Industry leaders, local start up owners and innovative thinkers came together at the Future YOUth Summit last Thursday 28 June to inspire the next generation on the Northern Beaches.

Over 120 students from 11 high schools across the area attended. We spoke to Fergus Clarkson, aged 15 from Northern Beaches Secondary College Manly Campus about what he thought of the summit.

Did you find the Future YOUth Summit valuable?

I found the Future YOUth Summit incredibly rewarding. Like many young people, I am quite unsure about what I want to do as a career so it’s great to be exposed to so many different career paths.

Which speaker did you enjoy most at the Future YOUth Summit and why?

Kathy Wong from Moeloco’s session about social enterprise was particularly inspiring to me. Kathy founded Moeloco out of a desire to make a difference. For every pair of thongs sold, her business donates one pair of school shoes to a child in poverty.

I learnt a lot in this session about how there’s different ways to tackle activism, it’s not just the stereotype of people marching with placards. It made me really inspired to have a career that can make a difference.

Do you know what you might like to do when you finish school?

So Kathy Wong’s session really gave me some good ideas about what I might like to do when I finish school. I have a passion for the outdoors, particularly mountains and I also love to write so I would like to put the two together and do ecological journalism. I could protect the mountain environments I love, with my writing.

Do you think it’s important for young people to have access to these kind of events on the Northern Beaches?

It’s incredibly important for young people to be able to go to events like the Future YOUth Summit. It can be really difficult to decide on a career path so events like this are perfect. There’s the opportunity to discover a whole range of careers and paths you might never have thought of before.