How to change the world in a day

How to change the world in a day

Brightful’s 2021 BIMA Digital Day

by Imogen Parker read time 8 mins

The Brightful team ran our second BIMA Digital Day at Kings School in Winchester on 10th November. Over 140 schools, 10,000 students, 102 companies participated in this incredible day. This is how one day can make a world of difference.

 Brightful’s BIMA Digital Day 2021, Kings School, Winchester

The BIMA Digital Day gives 11 to 16-year-olds an insight into a world of digital careers. Students compete in a sponsored, nationwide digital challenge for a chance to win £500 cash for their school and some fantastic prizes. Here is what happened at Brightful’s 2021 BIMA Digital Day at Kings School in Winchester.

Brightful is a proud member of the BIMA community. Our founder, Richard Coope, is a 2020 BIMA100 Champion for Change and he received a 2021 BIMA10 Finalist Award for our work on Winchester Creatives. Richard’s commitment to supporting the BIMA Digital Day is part of Brightful’s ongoing commitment to doing a little good every day

Setting the context

The digital and technical industry in 2021 represents one of the most forward-thinking and socially impactful industries in the world. The carbon footprint of the internet and technology industry is responsible for nearly 3.7% of carbon emissions globally, putting the carbon footprint of this industry on par with the aviation industry (Source: BBC, Why your internet habits are not as clean as you think). That means we all have a responsibility to reduce this impact and find a way to be part of the solution and not just part of the problem.

It is clear that the environmental problems of the future can only be tackled by creative problem-solving today from a variety of people from diverse backgrounds. It is this kind of lateral thinking is exactly what BIMA’s digital day 2021 inspires and strives to create.

Getting started

Richard started the 2021 BIMA Digital Day with an inspiring presentation on the digital industry and he explained what his 25 years of experience in the digital industry included. His infectious energy kept the class’ attention from the moment the day began. This was no mean feat for a group of twelve-year-olds to be that engaged at 8:30 am in the morning! 

The pupils were instantly engaged when Richard shared Brightful’s introduction video. Richard then shared his latest experience of working with global brands, like Dr Martens. He finished his introduction by sharing this video from Dr Martens, called Tough as You, that demonstrated the importance of inclusion and diversity in the creative industry.

This was Richard’s presentation that provided a clear structure to the day.

Introducing the brief

Next, Richard presented everyone with an exciting brief from WWF.

Pupils learnt that climate change is the greatest environmental challenge the world has ever faced. They watched a WWF video and learnt four ways to reduce your carbon footprint. They discussed how we already have the knowledge and the technology to reduce our impact on the climate and ease the pressures on the world’s most vulnerable places, people and wildlife. They agreed that we need to motivate more urgent action now.

This is when Richard shared the following brief:

“How can we use technology and digital solutions to make it easier for people to understand the true environmental footprint of products and services, allowing households, schools, universities and businesses to make choices that are good for the planet?”

The group was split into three groups and were told that they can use any technology, such as apps, games, videos, animations, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual reality (VR) or a digital communications campaign (such as a social media campaign) to raise awareness.

To show a practical example in action, Richard shared the WWF Carbon Footprint Calculator to demonstrate how digital solutions can deliver a positive and meaningful difference in reducing our carbon emissions.

Problem solvers in action

After Richard made the necessary and fun distinction between the WWF’s World Wildlife Fund and the World Wrestling Federation, the groups then set to work eagerly.

They were galvanised by the spirit of competition. At the end of the day a fun Dragons Den-like assessment was held, and only one group could be crowned the winner.

Each group came up with outstanding creative ideas and worked hard together on their presentations. Here is a quick summary of their ideas.

Team 1: Habitat: Improving our habits to save our habitats

Team ‘Pippi’s People’ thought of a great idea to think ‘small-scale, big impact’. They thought carefully about their own habits, and what they did daily to reduce their own carbon footprint. They quickly realized that even though they meant to do certain things like turn the lights off when they left the house, or eat more sustainably, sometimes they just simply forgot to do this, or didn’t have the time.

This appears to be common among us all, as over 21% of Brits have admitted to leaving the lights on when they go to work. Richard also then explained some simple tips from the award-winning author, James Clear (author of Atomic Habits), on how we can all learn how to create better habits and stick to them.

So, team ‘Pippi’s People’ designed an app, called Habit, where you can set daily, weekly and monthly reminders to help you build sustainable habits. For example, Habit would give you daily reminders to turn off lights and think about alternative travel methods. For instance, with a full navigational system included so you get live updates of public transport schedules and realistic cycle journeys. They also explored weekly reminders to have a certain amount of veggie meals with an optional subscription to a service, like Cook, where ingredients are delivered pre-prepped for convenience. Or prompts to take your bins out, and monthly reminders to schedule an appointment at the dump to recycle and to look through your closet and donate what you no longer need.

Their simple and powerful idea was this. The longer you stick to these new habits, the more points you earn from the app, and a certain number of points reached will equal one tree being planted through Ecologi.

This was Pippi’s People final group presentation.

Richard Coope with Team Pippi’s People: Lyla, Georgie, Hannah, Lilla, Brooke, Liz, Eddie, Jake, Nadeim and Lloyd

Team 2: Peddle Power: Power your laptop through the power of your feet

Team ‘GoGlow’ came up with a brilliant product, called ‘Pedal Power’. Their idea was to create a laptop charger powered by kinetic energy from a set of portable bike pedals that slots nicely under one’s desk. Their thought process followed from identifying that the technology industry is responsible for at least 3.7% of global carbon emissions, which is on par with the aviation industry. They were shocked and surprised to hear that the technology and internet industry was so ’dirty’ and carbon-intensive and wanted to do something to solve this challenge. Specifcially problem of large carbon emissions caused by powering computers in schools, households, universities, and businesses.

They decided to take it ‘one step at a time’ and create a physical product that reduces the carbon footprint of powering computers through the use of peddling. They also found that for individuals who regularly charge their computer daily, using pedal power could save up to 10p a day in electrical bills.

They discovered that this was a win-win idea, not only for the environment but your bank account. They also understood that the physical elements of their product naturally lend themselves to a competition-based campaign, much like a Peleton virtual race that would encourage and incentivise people to use their Pedal Power product.

This was Team GoGrow’s final group presentation.


Richard Coope and Team GoGrow: Emily, Olvia, Alfie, Freddie, Reuben, Olivia S, Rowan, Orrie, Oscar

Team 3: Switch Off – inspiring parents to switch to renewables for a year so pupils get a day-off school (winning idea!)

And finally, the last group, led by a talented 12-year-old problem-solver, called Joshua Cater, came up with the winning idea: Switch Off. Joshua may be in a wheelchair but that didn’t stop him from leading his team of 10 pupils brilliantly to victory. Richard managed to capture the moment when Joshua came up with his idea during the first break in the day.

Richard Coope and Joshua Carter (aged 12) at BIMA Digital, 10 Nov 2021

The team thought about what would incentivise them and others, even more, to act more sustainably and settled upon the greatest reward of all: a day off school. This grand prize would be awarded to those who switched their households to renewable energy sources like biomass energy. The team even planned to extend this to the office, households and businesses!

They found that if 250,000 people across the UK switched to renewable energy sources, over 100,000 tons of carbon could be prevented from entering the atmosphere. In my opinion, and that of our ‘Dragon’s Den’ judges, ‘Switch Off’ is a great way to nudge and encourage the public into making sustainable decisions. They did this by appealing to the inner child in all of us that secretly just wants a day off school (and the accompanying opportunity to lord it over our peers.

This was Joshua’s team winning presentation, called SwitchOff 

Joshua’s Team: Attia, Kate, Amélie, Ruby, Sophie, Aleksande, Joshua, Indy and Zohirudeen

Observations from the day

There was a clear pattern that formed as all the teams presented their ideas, I wonder if any of you have spotted it? The overarching similarity in all these products is not just their environmentally positive impact, but also their reciprocal nature.

In all these products, doing good for the environment has a personal positive impact for the individual. For example, ‘Switch Off’ rewards you with a day off. Is it a coincidence that the product with the most obvious and arguably biggest pay-off for the consumer/user won? Or are kids just that more astute and aware of what people respond to socially than we give them credit for? Is it wrong that most people can only be trusted to change their habits and attempt to save their planet if it benefits them on an individual level?

This does not negate the fact that change needs to happen quickly. This BIMA digital day was an eye-opening experience for the children and myself alike. Understanding the problem of excessive and damaging carbon footprints is only one part of this journey to a better world. The next step is action. 

Making a difference

All the students who were a part of this hugely inspiring event not only at Kings’ school but 10,000 other pupils across the country have a clearer vision of what needs to happen next, and an incentive to make it work for the benefit of their own futures. I felt honoured to be part of this incredibly inspiring day.

Young people are our future, and their awareness and creativity are going to change the world for the better. One day can literally change the world for the better. We have just got to listen to these young people and help make their incredible ideas into a reality we only need to give them the chance.

A heartfelt thank you

Thank you to Mr. Sam Palmer (Head of Media Studies, Photography, Design and PR) and Mrs. Joanna Turner (Careers Lead) from Kings School in Winchester for inviting us to take part. Thank you also to Dr John Adams, Head Teacher at Kings’ School for joining us for this day. We’d also like to thank BIMA for organising the day, WWF for setting the challenge and EPAM for sponsoring the day.

To ensure Brightful’s BIMA10 Digital Day was a carbon-positive day (i.e. did not have any negative or detrimental impact on the environment), Brightful has committed to planting 1,000 trees through our Ecologi account which will reduce 20 tonnes of CO2.

The future is brightful. Let’s sprint to that! 😀


About the author: Imogen Parker (18 years old) recently left Canford School in July 2021 and is currently on her gap year before starting her English and Philosophy degree at university. After this BIMA Digital Day, Imi (as she likes to be called) has been inspired to follow a career as a copywriter in the creative and digital industry. She has started working as a storyteller/copywriter for Brightful and is gaining valuable experience, coaching and training that will help her in her future digital and writing career. She is grateful for the generous support and encouragement she is getting from Richard and the Brightful team.

Richard Coope with Team Pippi’s People: Lyla, Georgie, Hannah, Lilla, Brooke, Liz, Eddie, Jake, Nadeim and Lloyd

01 Impact


Year 9 pupils inspired (+ 5 teachers)


breakthrough sustainable ideas


trees planted


tonnes of CO2 reduced

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