Skip to content
State of Ambition

30 January 2013

One of three ventures supported through the Working Well Design Challenge, State of Ambition is a game-based website that helps young people become ambitious leaders, giving them the support network and purpose they need to succeed.

With record numbers of 16–24 year olds not in education, employment or training, there is a pressing need to improve how young people secure the opportunities they deserve. Seeing the potential for design and digital technology to make a difference, the Design Council and Nominet Trust launched the Design Challenge in July 2012.

The challenge brought together leading designers, developers and social entrepreneurs to create new ways of using digital technologies to help young people develop their talents and make a living.












The problem

When faced with a blank sheet of paper, young people can find it difficult to decide what they want to do for a living. Often, they learn about opportunities and gain confidence from their friends and family – but many feel uncomfortable asking for help from those around them. 

Furthermore, employers are always on the look out for enthusiastic and hard-working people, yet CVs are rarely enough by themselves to mark talent out.

The solution

State of Ambition, formerly known as Step Up, is a game-based website designed and run by innovation and design studio Super Being Labs. It guides young people through a series of steps to help them define their career goals and then identify the support they need to achieve them.






<iframe src="//;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=ffffff" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe>


Users create a personal marketing campaign that is hosted online for 21 days. During this time they are encouraged to strengthen their support network, gain attention for their capabilities, uncover new skills and ultimately get the support they need to take the next step in their careers.




This is a really exciting idea to support young people in their quest to stand out!



Matt Dunn, user


State of Ambition creates new opportunities by giving young people the means and confidence to ask for help, while showing potential employers how determined and focused a young person is.

The results

Since September 2013, State of Ambition has helped 133 young people and worked with a number of employers – including Jobsite, Starbucks, Twitter, the Press Association and Brightside.

A Tech for Good winner in 2013, the project has received £25,000 seed investment from Big Issue Invest.

In 2014 State of Ambition launched the Summer of STEM campaign with Jobsite, to help those who have ambitions in STEM (science, technology, education and maths). The two-month campaign had over 33,000 views and over 431 supporters during the first month.

The start-up plans to distribute 100% of its net profits as grants and scholarships for 16–30 year olds.

Visit the State of Ambition website

​Follow @StateofAmbition on Twitter

Subscribe to our newsletter

Want to keep up with the latest from the Design Council?

Sign up