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Sage and 3DE Bring Artificial Intelligence Training Workshops to Benjamin Banneker High School

Sage Foundation initiative, FutureMakers, helps Atlanta high school students develop ethical AI skills for jobs of the future

ATLANTA, January 17, 2020 - Sage (FTSE : SGE), the market leader in cloud business management solutions,  today announced the U.S. launch of its global pioneering program, Sage FutureMakers AI Workshop. The extensive training workshop for ages 13 to 17 helps the next generation address the future skills gap and develop ethical and responsible AI technology that solves a societal problem in their community. The week-long workshop at Banneker High School concluded Friday, with prototype presentations from students. 

 “FutureMakers is a ground-breaking program designed to inspire young people to step up and take their place in emerging tech. Bringing it to Banneker High School in our hometown Atlanta is a great opportunity to have a positive impact on our local community” said Ron McMurtrie, CMO, Sage. “As a technology company, innovation is at the core of what we do, and we see the power and future potential of AI first-hand in our industry. We want to empower the next generation to use their skills and creativity to think about a career in technology, and ultimately solve the world’s problems with the AI they learn to create.” 

Sage Foundation has partnered with 3DE, a non-profit created by Junior Achievement, to implement Sage FutureMakers in Atlanta. The partnership with 3DE allows FutureMakers to conduct workshops in a school setting, adjusting the curriculum to fit within two-hour blocks over the course of a full week as opposed to one day-sessions.

“I can’t over-state the value of what students achieve through FutureMakers,” said Dr. Valencia Bradshaw, Banneker High School STEM Program Director. “In a short timeframe, young people who have never even coded are guided into developing an AI product that solves a problem they see in the world. The idea of applying ethical AI is taught by introducing our students to United Nations sustainable development goals. They learn that it is crucial for people from a diversity of backgrounds to contribute to the development of AI. They come to understand that the AI jobs of the future will require skills they already have – such as creativity, empathy and the ability to tell a story. What this ultimately does is empower our students to understand that they can play an important role in the future of this exciting sector.” 

“Preparing our students for the AI jobs of the future provides an important addition to our curriculum, which is specifically designed to help them achieve world-class skills,” said 3DE Senior Vice President of Teaching and Learning Niambi Sampson. “With 90 percent of US students in public schools, we are passionate about showing what can be achieved when education reflects the real world and prepares students for life beyond the classroom walls.”

Banneker High School students are tasked with addressing the United Nation’s 17 Sustainability Goals and have been grouped based on what goal they want to address. Some of the problems address during the program include:  

  • Algorithmic solutions to support gender equality, by providing tailored information, resources, stories and data to women of all ages better understand their bodies and challenges that women face.
  • An AI app that addresses food insecurity by helping people find healthy food options
  • Climate change impact modelling to show the impact of climate change in a user’s local area 

In 2018, Sage Foundation piloted the FutureMakers curriculum, working with 150 young people (aged 13 to 17) in the U.K. and Ireland. AI technologist and humanitarian Kriti Sharma has designed the curriculum for young people with little or no coding experience. The FutureMakers curriculum includes: 

  • An introduction into Artificial Intelligence
  • AI Programming Language Training 
  • Review of Ethical AI Challenges
  • Research, Ideation and Prototype Competition 
  • Product Presentation 

It is being delivered in South Africa, France, Spain, and the U.K. as well as the U.S.

The ultimate goal of Sage Foundation’s FutureMakers program is to work with governments to insert the workshops into the standard school curriculum. FutureMakers will continue introducing real-world AI practitioners via the course content. For more information about FutureMakers, visit and a short film:

Media Contact: 

Victoria Borges
[email protected]

About Sage

Sage is the global market leader for technology that helps small and medium businesses perform at their best. Sage is trusted by millions of customers worldwide to deliver the best cloud technology and support, with our partners, to manage finances, operations, and people. We believe in doing everything we can to help people be the best they can be, so the combined efforts of 13,000 Sage colleagues working with businesses and communities make a real difference to the world.

Sage. Perform at your Best. Find out more at  

About Sage Foundation 

Sitting at the heart of Sage Group plc, and led by CEO Steve Hare, Sage Foundation ( unifies colleagues and partners in a global programme of corporate philanthropy, transforming lives to support economic stability and social equality. 

All 13,000 colleagues across 23 countries are encouraged to dedicate five paid days a year to charities close to their hearts, through voluntary work and fundraising challenges. 

Our colleagues dedicated 31,250 days to Sage Foundation last year, worth £4.2 million to our beneficiaries. We made 162 philanthropic grants in 2018. In addition to this, CEO Steve Hare has called on global colleagues to achieve $2 million for their charities through fundraising events of their choice. 

In particular, we take action to increase opportunities for fulfilment among young people, women, and military veterans to drive innovation, enhancing access to education, workforce development and exposure to entrepreneurship. 

We also proudly facilitate a culture of fast, responsive support for local need. Whether in the aftermath of forest fires in California, drought in South Africa, terror incidents in London, or a sudden shortage of help at a local foodbank, our colleagues are empowered to work with Sage Foundation to lend a hand. 

Our strategic objectives are aligned to four of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: education for all; gender equality; decent work opportunities; economic growth; innovation and meaningful partnerships. 

About 3DE

3DE was developed from JA Academy, which began in 2015 through a joint venture with Fulton County Schools and integrated into Banneker High School in the City of South Fulton near Atlanta. During the four-year pilot, JA Academy partnered with four school systems and expanded into six traditional public high schools. These strategically-selected locations tested the model against various demographics, school system structures and levels of student achievement. As a result of the measurable and consistent outcomes driving student achievement and school progress, JA aims to create more pipelines to economic opportunity by expanding the holistic school model into locations throughout Georgia and beyond.  

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