Felix with Paul Lindley and Professor Robert Van de Noort

Our just IMAGINE if… 2024 Winner

The winner of the just IMAGINE if… 2024 global research award has been revealed – congratulations to Felix Weaver who won with his idea to develop learning tools that combine complex information with music.

Felix smiling at the cameraFelix Weaver, 36 from Brentford, was crowned the winner of the University of Reading’s just IMAGINE if… award on Thursday 21 March, after beating hundreds of applicants from around the world.

Held every two years, the just IMAGINE if… award invites forward thinkers to come up with ideas to address a global challenge that supports one of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Their ideas are then evaluated by renowned entrepreneurs and social innovators. The winner receives an award of £100,000 for research and business support from the University of Reading and Henley Business School.

Read on to discover more about Felix and his winning idea.

Musical learning

Felix won with his idea to develop Ultra Rapid – a groundbreaking learning technique that uses generative AI to combine academic information with music and storytelling.

Felix said: “In the UK, it is estimated that up to 20% of the population is neurodivergent. Some neurodivergent thinkers, such as those with autism, have very high musical abilities.

“Traditional education methods may focus on listening, reading, and memorisation, but Ultra Rapid encodes information through sound, geometry, and emotion, which is more suitable for neurodivergent learners.

“By presenting information this way, Ultra Rapid helps learners remember complex concepts by pairing them with easy-to-remember melodies.”

Felix at the just imagine if gala dinnerThe winner of the award was announced by just IMAGINE if… founder Paul Lindley, University of Reading Chancellor and former UK Entrepreneur of the Year, at a gala dinner at Henley Business School’s Greenlands campus.

Paul said: “Felix is a wonderful entrepreneur with an innovative mind. He is a very worthy winner of just IMAGINE if… His idea will make a huge impact on a wide range of people all over the world for many years to come.

“I founded just IMAGINE if… to drive real, sustainable change by taking little ideas and making them huge and transformative. Imagination can change the world.

“The University of Reading and I believe in the limitless potential of humanity. just IMAGINE if… is the strongest representation of this vision. By combining opportunity, kindness and great ideas, let’s see if we can create something that begins to address the global challenges we face.”

Since its inception, just IMAGINE if… has inspired more than 500 applications and created 20 finalists. Previous winners from Peru and India have benefited from the award, skills, and network support provided by the University of Reading, Henley Business School and the University of Durham.

Discover the nine other finalists and their innovative ideas.