Child Online Learning

Every day we interact and use a whole range of tech, services, equipment, medication, and more to make our lives and our work easier, more productive, and efficient.

Each year VentureFest North East brings together regional businesses who are transforming industry and society one innovation at a time, and over the last few weeks we’ve looked more closely at 12 of these businesses, taking part in this year’s Innovation Showcase.   

Today we meet the final three, who are showcasing social innovation at VentureFest North East next week (17 March) and are truly transforming lives.

Meet the Innovators

Climate Action North

Climate Action North is run by Sharon Lashley, Jennifer Clair Robson and Julie Harrison. Collectively they’ve worked independently on a wide variety of climate change issues, each for over a decade, and decided to pool their knowledge and experience to take action and drive change.

Projects for action on the climate crisis, climate emergency and the environment in the North of England include:

  • Pollinator Parks, rewilding the North's business parks
  • the Global Wilders project including environmental education, working with businesses through a dedicated Business Action Toolkit
  • litter picking and river clean ups through the new innovative WATAR (Wear and Tees Action for Rivers) project

Climate Action North East work as a community interest and not for profit social enterprise, with a clear focus to inspire change in the context of the climate emergency.

They are a highly practical team and recognise that the time for talking is over, today we need to act.


Global Teacher

Global Teacher make it possible for educators and content creators to expand their reach and donate their educational material through its digital platform. This material is then filed, organised and displayed to schools in poor and marginalised communities around the world using the innovative solar-powered projector POD. The projector makes digital education accessible in rural parts of the developing world, without internet or mains power.

Global Teacher envisage the creation of a positive culture surrounding the #donateadoc movement, whereby this valuable, digital educational content can be shared with those who simply do not have access to such vital learning material.

All individuals, globally, should have an equal chance to learn, create and grow as human beings. Therefore, providing a fair opportunity to improve their standard of living and break from the poverty cycle.


Special iApps CIC

Special iApps CIC have been creating award-winning educational apps for Early Years and children of all ages with Special Educational Needs and disabilities since 2011. 

They help children of all abilities learn with easy-to-use EdTech that can be personalised quickly to save time when creating differentiated curriculum resources. 

Their resources support families learning at home, children in mainstream and special schools, and during therapy sessions to develop speech and communication. 

In response to coronavirus, Special iApps have changed how apps can be used in the current climate and beyond, opening accessibility to any device (laptop and tablets), extending curriculum resources and further developing assessment tools and reporting.

Taking place entirely online for the first time, VentureFest North East will focus on bringing businesses practical advice and opportunities for support against the backdrop of COVID-19, with a focus on using innovation to build resilient and sustainable business models.

The Innovation Showcase is one of VentureFest’s most inspirational elements. It is delivered by the Innovation SuperNetwork in partnership with the North East BIC’s Innovation Programme. This year delegates can vote for their favourite innovation, with the most popular announced as ‘Innovation of the Year’ at the North East Innovation Awards.

In a change to previous years, the showcase will also make up the shortlist for North East Innovation Awards’ sector specific categories, with winners decided by an independent industry panel in advance. All winners will be announced at VentureFest.

VentureFest North East takes place on Wednesday 17 March 2021. To register for your FREE place visit:

VentureFest North East is part of the wider Catalysing Innovation in North East Cluster Project delivered by the Innovation SuperNetwork. The SuperNetwork is supported by the North East LEP, Northumbrian Water Group, North East BIC and P&G, with part-funding from the European Regional Development Fund. 

Neina Sheldon
Article by Neina Sheldon
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