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Big Ideas Youth Challenge 2024

August 8 @ 8:00 am - 2:30 pm

Event Series Event Series (See All)

It’s back!!! The Townsville City Council Big Ideas Youth Challenge 2024, thanks to James Cook University & Smart Precinct NQ will take place in August at the new Engineering and Innovation Place at James Cook University.

This year we’re going BIG with TWO event days to choose from – you can select to attend Thursday 8 August OR Friday 9 August 2024 during registration.

Students from schools across the Townsville region will hear from some of Northern Australia’s most exciting and inspiring innovators and changemakers, as well developing their entrepreneurial thinking and human-centered design skills.

Facilitated by experienced educators from Future Anything, the Big Ideas Youth Challenge has been purposefully designed to engage young people in a scaffolded design thinking process that culminates in teams ‘elevator pitching’ their own innovative ideas that solve problems they care about. Our theme for 2024 is ‘Innovating for a Smart City’.

Who should attend? The event is designed for students in Years 7-10. We are seeking a broad mix of students, both in capability and talents, who would benefit from exploring entrepreneurial skills in a motivating and supportive setting. Tickets are available to all schools across the Townsville region. Tickets will be allocated to ensure there is a mix of schools attending.


  • The event is designed for school groups of students in Years 7-10 (Students may not attend individually)
  • Up to 20 free student tickets are available per school. If you require additional tickets, please indicate this when registering and we will let you know if additional tickets become available.
  • This event will be filmed and photographed. Only students with permission to be photographed may attend – All students MUST have a complete a media permission form (see below).
  • Please select to attend either Thursday 8th August OR Friday 9th August.

Draft Agenda * subject to change

  • 8:00am for an 8:45am PROMPT start: Arrival + Registration
  • Keynote Speaker + Q&A
  • Choosing your problem
  • The Entrepreneur’s Odyssey
  • The Shark Tank
  • 2:10pm-2:40pm: Winner’s Announcement + Closing

Thanks to Burdekin Shire Council, complimentary transport to/from the event will be provided for Burdekin schools. Details of arrangements will be shared with relevant schools closer to the time. All other participating schools are required to organise and manage the transport requirements for students and supervising staff/parents attending the event. Parking will be limited, please advise if you require bus parking – email suz@spnq.org

Permissions and Supervision
Each participating school should manage risk assessment & parent permissions according their own policies, and ensure a suitable level of staff supervision for their students attending the event. While participating teachers/parents will not be required to formally facilitate the sessions, their engagement in the activities will increase teachers’ skills and confidence in unlocking students’ enterprising mindsets in their classrooms. IMPORTANT: All students are required to have a caregiver complete Future Anything’s Media Permission Form here. Students that do not have the required media permissions will not be able to participate.

Students should bring:

  • Their own refillable water bottle
  • Lunch, and morning/afternoon tea (if required) as no catering is provided.
  • Students are required to wear their school uniform
  • Completed Media Permission Form here (fillable PDF)
  • A dash of enthusiasm, an open mind and a willingness to engage with others.
  • For any questions please email suz@spnq.org