We’re helping to inspire the next generation of creators and change makers to explore new ideas and be curious about their career possibilities ahead. ‘Inspire’ was the theme of this year’s Wired for Wonder learning conference and here’s what you need to know about how we’re exploring new ideas with the next generation.

What do you get when you bring together 230 13-16 year-olds, their teachers, technology experts and thought leaders at our Customer Insight Centre in Sydney? The opportunity to engage these young minds with bold ideas, different ways of thinking and the possibilities of what STEM can offer them.

Together with our partner Commonwealth Bank, the day is part of our ongoing commitment to work with students, schools and higher education partners to inspire future generations and build their curiosity in technology.

Here’s what we learned from this year’s conference.

How to make a career in cyber security

Brendan Hopper, CommBank’s General Manager of Cyber Security & Applied Research Centre, spoke about the need for many more people to study cyber security as the use of AI, machine learning and IoT continues to rise.

Brendan shared that kids can gear themselves towards this kind of career by teaching themselves to continually learn new concepts and techniques.

While students always need to be curious about new methods during their education, they always need to remember the guidelines – never break the law or hack without permission! Instead, use good creative outlets like Bugcrowd to learn on real apps.

The world needs defenders, and Brendan is a true advocate for inspiring the next generation to take up the charge.

Discovering your purpose, unlocking your power

Our Chief Technologist for Strategic Accounts, Fawad Nazir, shared a moving and personal story from his youth: growing up in a middle-class family in Pakistan where being the only son meant that expectations on him to ‘succeed’ were high.

Under the weight of these expectations, however, Fawad found that he struggled to succeed in the way his family asked of him. At school especially he struggled, adding that he was “merely surviving”.

Fawad ultimately discovered that being comfortable with being uncomfortable can unlock real change in your approach to life. Watch his talk above to see how he combines his purpose with his belief to yield unstoppable power.

Saving our oceans, three pieces at a time

Tim Silverwood, co-founder and CEO of Take 3 for the Sea explained how his organisation has built a movement to save our oceans.

Our oceans cover 71 per cent of the Earth’s surface and contain 97 per cent of the Earth’s water. But every minute a garbage truck full of plastic ends up in the ocean – equating to 8 million tonnes of plastic each year. Yet there’s a simple way we can all contribute to help fix the problem.

Tim’s organisation, Take 3 for the Sea, inspires participation in simple actions – if each person removes three pieces of waste or plastic from every beach, park or public space they visit they’ll greatly reduce the amount of waste ending up in our oceans.

Tim demonstrated that anyone can be a change maker, even when the problem is as big as an ocean. Small impacts can make a big impact when multiplied.

To learn more about Wired for Wonder, and see videos from previous years, head to their website.