Positive Sparks Positive Sparks is our new, global 'listening platform' that aims to empower and connect young people across the globe. Based on our experience working with young people in Northern Ireland for nearly three decades, but with an international outlook, Positive Sparks will be one of our key programmes over the coming years. Within the wider Positive Sparks initiative, there are several different projects or streams, which allow us to dedicate staff to specific key areas of interest with in the wider programme. ‘Positive Sparks works by allowing young people to share their lived experiences with their peers, while giving us the ability to better tailor our work with specific communities. We hope to be able to use this data to improve services, change perceptions about young people and facilitate youth-led, grass roots organising’ Roger Warnock, Director, The Bytes Project Voices For Impact Between 2018 - 2020, Voices For Impact served as the prototyping stage for what has gone on to become Positive Sparks. Initially developed with funding from the National Lottery Community Fund, Bytes worked with Epic CIC in London and several Belfast based partners to design a platform that had the potential to be used on a UK wide basis. During the first trial phase, we gathered stories and feedback from a wide range of young people, both within and outside of Northern Ireland, and experimented in using machine learning to use this anonymised testimony to build a picture of what young people were saying about their communities, the challenges that they faced and their ambitions for the future. This work proved to be a successful foundation upon which the Positive Sparks programme has now been built. Rural Sparks Rural Sparks is a long term, youth-led project that aims to tackle inequalities affecting young people in rural communities. Working with young people we hope to address issues such a social isolation, lack of access to opportunities and inequalities in representation and voice. These issues have been identified by our existing engagement with young people in rural areas of Northern Ireland, which has highlighted a consistent range of key problem affecting young people outside of large urban centres. Recent Rural Sparks success stories have involved engagement with young people in Broughshane, Co. Antrim, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone and Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh. You can read more specific details of one of these in our Rural Sparks case study. In July 2020, The Bytes Project was awarded a three year grant from the Paul Hamlyn foundation to continue our work on Rural Sparks and to lay the foundations for a five year engagement plan with rural communities. Global Sparks The Global Spark stream covers all of our international outreach and collaboration. Over a number of years our Director has been involved in leading international projects on social innovation and projects empowering young people in local communities create transformative change in their local communities. Much of this experience has fed into Global Sparks, which has seen us build relationships with third sector and NGO partners in North Africa, Europe and India. Working with international partners in Tunisia (January 2020) Roger Warnock (Director) speaking at the 2019 Hammamet Conference Series (November 2019) The Curiosity Lab The Curiosity Lab is a planned, three year programme that will support young leaders in Northern Ireland and give them a voice and platform to transform their communities and the world around them. It will feature a significant crossover of aims and utilise the Positive Sparks listening platform. You can find our more of the The Curiosity Lab's dedicated page here.