“Organisations that implement technology are doing themselves and society a massive service,” Chisom Izu, Spartan Consultant and Founder of Rytrack Foundation25/06/2018
Chisom Izu is a newly graduated Spartan consultant. Now working for one of the top private healthcare companies in the world, Chisom also runs Rytrack Foundation. Founded in 2015, the foundation addresses the distractions facing young people today and provides them with the experiences and tools they need to succeed. Chisom’s work ethic is a shining example of what it means to be a future leader and we sat down with him to discuss his journey with Sparta Global, what is next for Rytrack Foundation and how technology can be used to benefit society…
How long have you had an interest in technology? What sparked your interest?
Over the last four years my interest in tech has grown and grown. I’ve always been interested in business and I could see how tech was sparking constant disruption in almost every industry and sector. As a general observer of different businesses, it was easy to think these disruptions were happening overnight, but someone with a knowledge and understanding of technology would have seen the changes coming. I wanted to have this expertise.
Tell us about Rytrack Foundation and why you decided to start it
Rytrack Foundation is a social enterprise which was started 3 years ago with the aim of preventing the derailment of young people as they go through their teenage years. By derailment I mean anything that would stifle their development towards being productive and successful members of society. This may seem to be a broad scope, but we realised early on that even specific issues like knife crime, depression and poor school performance are complex in themselves and often do not occur in isolation.
I started Rytrack Foundation because of my own derailment at the end of my first year in University. In hindsight I realised this was down to self-esteem issues that I didn’t even know I had, a lack of interest in the life options I thought were available to me and other seemingly unrelated things. The fact is derailment is often a slow process and it can sneak up on us. It can be hard for a young person to monitor and stay on top of all the different factors they need to control to stay on the right track.
What do you hope to achieve with the foundation in the future?
The vision is to create an ecosystem of support for young people and the groups they can turn to. We started off by running seminars for young people to attend and speak with adults who shared their personal experiences of being derailed and working to get back on track. Soon we took the workshops to schools and institutions that worked with young people in addition to offering work experience opportunities with our business alliances.
We plan to expand our existing services in the future but we are also working on developing a more personalised support approach. To do this, we are launching a Facebook Messenger chatbot for parents to keep up to date with critical development information that can impact their children. In conversations with children of the Windrush generation, many would reminisce on being children in a “new home” and how the responsibility of raising each child would fall on the community as a whole. If you were seen on the street smoking a cigarette, it was not uncommon for your parents to find out before you’d even returned home! Consider today’s multicultural London: we don’t want the idea of “community knowledge and resource sharing” to be lost. We aim to develop our chatbot to a point where parents and other support groups can share knowledge and resources to help them raise their children in today’s technology-driven age.
How can technology be used to positively impact young people?
Technology can be expensive to develop and implement, so I’m not surprised that many of the benefits of new developments are aimed at the older generations who have the capital to make the best use of it. However, I do believe organisations that implement technology for the benefit of our future leaders will be doing themselves and society a massive service. For example, we were thinking of using virtual reality in our workshops to show young people how derailment occurs first-hand and the real-life, sustained consequences of making the wrong choices. Not to mention, machine learning is already being used to predict future diseases, illnesses and gather data on mental health issues that can be used for better diagnosis and treatment in the future. These are all amazing initiatives that should be sustained.
What part has Sparta Global played in your career so far?
I joined Sparta Global’s Richmond Academy this year (2018) because I was struggling to get my foot in the door of larger organisations when applying for service roles. With a relatively new interest in tech, I initially joined the technical stream to learn more about software development. However, I soon realised that I was finding it difficult to process the learning that went into the technical course. Despite the challenges, my interest in the industry never waned and the Sparta Academy trainers supported my choice to move to take up a position on the next business course instead.
How do you think your time at the Sparta Academy will influence Rytrack Foundation?
I certainly made the right decision when changing Academy courses. I learned a number of tools and concepts on the business course that have greatly improved my understanding of business today and how it is done. The business analysis tools I learned about have already helped overhaul how we run Rytrack Foundation. For example, I’m a big fan of RACI charts as they help me effectively delegate tasks, something that has been a challenge in the past. The process mapping tools and testing knowledge I picked up at the Academy are also impacting how we deliver services now and in future.
There is no question that because of my Sparta Academy training I have achieved my goal of getting my foot in the door. I’m now working at one of the top private healthcare companies in the world. I’d recommend Sparta Global to graduates new and old. In my first few weeks of training I would often hear the same thing; “Wow I’ve learned more here than I did at University!”. This was something echoed across both courses and by people who didn’t know each other. From week one and right up until the end of our training, I can 100% agree.
Follow Rytrack Foundation on Twitter: @Rytrackf_Info