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Providing opportunity for young people to tackle the world’s biggest challenges

Advancing social mobility through innovation

SpringboardYoung people from all backgrounds deserve the chance to succeed. Our Springboard programme brings together young people who may not have access to work experience so they can get unique mentorship from PA experts. They work together in small teams to devise ingenious, technology-led solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

Springboard has now gone global, delivering programmes virtually to students across the US and UK in 2020 and 2021. In 2022, we plan to welcome students back into our offices and expand Springboard to more of our global locations.

“At PA, we believe in bringing ingenuity to life. And we need to engage the next generation of innovators, technologists and industry leaders in tackling some of the country’s biggest social and business challenges to build a positive human future.”
Ken Toombs, PA CEO

Springboard 2021:
making the experience more real

Springboard UK

In August, our UK Springboard programme brought together more than 40 students from across the UK in a one-week virtual internship.

And we involved our clients, with nine organisations challenging the students to solve real-life problems aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. PA experts then supported the students to devise solutions, teaching them to build a business case and present in a virtual world.

The 'Springboarders' came up with ingenious ideas, including a business accelerator to tackle unemployment in Iraq, a ceramic water filtration device for areas affected by humanitarian disasters and frameworks to support companies in becoming carbon neutral.


Springboard US

In July, we held a five-day virtual program for underserved students recruited from high schools and non-profit partner organizations across the US.

Some of our clients briefed the students on challenges including ending hunger, improving health and wellbeing, and boosting the quality of education. And the 'Springboarders' worked closely with PA experts to find innovative ways to respond.

The teams devised some ingenious solutions, including more nutrient- and protein-packed infant formulas to decrease child mortality, an incentivized substance abuse reduction program, and an innovative "earn-to-learn" program to minimise primary school non-completions.


Our US participating partners

Heart of
Los Angeles

Heart of Los AngelesHeart of Los Angeles (HOLA) provides underserved youth with exceptional programs in academics, arts and athletics.

New York

Breakthrough New YorkOur goal is to create leaders who break the cycle of poverty in their families and effect positive change in their communities.

Northglenn High School, Denver

Northglenn HSWith problem-based learning, our STEM students are tasked with real-world problems to tackle through a transdisciplinary lens.

New York

START NYSTART is a nonprofit drug rehabilitation clinic with a black CEO, serving mostly BIPOC and economically disadvantaged patients across the five boroughs.


YMCAThe YMCA Black and Latino Achievers is a college readiness and career exploration program which provides teens with the essential tools to pursue higher education and to identify different career opportunities.

Our UK charity partners

Career Ready

Career ReadyCareer Ready is a UK-wide charity linking employers to schools and colleges to provide access to the world of work.

Social Mobility Foundation

Social Mobility FoundationThe SMF is a national charity providing opportunities to young people from low-income backgrounds.

Springboard 2020: Our virtual programme

In July and August 2020, we held a six-week virtual programme for students from disadvantaged high schools across the US. The programme gave them the opportunity to ‘springboard’ their career interests, participate in problem solving exercises and learn to pitch a business case.

Participants worked closely with PA people to find innovative ways to speed progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the 17 global targets to promote peace and prosperity while protecting our environment.

In October, we ran a virtual internship with students from across the UK, in partnership with Career Ready and the Social Mobility Programme. In a one-week intensive course, students worked together to build and pitch their ideas inspired by the SDGs. They also learned from our experts about working in a virtual world, sharpening their analytical skills and practicing networking and presenting with confidence.

Springboard 2019: Progressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals

In summer 2019, 27 young people from Career Ready and the Social Mobility Foundation spent the week at our London headquarters, developing ideas to support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Over five days, they worked in groups to apply their ingenuity to one of the SDGs while completing a series of skills workshops on problem-solving, presenting and how to build a business case. At the end of the week, the teams presented their technology-led solutions to our management team and a range of representatives from across government and industry.

Meanwhile, in the United States, we partnered with Boston-based charity BUILD, which supports young people from under-resourced communities by building entrepreneurship skills. Working together, the participants devised innovative, technology-led solutions to SDG #3 ‘Good Health’ and SDG 6 ‘Clean Water and Sanitation’ while completing skills workshops

Springboard 2018: A better city for all

Our 2018 inaugural programme challenged 25 participants to devise technology-led solutions to London’s problems, including tackling air pollution and digital exclusion. Some solutions included:

  • An air pollution sensor and monitoring device in your phone

  • A tablet designed for older persons to connect with their communities 

The programme was Highly Commended at the 2018 UK Social Mobility Awards.

Contact us

To find out more about Springboard, get in touch with our UK and US programme leads today.

Oliver Peppiatt

PA public sector expert