Beyond the immediate gloom of the pandemic lies an optimistic future for one main reason: technology.

According to expert opinion, the Covid-19 crisis will accelerate the transfer of economic power from old to young and digital capability will be the driver for this change.

The most valuable asset in the coming decades will be digital capability. According to a recent report by the World Economic Forum the future will see a strong demand for people skilled in data analysis, machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics, fintech and risk management.

It is a vision shared by pioneering entrepreneur Ian Livingstone CBE.

The founding father of the British games industry, who helped bring Dungeons and Dragons and Lara Croft to the world, is only too aware of the need to empower children of the 21st century to be in synch with technology as he explains: ‘’Children should be in the driver’s seat rather than passenger seat of technology. Digital literacy should be on a par with traditional literacy in schools.’’

 It is this passion for transforming the life chances of young lives that is behind his decision to launch a pioneering digital academy: Livingstone Academy Bournemouth in collaboration with Aspirations Academies Trust.

Ian Livingstone CBE, author and entrepreneur

Here in this FastForward podcast (which you can listen to below) with host Patricia Keating, Ian outlines his 10-year journey from co-author of the Next Gen Skills Review to officially opening the doors of Livingstone Academy Bournemouth this September.

In this wide-ranging interview – which also includes input from his lovely dog Pedro! – Ian discusses the power of digital in a post-Covid world, Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, the moment that he fell in love with Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft and why failure can help you achieve. 

Ian also shares the inspirational mission of Livingstone Academy Bournemouth and why it’s time has now arrived: ‘’The current curriculum stifles digital creativity and creativity. Children are not robots, they live in an interactive world and enjoy interactive learning.

Steve & Paula Kenning, CEOs of Aspirations Academies Trust

‘’Games encourage children to learn to problem solve, encourage you to try again, games like Minecraft encourage incredible creativity. The national curriculum will be taught at LAB but it will be in an interesting way. There will be an emphasis on collaboration, creativity, problem-solving and hands-on learning.

‘’Children will become immersed in their learning by taking control. The school will inspire an entrepreneurial mindset and a can-do mindset. Know-how will be on a par with knowledge and skills on a par with qualifications.’’

Ian is hopeful the future Microsofts and Amazons will germinate at Livingstone Academy Bournemouth: ‘’The games industry has not been affected by the pandemic. Revenues are up and the video games industry has not had to furlough staff.

‘’Digital and computer games will be the success story of the post-Covid world – it’s high tech and high skills that will thrive and the digital industry’s time has now arrived, it is the future.’’

Listen to the podcast in full here: