How can we experience elegantly a creative journey? How can we find common understanding in a stressful situation? What does it mean to be a self-leader and tap into our values, ambitions and beliefs to create progress? What is the gift we can bring to the world? How do we become the best catalyst of co-creation we can become?
These are some of the questions that the students of the MSc Energy Technologies 2018 intake explored during this year’s edition of the Open Space Studio Journey Summer Atelier. During this special one-week training, 13 first-year students, from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), got together from 14- 19 July in Sever do Vouga – a small village located 85 km from Porto, in the heart of the Portuguese countryside, hidden in a historical green valley surrounded by nature.
The Summer Atelier is designed in three complementary training segments: two days on self-leadership; one day on catalyst training; and a one-day co-creation workshop together with students and industry guests.
During the self-leadership training, the students go on a series of self and group reflections to unfold and get a better understanding on what does self-leadership means to them, how it connects to their purpose in life, the values they live by, the contributions they want to give to the world and the beliefs that might be limiting their growth. This journey allows them to recognise who they are, get a feeling for their own natural rhythm of life, and by looking with a new perspective at their past and their present, get a clearer sense of the future that is emerging for them.
In this journey of self-discovery, the students eventually transition into working on being a catalyst of co-creation. The Open Space Studio defines a catalyst as a person, who is on a path to develop key skills and competencies of being a self-leader, nurturing meaningful connections between people, practicing the art of listening and asking questions and is able to take a multi-perspective view when addressing new challenges. Here the students dive into the theory of co-creativity and practice taking on the role of the supporting element within a group to find innovative solutions that benefit and are enhanced by the generation of a common understanding, the quality of connection amongst people and the evolution from an individual “ego” mind-set to a collaborative “eco” culture.
The knowledge and experience acquired throughout the week culminates and is put into real use during a one-day co-creation workshop. As in every Summer Atelier, the Open Space Studio invites and supports an InnoEnergy funded start-up to define a crucial challenge they currently face and to join the students in finding creative new ways to solve it. This year was particularly special, as the topic presented comes from a collaboration between Klugit and EDA (Electricidade dos Açores). Klugit is the developer of a plug that can be connected to any existing electric water tank, converting it into a smart one that learns and manages hot water needs, and EDA is the Energy Utility of Azores and the main driver in pushing Azores towards a clean and sustainable future in energy. Together they held the challenge of “How do we inspire a sustainable future in Azores through the Klugit-EDA pilot project?”. During this day, the students and industry guests explored the current reality of Klugit’s technology, the Azores energy system and the role played by EDA in it. Together they created a vision of what the sustainable energy future of Azores should look like and developed a detailed map of how to get there, focusing particularly on the issues of customer and stakeholder engagement, the purpose, values and brand of the Klugit-EDA project and on the needed communication strategy to bring to life. The spirit and contributions that Klugit and EDA want to bring to paradisaical Azores is something that all participants connected strongly with, and through this co-creative journey, we all got a deep feeling of having created something meaningful and impactful together. We are excited to see the Klugit-EDA project come to life and have the confidence that the clear vision and strategy co-created during this workshop will play a significant role and making that happen.
The Summer Atelier marks the middle of the Open Space Studio as part of the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Journey of the MSc Energy Technologies 2018 intake students, and as they move on towards exams and summer break, we look forward to meet again during the next Open Space Studio Winter Atelier in October.
As always, we wish that the knowledge, practices and energy shared during these days will carry on in all participants towards a more joyful, peaceful and accomplished future. Learn all about the InnoEnergy’s Master in Energy Technologies and engineer the future.
Any questions about Open Space Studio, please contact: Claudia Depenthal (firstname.lastname@example.org)