Peshawar 2.0 has taken the entire region by a creative storm with a series of workshops focused to teach young people the essential skills required to survive in today’s job market. Peshawar 2.0 is a social enterprise working to rebrand Peshawar and make it the most hospitable city to tech, design and art focused startups. For this purpose, it has launched a five day program called NXTGEN, which consists of around 19 workshops and was attended by approximately 300 participants, 70 of which were on fully funded scholarship.
The purpose of NXTGEN is to train the next generation of coders, designers and artists who, like in other developed countries, will take on the most pressing issues this region is facing.
claims Bilal, who is a Cofounder of Peshawar 2.0 and the architect behind this program. According to him, “most of these workshops were focused to teach the most essential, both hard and soft skills, required in today’s digital economy”. Hard skills included coding, developing Android or iOS apps, drawing pencil sketches, and designing in Photoshop, video-making and photography. Soft skills included pitching ideas, dressing up CV and the art of sharing ideas and public speaking. “These exciting skills were taught for the very first time to such a large number of students in Peshawar” claims Bilal, who is the architect behind this program.
Another aim of this program was to rebrand Peshawar and portray its soft image, since it’s a city which mostly gets mentioned on social media (and electronic media) for all the wrong reason, usually for issues related to law and order. However, for the past one week it widely got mentioned on social media for innovative activities and updates related to NXTGEN. It created a lot of buzz on Twitter and Facebook, thus, contributing to the projection of a soft image of the city and the region.
During the graduation ceremony of the program, Dr. Faisal Khan, the Co-Founder and Lead at Peshawar 2.0, shared his vision for Peshawar and the region with both the students and their parents. He discussed how Peshawar 2.0 is trying to stir a culture of creativity and innovation to transform the region. He encouraged students to explore and consider different career options, such as based on their interest areas, rather than limiting their options to only medical and engineering. While those students who are currently enrolled in a professional degree program, were encouraged to consider developing their own startups.
These workshops, and the graduation ceremony, were held at a calm, Google-campus like colorful creative space called Basecamp. This place is wittingly designed to help creatives stimulate their imaginations, get inspired and let the creative juices start flowing.
The organizers of NXTGEN hope to cultivate a culture of creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and collaboration in the region.