Entrepreneur and inventor, Taj Pabari, started global technology company Fiftysix Creations at the age of 14.
“I was a typically disengaged student. I was suspended three times in primary school, and I had a lot of time out of the classroom,” Mr Pabari said.
“So I had a lot of time to think, and I thought, there must be a system for disengaged young people like me. And there wasn’t.”
The now 18-year-old is touring regional Queensland with a series of engaging technology workshops for school-aged students, and will be in Mount Isa from October 15 to 19.
The Department of Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy sponsors the workshops.
Taj and his team will visit Mount Isa Special School, Mount Isa Library, Cloncurry State School, Young People Ahead, the Flexible Learning Centre, and Good Shepherd Parish with the Migrant group.
Taj is passionate about fostering entrepreneurial interests in youth.
“We are calling it ‘Igniting Creativity in Young People’,”
“I started my first business at the age of 11, though it was fairly basic. I was fascinated by business,” Taj said.
Taj said he wanted to give kids like him an opportunity to learn in a different way.
“The company is positioned around getting young people to brainstorm about the future,” he said.
“It’s giving kids the opportunity to create the world we live in rather than just be a consumer.
“I thought how cool would it be to offer these opportunities to kids all around the world, and I had this big audacious goal when I was 14 to help 1 million kids.”
So far he has reached 106,900 young people, and the goal is 1 million by 2020.
“They are willing to challenge the problems of the future, already,” Taj said.
“I think this is a really exciting generation.”
Taj is learning plenty himself on this regional tour, and seeing just how big Queensland really is.
“The Queensland Government asked us to go to Longreach. We booked the flights for our tour a way off, Longreach is pretty regional. We started planning it a bit more than a week before, and none of the schools in Longreach were available. So we ended up messaging a whole bunch of other schools. We ended up getting into Longreach at 4pm on Sunday, drove to Birdsville and got in at 4am on Monday morning.”
“When I first heard from Birdsville State School, I heard there were 70 children. There were seven when we arrived, so it was quite a distance per kid,” he said.