to Unloc and Verizon for their support.”

Click here to read Nick’s full interview.

Click here to read more information about entering or apply!

About Unloc
Unloc was founded in 2013 by award-winning young leaders Hayden Taylor and Ben Dowling. The organisation’s mission is to empower young people to be innovative changemakers who seek to build stronger communities and sustainable businesses.

The organisation is focused on developing young people’s skills, enhancing their potential and boosting their determination to succeed. Unloc works towards achieving its mission by delivering inspiring educational programmes, including on entrepreneurship and self-employment, in our network of 100+ schools and colleges in the UK and beyond.

To find out more about Unloc and all our latest news visit:

About Verizon

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) was formed on June 30, 2000 and is one of the world’s leading providers of technology, communications, information and entertainment products and services. Headquartered in New York City and with a presence around the world, Verizon generated revenues of $128.3 billion in 2020.

The company offers data, video and voice services and solutions on its award-winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers’ demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control.

Unloc’s Programme Facilitator for Entrepreneurial Skills & Career Pathways, Christopher Amedu, recently represented Unloc at the Global Peter Drucker Forum in Vienna.

The Forum is an international management conference ran by the Peter Drucker Society Europe.

The conference is dedicated to Peter Drucker, (1909-2005) one of the most widely-known and influential thinkers on management, whose work continues to be used by managers’ worldwide. You can read more about Peter Drucker and his impact by clicking here.

Chris was kind enough to record his thoughts during the forum, so we thought we’d share them with you all too:

“My name is Christopher Amedu and I’m a Programme Facilitator here at Unloc. My job is to deliver inspiring programmes based on entrepreneurship and personal development to young people, to inspire, empower and help develop their potential.

The Global Peter Drucker Forum conference gathers the world’s leading management practitioners to talk about the world of work and how organisations can be improved to better serve humanity. The Forum is held annually each year in November, in Drucker’s home town of Vienna.

I was chosen for this opportunity because I finished as a Top 15 finalist in the global Drucker Essay Contest with my essay ‘A Journey to the Castle’. It was a fictional story illustrating the importance of fulfilling one’s personal potential.

This subject is one that I am truly so passionate about, and is one of the main reasons why I chose to work at Unloc. Meeting the fellow challenge winners was an incredible experience, I was able to meet fellow like-minded professionals who were also passionate about making a positive difference in the world.

At this year’s conference, the central debate focused on the future of human beings at work in the face of advancing technology and the rapidly developing world of AI which is making many businesses automated or performed by technology.

CEO’s management leaders and practitioners came up with insights as to how to best manage the inherent uncertainty in this area.

The session started with a warm welcome by the Austrian Federal Minister for Digital & Economic Affairs, and the President of the Global Peter Drucker Forum together with the conference chair and host.

As the conference went on, we participated in several plenary discussions. The main question that was asked was ‘what human strengths are needed to ensure that our technology/data-saturated societies and economies serve humanity well?’.

As rapidly advancing digital technology transforms the working environment we all exist within, questions inevitably arise where we as human beings will exist within many industries.

Some say human roles will be diminished; others insist that the growing possibilities of “data-driven” decisions and actions will call even more for people who can combine science with common sense.

The past years’ experience of global pandemic has thrown such questions into high relief, whether in organizations choosing to invest more heavily in automation or among policymakers implored to simply ‘follow the science.’
We can expect economic, fiscal, cultural, and political crises to escalate in the wake of Covid, and the tension between the technocratic and the humanistic forces to reach a breaking point.

The former see a time of upheaval as an opportune moment to force a large-scale “reset” to a system currently flawed in many ways.

The latter reject revolutionary redesign as counter to human nature – which craves, as Peter Drucker put it, a balance between ‘change and continuity’. Which is the best way forward, and how can we ensure that it prevails?

It’s not a topic or debate i’ve participated in before, and it was so enlightening to hear the views of everyone else attending, and inspiring to consider such an important topic alongside my peers, and hear their thoughts and observations on the topic.

These kinds of conversations i’m sure will become more prevalent as we move forwards into a future where technology plays an even bigger role in our everyday lives – and the impact of that plays out in our society.

A key quote that stood out to me during this year’s event was ‘Be kind to peers, the planet, humanity and yourself’ by Patricia Pomies, the Chief Operating Officer at Globant. Something we often lose amongst the busy working lives we all are consumed by at times.

I’m extremely grateful to Richard Straub for organising the Peter Drucker Forum, which was brilliantly hosted by Eduardo P. Braun and Katharina Moser. I feel extremely privileged to have attended this year’s event, and to have represented my Unloc colleagues and our organisation.”

To find out more about the Peter Drucker Forum simply click here!

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