"A room of really unique minds" at Dubbo has activated in search of ideas for the role technology will play in changing lives in regional Australia.
School students took steps towards becoming creators and start-up founders as they participated in the Game Changer Challenge, a Department of Education initiative in Dubbo for the first time.
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As the pupils embarked on the task, passionate regional entrepreneurs encouraged them to grasp opportunities arising in a rapidly-changing economy.
"You are a room of really unique minds because you are from a regional area," Little Big Dairy Co director Emma Elliott said.
"[Metropolitan residents] are almost at a disadvantage because they don't have the challenges you face... You guys have an opportunity, something special to offer..."
Mrs Elliott, along with Nathan Shooter, Tom Larkin and Stephanie Hendricks formed the panel of entrepreneurs who shared how they were using technology.
The challenge was launched in 2018 to promote a range of skills among students and teachers by exposing them to problem-solving processes known as "design thinking".
After starting the challenge at Taronga Western Plains Zoo on Thursday, students from nine schools headed to The Exchange at Dubbo's Charles Sturt University (CSU) campus on Friday.
The Exchange is a social impact organisation focused on increasing the chance of commercial success of start-ups in the Orana region, based in Dubbo.
The Exchange founder Jillian Kilby was a key panellist at the earlier Sydney event.
The Exchange community manager Minna Demetriou said with support from the facilities CSU, The Exchange was thrilled to be co-facilitating the regional component of challenge.
"It is important for us to support programs like the Game Changer in the region, as these students are our future start-up founders," she said.
Department of education secretary Mark Scott said the event was an exciting chance for students to work alongside some of the most creative and disruptive thinkers.
"This opportunity showcases how as a public education system we are ensuring our students can thrive in a rapidly changing world by giving them the knowledge and skills to translate learning from the classroom into a real-life context," he said.