Project background

There is an old African saying that ‘it takes a village to bring up a child’. The 80by18 project is about scaling up this idea and asking what a city can offer to its young people.

The future is highly uncertain, with environmental, economic and technological change on the horizon. At the same time, schools are being asked more and more to focus on ‘the basics’ to the exclusion of richer experiences. There is therefore a need to find ways to harness all the resources of the city to support young people to have rich experiences beyond the school walls. We also need to find a way of making a case for and protecting these experiences.

The 80by18 project aims to bring together people from Bristol’s different neighbourhoods, from its community, cultural, sporting, youth and heritage organisations, from its technology and business communities and its environmental and social movements, to create an exciting website showcasing 80 things that young people can do in Bristol before 18.

Three challenges

The aim of the site is not just to create an easy way to find out about things to do in Bristol, there are other great sites that do that, but to address three harder questions:

– How can Bristol come together to show what it has to offer young people – from the often overlooked places and talents of all its people and neighbourhoods, to the riches of its cultural, heritage and sporting communities?

– Where does a young person in Bristol today go to get ideas for motivating, challenging, curious and powerful experiences in their city that will not only be interesting but that will help them face some of the futures they hope for or worry about with confidence?

– How can a city come together to make a case for the experiences that it really wants to protect and promote for young people?