Young Digital Leader of the Year 2017

This list recognises the extraordinary achievements of young people aged 16-24 in the digital transformation space. The 10 finalists that make up the list will now face the judges to compete to be overall winner for 2017.

It’s so important to celebrate the work of young digital leaders who are not only making a big difference in their communities but are powerful and inspiring national role models for all ages. I’m very excited to see the shortlist and look forward to following all their future achievements.
Maggie PhilbinDigital Leaders Advisory Board Member

Alice Goldman

24 Years Old
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Alice Goldman

Alice Goldman is a member of the Civil Service Fast Stream Graduate Scheme. A historian by background, she became interested in e-government as a result of her experience on the programme. After working in several Departments, she is currently on secondment to the European Commission's DG Informatics where she is developing a user-centricity framework.

Most recently Alice volunteered as user researcher for the 2017 Fast Stream Conference, "Digital: Definition Unknown". Thirty speakers and 450 young civil servants explored what digital, so often mentioned, really means to government. The organisers, mostly digital novices, took the challenging decision to "practice what they preached" and use agile to run the project. They were enthused by Alice's vision for user research as she led the creation and iteration of an intuitive, attractive application process and Conference webapp.

This opportunity corresponded to Alice's passion for improving products with user-centred design, revolutionising project management with agile, and raising awareness of what digital can achieve.

Links to more information:

Andrew Batchelor

16 Years Old
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Andrew Batchelor

Andrew Batchelor is an award-winning young ambassador for the city of Dundee. He is interested in technology, social media and politics. Andrew was born with hemiplegia and has autism.

Andrew has promoted the culture of his home city of Dundee to an international level over the past couple of years. Andrew created a Facebook page, originally to support Dundee's bid to be the 2017 UK City of Culture and the bid team thought the Facebook page was the work of a university student, when in fact, Andrew was 12 years of age at the time. After Hull won the bid, Andrew still continues to promote Dundee's cultures to the wider world where over 25,000 people per week view the page through Facebook & Twitter.

Links to more information:

Cameron Cook

17 Years Old
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Cameron Cook

Cameron Cookis a 17 year-old London Schoolboy studying Computer Science, Economics, Design and Technology and Geography at A-Level. He as a passion for the IT sector and its connected industries. His goal is to follow these interests through into university.

Cameron has created a business around basic formation and maintenance of PC’s. The PC side of our company is to not only build systems for people but also to educate at the same time. This enables people to be self-sufficient and hopefully Society, as a whole, to improve exponentially.

The success of the PC business has generated funds for an eSports Platform which now sponsors and manages two international e-sports teams which operate in multiple countries across multiple games. Recently the eSports sides success in competition and in raising sponsorship means that increasingly it is able to generate income into the original business to fuel it’s rapid growth.

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Cat and Mel Tranfield

19 Years Old
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Cat and Mel Tranfield

Most recently Cat and Mel worked with BBC 1Xtra to promote the A.Dot radio show in conjunction with Mixital. They produced prototype assets of each, alongside customised backgrounds in the urban theme of 1Xtra before pitching their ideas to 1Xtra’s production team, successfully winning the commission.

They then applied their graphic design, web design and Photoshop services during the implementation phase to create assets that personified A.Dot and her show and its daily themes (e.g. Trashbag Tuesday) creating an interactive platform for her audience.

Bio: Twin sisters who offer our services separately and as a unit as freelance digital marketers and journalists. We wish to contribute our innovative ideas to the development of the tech and media industry, particularly in the areas of social media presence, app/web design, video journalism and written journalism.

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Ellora James

16 Years Old
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Ellora James

Ellora James found her passion for computing when entering Apps for Good. After attending Outbox Incubator and winning Outstanding Design, her App “Envirocache” received seed funding, allowing further development. Working alongside Robert Gordon University has now lead to Envirocache’s development she is now Managing Director of her company and will be launching her app very soon.

Ellora says “I taught myself HTML to build the Envirocache website. Since Apps for Good I've continued to volunteer at events, winning Fellow of the Year award in 2016”. Ellora won the One to Watch category in the everywoman in Technology Awards for my work through Apps for Good, Envirocache and my blog, "Because I'm Appy", to inspire more girls to study STEM subjects.

Bio: Ellora James is a 16 year old student who found her passion for technology whilst designing her app ‘Envirocache’ for Apps for Good, a technology education movement. After attending Outbox Incubator, a Stemettes initiative providing funding, mentorship and support for girls, Ellora decided to persevere with Envirocache. She is now Managing Director of her company and will be launching her app very soon. Ellora spends her free time experimenting with her Raspberry Pi and sharing her technological experiences on her blog.

Links to more information:

Grace Blake

18 Years Old
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Grace Blake

Grace Blake is a schoolgirl and a Young Digital Ambassador, She has helped shape digital learning within her school, the wider community and beyond. She has become a role model to students at her school and been a key influencer into reports recommending gender and diversity approaches for STEM.

Most recently she has helped the transition towards the new Computing curriculum in schools through outreach to primary and secondary pupils and teachers using creative and active approaches.

She has also been very active through TeenTech, such as working with TeenTech City and supporting the TeenTech Awards as well as being a member of their Young Digital Task Force.

Links to more information:

Jack Parsons

23 Years Old
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Jack Parsons

Jack Parsons founded yourfeed with a mission to connect 2 million young people to opportunities by 2020. He already has 2.7 million monthly organic impressions across the social channels and has built a personal brand that is strong and impactful which is shared with young people all across the UK, He started out with £20,000 in his bedroom 18 months ago and has built his business to a market value £8,000,000. He has built an advisory board around him including managing director of Bank New York, COO Google, CEO Havas Media Group.

Bio: I'm on a mission to connect 2 million young people to opportunities by 2020. Through hard work and determination, I am currently CEO of yourfeed - Supporting the new generation workforce in embracing their personal brand, realising their potential and showcasing their talent while tackling diversity.

Jessica Okoro

23 Years Old
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Jessica Okoro

Jessica Okoro set up BeScience STEM, a not-for-profit organisation providing means to creatively explore STEM with the whole community. With the help of her 700+ volunteers, they change the misconceptions of them being boring subjects. There are different programs and events available, catering for different age groups and interests, making STEM more accessible to all.

Jessica founded BeScience STEM after struggling with conventional learning due to dyslexia. She struggled with IT, Science and Maths whilst at school. However, learning science through hands-on, fun and engaging demonstrations and practical sessions really helped her to change from a student predicted to fail her GCSEs into a graduate in Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science.

Having discovered how to excel at her STEM subjects at school despite her dyslexia, Jessica was keen to help others engage with STEM through practical learning. Funding from O2’s Think Big programme helped her to get started and she has since interacted with over 10000 people through pop-up workshops in unusual venues (such as shopping centres and a BBC radio station), visiting less-advantaged areas, through local libraries and through organising a conference for GCSE and A Level students with industry speakers.

BeScience STEM has also trained over 700 volunteers to help at the events, helping to learn skills and boost their own employability. Hosting IT classes for the elderly and unemployed volunteers.

Alongside continuing to engage people in STEM, Jessica also delivers talks, including a TEDx talk last year as well as regular visits to schools, to encourage more people look at ways they can give back to society, such as starting social enterprises. She also participated in an APPG to discuss how to get more people involved in STEM.

Links to more information:

Joanna Boosey

24 Years Old
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Joanna Boosey

Joanna Booseybegan her career in Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) 4 years ago, as an apprentice. After progressing rapidly within the Group she now plays an integral part in the Digital Inclusion team at LBG, working passionately to help millions of people realise the benefits of digital.

Joanna is a driving force, managing the UK’s leading digital capability reports for individuals, small business and charities, the Consumer and Business Digital Indexes. She firmly believes in a data led approach, applying it in collaboration with cross-sector partners to bring to life the realities of digital and financial exclusion.

Joanna demonstrates strong leadership qualities, with a maturity and professionalism beyond her years. She has used her own experiences, expertise & report insights to lead and shape an initiative to improve digital capability for all apprenticeships at LBG. Joanna has also led several fundraising initiatives raising £40,000 for numerous charities.

Links to more information about Joanna's work:

Molly Watt

22 Years Old
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Molly Watt

As somebody who experienced exclusion, rejection and isolation throughout education Molly’s passion lies in inclusion. She created a business that is currently consulting with developers and designers in digital, breaking down barriers for those with and without specific accessibility needs. Working alongside some of the biggest brands in digital and their accessibility teams. She is also raising awareness of abilities within disabilities using assistive technologies and has spoken, run workshops or consulted worldwide to accessibility teams at Apple, Cupertino, Apple Corporate, Sydney, Apple, London, also raising awareness of diverse needs at Harvard Medical School, Palace of Westminster as well as to organisations like Government Digital Services, BBC Accessibility, Barclays Bank, TSA, London Digital Health, NHS, Sigma, Wayfindr, Naidex, Atec. Collaborating with charities and others in the fields of awareness, empathy, accessibility, assistive technology and inclusion. As Molly says. “My belief is that digital holds the key to accessibility and inclusion for us all.”

Bio: I am a 22 year old inclusive technology evangelist, keynote speaker, children's illustrator and author. I am co founder of the Molly Watt Trust, director of Molly Watt Limited also ambassador of ReSound, Sense and advocate of assistive technology. Born severely deaf then becoming deafblind at 12 I have a unique insight into accessibility, the use of accessibility features and mainstream assistive technologies.

Links to more information about Molly's work: