Faculty Innovation Fellows Miriam Iliohan (Founding Fellow and coach) and Julieta Matos Castaño packed their bags and travelled from Twente to California. Going back in time (9 hours!) to co-shape Responsible Futures. Is that even possible? Only when you join forces! And so they did, by attending and organising sessions during the Silicon Valley Meetup at Stanford d.school.
The Silicon Valley Meetup brought together University Innovation Fellows (students) and Faculty Innovation Fellows (faculty and staff members) for several days of immersive learning activities. Over 300 students and faculty representatives from over 57 institutions from countries all over the globe (Australia, Japan, Romania, Austria, The Netherlands, India, USA and more) attended! They engaged with leaders in academia and industry, and collaborated and shared knowledge with their peers. During the event, the Fellows participated in experiential workshops and exercises.
As part of the programme, both University Innovation Fellows and Faculty Innovation Fellows were introduced to Responsible Futuring, the approach developed by DesignLab University of Twente.
The workshop led to fun and meaningful collages representing those futures in a metaphorical way, like the ‘Climate Crisis Escape Room’ or the ‘Sustaina-bear’!
Together with the team of coaches of the Faculty Innovation Fellows programme, Miriam Iliohan organised two sessions to explore how to better connect faculty, staff and students in innovation on campus: How to overcome challenges? Students took over the lead in the second session, which enabled them to become opinion leaders and make staff members the listeners.
The group of UIF Twente students loved their time in Stanford and learnt a lot. All were able to select from a choice of workshops which ones they would be most beneficial for them to participate in- the options ranged from various design workshops, developing career skills, working on leadership programs, entrepreneurship, innovation or connecting on personal qualities or building connections to other uif or faculty members.
Every afternoon the students would be given “Ignites”, which were inspirational talks given by the volunteer helpers. These were incredibly powerful and left each UIF member feeling even more motivated to make a positive change for their future.On the final day was the keynote speaker, Google's First Chief Innovation Evangelist Dr. Frederik G. Pferdt who inspired to take action to create OUR future, rather than sitting and waiting for what might come.
Overall the meetup was a wonderful opportunity to connect with like minded people, who all feel passionate to change the world for the better through compassion and innovative design. It was a life changing experience for all Twente Fellows who hope to bring the new gained skills and inspiration back to the campus at Twente, and make changes iin their own eco system one step at a time!
Have you heard the news? Next year's Meetup will take place in the Netherlands, at DesignLab University of Twente! This year, participants were asked to write down their UIF superpower and which societal challenge they are most passionate about. Useful input for next year! Are you a member of the University Innovation Fellows? It is still possible to apply. Do not wait too long: you can apply until 30 April 2023.