Perspectives from our Pledger JA: Digital Transformation, Education and Bridging the Skills Gap

At the Web Summit in Lisbon in November 2023, we had the privilege to chat with Boris Kolev, Bruno Ramos, and Gonçalo Duque from Junior Achievement (JA), one of our esteemed Pledgers, who shared their insights into the transformative initiatives undertaken by JA. They emphasised that a collective effort is required to reshape education and bridge the skills gap in deep tech.

Boris Kolev – Pioneering Experiential Learning with Deep Tech

Boris Kolev, Head of Digital Transformation for JA Europe, reflects on the dynamic journey of JA Europe in leveraging deep tech to empower students. Highlighting JA’s flagship Company Program, where high school students create virtual companies and solve real-world problems using AI solutions, Boris stresses the significance of experiential education, allowing students to learn coding, AI, and data science tools while fostering teamwork and innovation. The full interview with Boris can be read here.


Bruno Ramos – Bridging the Gap between Education and the Future Job Market

Bruno Ramos, Chief Operating Officer of JA Portugal, delves into the organisation’s evolution, specifically addressing the challenges and opportunities posed by AI and deep tech integration. Bruno shares JA’s collaboration with Intel, which led to students developing AI solutions to existing problems. He acknowledges the crucial role of teacher training and stresses the need for educators to be well-versed in AI basics, ethics, and entrepreneurship to effectively mentor students in deep tech projects. The full interview with Bruno can be read here.


Gonçalo Duque – Leading the Revolution in Education

Gonçalo Duque, CEO of JA Portugal, offers a comprehensive view of JA’s extensive work in education, entrepreneurship, and AI integration. Gonçalo discusses JA Portugal’s role in the EIT Deep Tech Talent Initiative, where they aim to challenge students to present AI-based solutions. He underlines the urgency of transforming the traditional teaching model, integrating technology into the curriculum, and adapting to the rapidly evolving interests of today’s students. The full interview with Gonçalo can be read here.

These three perspectives paint a comprehensive picture of JA’s commitment to transforming education through AI and deep tech integration. While their unique insights showcase diverse approaches, they all share the same vision, one that prepares students for the future job market, addresses gender disparities, and adapts to rapid technological changes.