Participants from educational programmes, start-ups and business competitions to play a pivotal role in the EIT RawMaterials Alumni Association
Written by Jan Eggert, EIT Raw Materials
On 15-16 June 2018, the EIT RawMaterials Alumni Association kicked off its inaugural meeting in Berlin. A diverse group of 25 participants from 17 countries participated in the event, all of whom had taken part in educational programmes, start-ups and business competitions supported by EIT RawMaterials. The enthusiastic group of students, entrepreneurs and other members of the Raw Materials community, who had travelled from around Europe for the event, took part in two evenings of social interaction and a full day of workshops, discussions and networking at a co-working space in Berlin.
Connecting and sharing expertise from across the community through different events and activities
After opening remarks and an introduction to the education and business development activities of EIT RawMaterials by Dr Rima Dapous, Director of Education at EIT RawMaterials, and Mikko Korhonen, Business Developer at EIT RawMaterials, the stage was set for the participants to brainstorm on what the alumni network should offer and on how they would like to get involved. In different breakout sessions, participants presented their visions for the alumni association, with four groups discussing and presenting on career development, business development, mentoring, and lifelong learning courses. The discussions generated a wealth of exciting ideas on how to deliver benefits to the EIT RawMaterials Alumni and the sector as a whole, by connecting and sharing expertise from across the community through different events and activities.
Networking, collaboration and mentoring opportunities
In a speed dating session, participants went on multiple “networking dates” of 7 minutes. Each participant created cards for ideas they are interested in “selling” and “buying” for which they are seeking collaborators, partners, investors, advice, or expertise. This exercise generated lively discussions and fostered early collaboration between participants. With the help of a booklet with pictures and bio texts of all participants, the session was a best practice example of the wide range of networking, collaboration and mentoring opportunities that can be enjoyed as part of the EIT RawMaterials Alumni Association.
The day ended with information about the existing EIT Alumni Community, including a live discussion with Francesco Bonadiman, currently the Community Officer of the EIT Alumni Board. and the President of the EIT Digital Alumni Board. Finally, the formation of the founding EIT RawMaterials Alumni Board took place, by which time a wealth of connections, friendships and ideas had been created – a fantastic taste of the future of our EIT RawMaterials Alumni Association.