The ECIU experience at Create Tomorrow was a fantastic opportunity to connect with students with diverse backgrounds from all walks of life. Everyone displayed a refreshing openness and friendliness, and everyone had unique stories to share. We engaged in several bonding activities within our ECIU group, including ice breakers with drinks on tap, tours, quizzes, and workshops.
These workshops were a good refresher before the main event, and included “Brainstorming”, “Idea-to-Concept” and “Pitching”. Our first accomplishment was winning the challenge where we constructed the tallest structure using spaghetti, strings, and marshmallows. This victory served as a significant motivator and provided inspiration for the more demanding days ahead.
The journey wasn’t without its obstacles – it was full of ups and downs! On the second night, unforeseen circumstances led the organisers to move us from cabins to tents, where we were moved from our cabins to tents and the cold temperatures affected most of our sleep the night before the big event. Undeterred, we enthusiastically prepared for our Create Tomorrow challenge. The grandeur of the event, amplified by cutting-edge technology, including an impressive speaker system and professional video camera setup, was truly awe-inspiring. They catered to our comfort, providing an array of refreshments throughout the day.
Each sponsoring company, including Thales, Arcadis, NS, MST, and Total Energies, was introduced thoughtfully with their interesting keynotes and presentations. They proposed problems, which were case studies for us to solve, setting the stage for innovative ideation. We had a two-part submission process: an initial brainstorming proposal and a final submission, which entailed a business canvas model, a written proposal, and a PowerPoint pitch. This event was a perfect fit for my area of study, as I was a student at BSc in Marketing, Innovation, and Technology at DCU. Funnily enough, the submission process was exactly what I had been working on in my final year. My team members brought varied skills and strengths to the table, contributing to our successful collaboration. Our task was to assist MST in improving communication between GPs and young asthma patients. We were to devise a way to personalise this advice based on the patient’s comprehension level. Despite the fatigue from the previous night, we conceived an app that used AI and a brand mascot to deliver advice in an engaging, user-friendly, and comprehensible manner. Admittedly, we initially had our differences concerning the idea. Nevertheless, we worked together in the Create Tomorrow tent to deliver a finished solution, which we handed in on time. The remainder of the day was spent enjoying the humorous speeches and observing the pitches of the selected groups.
Regrettably, none of the ECIU groups advanced to the finals, which could be attributed to the previous night’s sleep deprivation. Regardless, this event was an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience. It provided a platform for incredible networking and learning opportunities, for which I will always be grateful for!
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