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So what’s the big iDEA?

The Duke of York Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (also known as iDEA) is a free online tool that Sport for Development organisations could use to develop their participants’ digital, enterprise and employability skills.

Completing a series of online challenges enables users to win career-enhancing badges, unlock new opportunities and ultimately gain industry-recognised awards. It’s ideal for anyone who wants to develop their skills. 

iDEA awards start at bronze (beginner) level, followed by silver (intermediate) and gold (advanced). The gold award will be launched in 2019. 

The Bronze Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award was launched in 2017 and is already being used across every continent around the world in 100 different countries. 

The programme is described by some as the digital and enterprise version of The Duke of Edinburgh Award (the ‘digital DoE’).  

It’s completely free and accessible globally on any modern device, operating system and browser – so you can play iDEA digital badges anywhere you can get online (free access and access for all!). 

All iDEA badges are suitable for 11 year olds upwards. More than a third of iDEA users are over the age of 25. iDEA learners range from school pupils to students to apprentices to jobseekers to returners to pensioners to entrepreneurs to people with special educational needs and people who have never even accessed the internet before. 

The challenges are split into core categories, each with its own series of badges – citizen, worker, maker, entrepreneur and gamer. As well as being fun, the badges provide a visual acknowledgement of achievement which can then lead to increased employment marketability in the technology and enterprise sectors. 

It’s about opening up opportunities for people in the job market, and in the online world more generally where increasingly to make the most of life, it is becoming important to be able to operate in a digital environment. 

The iDEA modules (known as badges) can take between ten minutes and just over an hour to do. They are very flexible – you can do them with your friends, on your own, or in classroom or workshop or club environments. iDEA badges support both formal and informal learning. 

Almost a million iDEA badges have been completed around the world, with the programme described as ‘life-changing’. The deputy chief executive of Wigan Council stated that ‘iDEA has changed and saved lives in Wigan.’ 

In June 2018, Wigan Council won the Digital Skills or Inclusion Initiative of the Year category in the prestigious national Digital Leaders 100 Awards for their work rolling out iDEA to all of their residents. 

iDEA’s partnerships include local authorities, schools and colleges, the armed forces, small business and trade organisations, community groups for adults, youth groups, corporates, international bodies, digital skills and enterprise organisations. 

There is rich potential here for Sport for Development organisations working on developing their participants’ skills and employability. 

For more information, go to https://idea.org.uk/and add AllianceofSport to the Organiser Code.

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