A new program is supporting young people to develop creative solutions to challenges within the Ballarat community.
More than 80 Ballarat high school students are participating in the Crazy Ideas College program that aims to build the capacity of young people to lead change.
Students from Mount Rowan Secondary College, Federation College and Ballarat Grammar will pitch their big ideas to community partners on Friday.
Crazy Ideas College strategic innovator Freya Fajgman said young people held a 'pool of knowledge' that was not often used to its full capacity in society.
"Young people have ideas they want to bring forward. They want to be part of the conversation and they have ideas about how they could shape the world," she said.
"The intention of the program is to give them the tools, resources, support and community partnerships to have the agency to change the world with their ideas."
Schools have been delivering the Crazy Ideas College program online or in the classroom to students throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Young people want to be part of the conversation and they have ideas about how they could shape the world.Freya Fajgman, Crazy Ideas College
Students began the program by selecting a theme they felt passionate about, like community connectedness, the environment or liveability.
They were encouraged to research the topic and then develop 'unorthodox' and 'creative' responses to the challenges that exist.
One group of students is exploring how to creating more connections between young people and older people in the Ballarat community, for example.
Ms Fajgman said students started with a big vision and have now broken it down into a smaller, testable version of their idea to pitch to community partners on Friday.
Community partners include representatives from Headspace, City of Ballarat, Ballarat Cemeteries, Ballarat Health Services and Eat, Drink, West.
All ideas will be posted to online platform CIC Beyond where community members will be able to provide feedback and offer suggestions to the students.
"We are creating a space of support and connecting the young people with people in the community who can help," Ms Fajgman said.
"We see most, if not all the ideas can be launched as trials.
"We are super excited about the young people and the ideas they have come up with. You can see the students are focusing on ideas they are passionate about themselves."
Committee for Ballarat, City of Ballarat and Ballarat Tech School have supported the Crazy Ideas College program.
Committee for Ballarat chief executive Michael Poulton said the organisation would help students by acting as mentors.
"We exist to advocate for a more liveable, sustainable and connected region and if we are true to that purpose, we need the enterprise, the adventure and the creativity that our young people bring," he said.
"Crazy Ideas College will give young people the tools they need to explore and discover what is possible in the world they will soon lead.
"One of the great things about the Crazy Ideas College for Committee is that our members will also be inspired by the capacity, energy and commitment our young people have for their community and the planet."
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