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About Us

What is YMF?

Founded in 2013 by Ben Devine, Young Minds of the Future began as a Community Problem Solving Project, focussing on providing students with an opportunity to apply themselves above and beyond the classroom environment. In 2014, Young Minds of the Future won the Senior Individual Community Problem Solving Australian Championships, and was invited to present at the International Community Problem Solving Conference in 2015, where it was awarded International Senior Grand Champion.

Since then, Young Minds of the Future has grown as a non-for-profit organisation that continues to run conferences at the University of Queensland, focussing on engaging students in collaborative forums that address key issues and complex challenges in our local and global communities. YMF aims to provide a forum for collaboration that engages students in addressing global challenges from a youth perspective, and empowering students to catalyse positive change in the world around them. In doing so, YMF is underpinned by the unique Collaborative Circles framework which encourages critical thinking and forward thinking skills, fosters leadership and problem solving skills, a ultimately develops a sense of global citizenship amongst the bright young minds of our future.

With a growing YMF Community, we hope that you can get involved with us and join us at a YMF Conference!

What Does YMF Do?

Young Minds of the Future hosts conferences at the University of Queensland, which focus on providing a forum for collaboration between students with an enthusiasm for knowledge and a desire to engage with like-minded individuals. Recent YMF conferences include:

The Inaugural Young Minds of the Future Conference was held on the 3rd of May 2014, at the University of Queensland. With guest presenters Steve Tighe, Peter Ellerton and Lesley Sutherland, and an audience of over 40 knowledge thirsty students, the Inaugural YMF Conference marked a milestone for Young Minds of the Future. In focussing on a variety of different topics, students had the opportunity to engage with three guest speakers in the areas of Future Problem Solving and Philosophy. Collaborative Circles facilitated collaborative discussion that allowed students to delve deeper into the topics of presentation and enhance their learning experience by engaging with fellow attendees.

To learn more about the Inaugural YMF Conference, head over to our blog, or click on the link below!

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Future Problem Solving stimulates critical and creative thinking skills, encourages students to develop a vision for the future, and prepares students for leadership roles. As an foundation that actively promotes such programs, YMF hosted the YMF FPS Conference on November 22nd 2014 at the University of Queensland. At the conference, four guest speakers presented on the issues that we faced as a global community that affected us both now, and would continue to do so into the future. With a range of topics ranging from the failure of the international relations system, to political oppression and the power of education, and public health engagement in the modern world, the presentations were the stimulant for the Collaborative Circles discussion in the afternoon.

Work-shopping with fellow students, speakers and teachers through the Future Problem Solving six-step model, the collaborative discussion sessions saw a range of creative, innovative and truly unique ideas flourish. From those who had never been exposed to Future Problem Solving before, to those who have been a part of the programme for years, the collaborative discussion engaged students in a meaningful forum, exploring the topics of international relations, political oppression and public health engagement. The enthusiasm and the creativity shown by all who attended was epitomised by the presentations at the end of the day by each group, who summarised their findings, and presented an action skit and presentation.

To learn more about the YMF FPS Conference, head over to our blog, or click on the link below!

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The Young Minds of the Future Humanities Conference was held on the 28th of March 2015 at the University of Queensland. With the central theme of humanities and youth engagement, students at the conference had the opportunity to engage with three keynote speakers who focussed on humanitarian issue that have a strong place in the global community now, and will continue to do so into the future. Topics included ‘Terrorism in the Media’, presented by international keynote speakers Mint Kovavisarach, ‘Child Soldiers: A Timeless Phenomenon’, and ‘Re-Evaluating the Universalisation of Democracy’. The presentations stimulated a variety of unique collaborative discussions, and focussed on engaging students in identifying ways in which youth can effectively engage and begin to address the key elements of each topic from a youth perspective.

To learn more about the YMF Humanities Conference, head over to our blog or click on the link below

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The Collaborative Circle structure is the unique framework that is implemented at all YMF Conferences, and has been a constructive highlight for students and facilitators alike. The framework facilitates collaboration, communication, and innovation, through engagement with complex global issues which build upon and extend beyond the foundations and skills developed in the classroom. The framework applies to each and every topic at YMF Conferences, and asks the five following questions, from which students guide their collaborative discussions:

  1. What are the areas of concern?
  2. What are the challenges faced?
  3. What is being done at the moment to deal with these challenges?
  4. What ways can young people help address these challenges and areas of concern?
  5. How will this impact the areas of concern and society as a whole?

The most important aspect of the Collaborative Circles framework is that it is primarily student-driven. At the heart of Collaborative Circles is the belief that young people should be encouraged to engage with complex issues. As such, the sessions are built around self-guided exploration that allows youth to explore and analyse topics critically and independently.

To learn more about the Collaborative Circles structure, click on the link below.

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What People Say About YMF

  • I enjoyed learning more about the world we live in and how powerful the media and presentation is to influencing our beliefs and the perspectives of others around us. The speakers spoke very well and were certainly engaging!
    Tynnika Fulloon
  • I really enjoyed the presentations from the speakers - they were all really interesting and covered topics that I myself are quite passionate about. I also really liked the collaborative sessions as I learnt a lot by listening to the opinions, perspectives and contributions of others.
    Sophie Hannah
  • I really enjoyed the conference. I liked the topics of presentation and I thoroughly enjoyed the presentations as a whole. It really helped me notice the full extent of these humanitarian problems from a different perspective. I enjoyed engaging in collaborative discussion and finding possible solutions to these issues. It was great to discuss with the group and hear the diverse opinions and contributions of others!
    Moira Cairns
  • I enjoyed the relaxed yet intellectual conversations, or more specifically discussion, that were held when dissecting each topic. I also enjoyed the talks at the beginning. They were deeply interesting and proficient in arousing interest in the topics.
    Marina Lima
  • I thoroughly enjoyed the collaborative sessions. They gave me the opportunity to voice my opinions and expand my knowledge on the topics. It was a very eye opening experience!
    Helen Kwon
  • I approached YMF looking for a way to further my knowledge of humanities and the ins and outs of modern society. The result was an incredible experience, followed with fascinating interactions with other people within the same age group who all retain their own contrasting angles on the world today. Personally, I believe that everyone who attended the event came out with a new perspective on the 21st century society. I recommend YMF to everyone who has an interest in meeting new people in a fun and new way whilst looking at humanities subjects through other viewpoints.
    Tyler Vo