On 31 October, the EIT held an awareness day in Valetta, Malta to showcase the EIT Community, and help power Malta's innovators.
The EIT Alumni, as the direct link between the EIT and the young professionals and innovators of the EIT community, were invited to send a representative to sit on the afternoon panel discussion: 'Experiences and insights: What is it like being part of the EIT Community?'
Ayse Tolunay, EIT Health alumna and board member, was selected to attend on our behalf and present her journey in the EIT Community.
Read Ayse's story of the event below:
"I worked as a lecturer at a technical university for eight years. In 2017, I decided to change my career to work with refugees, which brought me back to being a student. Now I’m a Master's student at the University of Copenhagen, studying Migration.
My first experience with EIT Health was through a Global Health Case Challenge: Sexual and Reproductive Health of Migrating Women. This challenge brought together students with different backgrounds. I, a migration studies student, was in a team with students of medicine and public health. The 24 hours we worked as a team proved what I have advocated for for many years: that we need more interdisciplinary work to address global issues.
Currently, I’m doing my internship with UNHCR. I work with the tertiary education team, trying to provide equitable tertiary education for all. Through the EIT Health Alumni Network, I was given the chance to participate in a training program on Micro Learning. This made it possible for me to get in touch with other disciplines and widened my horizons.
I believe through interdisciplinary work we can create a better world and the EIT Community seems to be the right place to do it!
One of the latest examples that confirms this belief was the EIT Awareness Day in Malta which I participated in last week.
Firstly, the warmth hit my face as soon as I got out of the plane. It made me think: it took 8 hours to get there, and it was totally worth it. Like many islands, Malta is not an easy place to get to, but once you do it gives you the full Mediterranean experience with open arms and heart.
I went straight to the get-together organized by EIT from the airport, and although I was perhaps a little under dressed I was warmly welcomed by the EIT Malta team. It was so nice to be in an amazing venue with a beautiful view, great food and surrounded by so many interesting and engaging people. The get-together was a very nice introduction to Malta and its relationship to the EIT. For me, the talk about block-chain and how a musician uses it was particularly inspiring.
The day of the event was gainful. I had the opportunity to listen to interesting talks that also relate to what I do as an intern with UNHCR. For instance, there was a lot of emphasis on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and also education in the morning sessions, especially in relation to Malta.
I took part in the panel discussion in the afternoon session. It was exciting to talk in front of everyone about my experience as an EIT alumna and how the EIT helped me to widen my horizons by providing cross-cutting opportunities: being a humanities “person” and having access to the EIT Health Alumni Network and partners provided me with a great network and the possibility to work on issues related to the health of people on the move. Even after this talk, people approached me and we discussed topics related to migration, education and health.
Although the Innovation Communities seem to stand on their own, the fact is that people who are part of the EIT Community are aware of the fact that cutting-edge solutions come out of cross-sectoral work, and the EIT Awareness Day in Malta was a proof of this approach."
If you would like to get more involved in the EIT Community and represent the EIT Alumni at events, make sure to regularly check out opportunities page.