A Year 12 student from Abbot’s Lea School has been included in this year’s BIMA 100, which recognises the UK’s most influential people in digital and tech.
BIMA, the voice of the British digital industry, each year celebrates the leaders, pioneers, entrepreneurs and changemakers at the forefront of the digital sector.
Nominated by BIMA members, the final 100 was selected by a panel of respected industry experts. To ensure the final 100 formed as broad a representation of the industry as possible nominations were made across 11 categories, placing CEOs, leaders and tech trailblazers on an equal footing with rising stars, students and apprentices.
Owen Green, who attends the specialist school for students with autism and other associated learning needs in Woolton, was recognised in the ‘Students & Apprentices’ category.
Speaking about the award, Owen said: “Well, it definitely means a lot as I’ve never achieved something as big as this! It is bigger than going to Walt Disney World! It feels good!”
Owen likes the gaming aspect of the digital world, particularly the designing and editing part.
He said: “I love designing logos, games and things like that. I love the editing part because you get to use lots of cool special effects! Personally, I’d love to be involved in virtual reality. We visited a virtual reality (VR) experience with my class this year and it was awesome!”
For the past two years, Owen has taken part in BIMA’s Digital Day initiative, which connects digital and tech companies with students in schools across the UK.
In 2018, he was part of the winning team that developed an idea with Vodafone to create a VR experience that would make shopping more fun and less overwhelming for people with autism.
Adam Butt, head of digital experience at Vodafone UK, said: “Owen, and indeed the whole team of students, came up with an amazing concept for our digital day challenge.
“When they came into the Vodafone UK Digital Hub for the day, Owen took a natural leadership role and carried us all along with his enthusiasm and creativity. The number of ideas generated in such a short space of time was incredible.”
In September, Owen will go on to study creative writing and video editing at Greenbank College. He said: “After that, I’d love the opportunity to make trailers, and write the scripts for them and stuff…or even star in them myself!”
Headteacher of Abbot’s Lea School, Mrs Ania Hildrey, said: “We are incredibly proud of Owen! He has done amazingly well in BIMA’s digital days, and so, it is wonderful that he has been featured in the BIMA 100.
“Working with such a big company like Vodafone has been a fantastic experience for Owen and our other students, and it will no doubt prove extremely valuable when it comes to their own careers in later life.
“For young people with autism and special educational needs, career choices can be quite limited. Here at Abbot’s Lea we like to challenge this and help our students gain as much work and life experience as possible. Initiatives such as this are a great place to start.”