All Posts in EIT Alumni News

15 September 2021 - No Comments!

New EIT Alumni President Appointed

Anca del Rio is set to become the EIT Alumni’s next President! She will represent over 14 000 alumni from all the Alumni Communities and lead the Alumni Board.

Anca del Rio was selected from a large pool of highly accomplished candidates and following a rigorous selection and evaluation process. Following lengthy applications, motivational videos, letters of support from respective Alumni Communities, interviews, and a final decision by the EIT’s Director, the EIT Health Alumni was appointed as the new President.

Martin Kern, the EIT Director, welcomed Anca by saying;

''A warm welcome to Anca del Rio, the new EIT Alumni President! As an experienced entrepreneur and health innovator herself, she is the ideal representative for the network of fellow entrepreneurs. The EIT highly values this very network and alumni community because it allows students and start-ups to stay connected long term and benefit from the EIT offer while strengthening the EIT community as a whole. I am convinced her leadership and systemic change management will help steer EIT Alumni towards our common vision of a greener, more sustainable Europe. I look forward to working together and see the EIT Alumni community grow under her leadership.''

Anca del Rio is a passionate and experienced professional in healthcare governance and public health strategy, and a leading innovator with an entrepreneurial drive for digital transformation, growth, and innovative approaches.

She holds an international Masters of Science in Public Health and is pursuing a PhD in the same field. As a Fellow Graduate of the EIT Health Mentor and Innovation and Entrepreneurship, she is a specialist in systemic change management and digital capacity building, clinical governance, quality systems, and patient safety.

In March 202, Anca founded The Digital Aid Project, a global COVID-19 Resilience and Response initiative. This social initiative aims to bring digital health solutions to the most vulnerable to #LeaveNoOneBehind. Its network provides capacity-building support on strategic initiatives for the identification, adoption, and integration of digital health solutions in mental health facilities, rehabilitation centers, and nursing homes, during and beyond public health crises.

Alongside her diverse executive, advisory and technical roles in healthcare strategy and planning, Anca is involved with several international organizations holding honorary positions. She is the Country Representative at EIT Health Alumni Network, the Regional Network Chair at Patient Safety Movement Foundation, Young Forum Gastein Alumna, Member of the Quality Commission at SPIZE-Hospitals and Clinics of Central Switzerland. Anca is also engaged in several activities to advance effective innovations towards Sustainable Development Goals.

Her passion for societal change is evident through her involvement in events and programmes like the World Health Innovation Summit, MIT COVID-19 Challenge, EU vs. VIRUS, and EIT Health Summer Schools.

The EIT Alumni Community would like to thank the outgoing EIT Alumni President, Miguel Amador, for his committed and thorough work steering the ‘Network of Networks’ through an especially challenging period for the Community and the world at large. He will continue to lead the representation of EIT Health Alumni.

We warmly welcome Anca’s appointment and greatly look forward to her stewardship!

You can follow Anca del Rio on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

5 July 2021 - No Comments!

EIT Alumni join session at European R&I Days 2021

On the 24th of June, during European Research and Innovation Days, EIT Alumni joined a dedicated session: “The Role of Community and Mentoring in Driving Innovation – How to foster knowledge flows: examples from Marie Curie Alumni Association, Erasmus Mundus Association and EIT Alumni”, where Dr Katherina F Heil (President of the Erasmus Mundus Association), Dr Mostafa Moonir Sharaw (Chair of the Marie Curie Alumni Association) and Ilona Puskas (Member of the EIT Alumni Board) were invited to speak. Urszula Bogatynska, Project Support Officer of EIT moderated the session.  

The discussion focused on how student and alumni associations use community participation and mentors to drive their activities toward research and innovation. The speakers discussed how their communities encourage knowledge sharing across countries and industries. 

Here are two highlights from questions posed by Urszula Bogatynska: 

In view of the topic for today’s discussion, we would like to know how can we engage communities to participate in the creation of innovative ideas focusing on different objectives? 

Illona Puskas (EIT Alumni) stated “The most important is creating conditions so communities can share their ideas, to connect with people and resources, combine all of this into alliances”. 

Mostafa Moonir Shawrav (MCAA), shared that one important question that every community needs to ask is “What do we want to achieve with the community engagement?”. Is the engagement object-oriented or curiosity-driven? Once defined, they can use effective communication skills and bring stakeholders together to listen to the community and establish different ideas of co-creation. One good example from the MCAA Erasmus+ project is OEduverse. 

Katherina Heil (EMA) added that more tools should be given to empower the community to be innovative and to encourage the sharing of good examples. Lastly, she stated that there is a lot of room for innovation and the most important is to get information out there, to create opportunities for members to meet. A good example is a hackathon, where members can put their ideas into practice.  

How do you see the role of mentors and mentees in the facilitation of knowledge sharing across different sectors? Do you think that Alumni communities fulfil their potential? 

Mostafa Moonir Shawrav (MCAA) shared that in past surveys the intersectoral mobility is not as popular as interdisciplinary or international mobility and intersectoral collaboration is lower than in academic collaboration. When talking about mentoring, Dr. Shawrav encourages mentoring programmes that can be helpful for researchers to define and plan the next stage of their career. Regarding the last part of the question, he mentioned: “Are we utilizing our full potential? The honest answer is no, not yet.” 

Katherina Heil (EMA) highlighted “the benefits of a mentoring programme for mentors, but also for mentees.” She shared that these programmes are extremely beneficial to every person involved. EMA has had a mentoring programme for several years, designed to pair individuals to have a traditional mentoring relationship. This year they have tried to add lectures and interactive sessions to the mentoring programme, and create a safe space in which mentors and mentees could work together; for example, looking at a CV together or designing a future career plan. Regarding using the full potential of Alumni communities, she said: “we are not yet using our full potential, but we are working towards engaging as many people as possible and spreading the word about the success of smaller activities. This is how people move forward as well” 

Illona Puskas (EIT Alumni) finalized the discussion, adding “there are a lot of improvements to be made, but [there are] very positive tendencies as well.” In the EIT community, when individuals are still active participants in one of their programmes, most students already cultivate a relationship with the network coach, instructors, and invited experts. “There is a very healthy and quite organic mentor-mentee relationship,” she added, even if it not a formalized mentor-mentee relationship.  

The representatives from each community also debated the high demand of mentees, and the lack of mentors and incentives for them to use their free time to help people from their community. Mostafa Moonir Shawrav added that in an organization like MCAA, EMA or EIT Alumni, every member is a volunteer, so finding members and engaging them is always a challenge. Fortunately, there are a lot of members that are committed to the organization and want to share their free time and knowledge amongst the community.  

11 May 2021 - No Comments!

Year in Review: Read the EIT Alumni Impact Report 2020

A Year of Resilience and Growth for the EIT Alumni Community!

The EIT Alumni Impact Report 2020 presents the activities, results, and impact of the EIT Alumni Community over the course of a year. Even amidst the global pandemic, this year saw the community broaden its outreach, impact and swiftly respond to societal challenges.

In terms of governance, the board welcomed new representatives from EIT RawMaterials Alumni, EIT Climate-KIC Alumni, CommUnity by EIT InnoEnergy and EIT.

A few milestones from Impact Report 2020

The full report is available here.

8 April 2021 - No Comments!

Artificial intelligence a possible remedy for #fakenews in food sector?

As a result of the collaboration between European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and EIT Alumni a Hackathon contest for the Design of an Artificial Intelligence solution to detect fake news using EFSA’s body of scientific opinions was organised!

The overall objective of this hackathon contest was to enhance some of the EFSA key values, such as openness and innovation in order to enable stakeholders to understand the basis of EFSA’s scientific work in an innovative manner and engage a wider community around it.

The specific objective of the hackathon was to come up with a prototype of an Artificial Intelligence (AI) solution to detect fake news in the area of Food and Feed Safety, leveraging the whole EFSA’s body of Scientific Opinions, from its foundation to present days.

On 20 February 2021, the opening session of the on-line hackathon took place with Jeroen van Lent, President of the EIT Digital Alumni Foundation as well as Vice President of EIT Alumni, Barbara Gallani, Head of EFSA’s Communication, Engagement, and Cooperation Department and Jan Grotenbreg, developing and managing the DeepHack open innovation programme at EIT Digital.

The participants had a full weekend on 20 and 21 February of hacking and creating their solution. Teams were tasked to analyse shared statements such as ‘Excess salt is your deadly enemy’ or ‘One cup of coffee can improve your focus’ and provide a credibility score based on proposed solution. Once the weekend was over the jury took over and started the evaluation of all submitted solutions.

The Award Ceremony took place on 19 March 2021 with Bernhard Url, EFSA Executive Director and Martin Kern, EIT Director.

In his opening speech, Bernhard Url explained the reasons for the organisation of the hackathon.

We need to build a community around methods to detect fake news. This is not only to secure scientific information is not superseded by a swamp of fake stories.  The danger of disinformation goes much further: it undermines trust in the democratic institutions and it is an assault on the open society. - Bernhard Url, EFSA Executive Director

The role of the hackathon was to leverage the best brains in the European Union and to ignite interest to the topic of fake news together with proposing remedies for this phenomenon.

Martin Kern, presented the role of innovation as such in tackling societal challenges as well as the role of collaboration between EU agencies, including the engagement of the EIT Alumni.

Innovation happens if you work together. If you go outside the boundaries, outside your comfort zone, if we work with people you normally would not work with and if you try new ideas. - Martin Kern, EIT Director

The importance of artificial intelligence technology in driving innovations was outlined in the context of growing numbers of EIT projects in this field and across different sectors.

Top 5 solutions
  • 1st prize EUR 7 000 for Asclepium Oracle team of 10 members from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona for its encompassing solution, covering aspects related to science, journalism and technology.
  • 2nd prize EUR 6 000 for Food Busters team with Zacharoula Theodorakopoulou, Timotheos Lanitis, Simona Mladenova and Mihalis Papakonstantinou for having properly complemented EFSA data sources with additional ones, and for its very attractive user interface.
  • 3rd prize EUR 5 000 for Dane Mitrev and Luca Coviello, EIT Digital Alumni for having properly integrated different techniques such as Named Entity Recognition, Claim Decomposition and Fact Verification Model.
  • 4th prize EUR 3 500 for Marvin Mouroum, Lauri Laatu, Mayank Yadav and Jonathan Smyth from EIT Digital Alumni for an attention based continuous Deep Learning solution and its focus on Explainability of results produced by AI.
  • 5th prize EUR 3 500 for Honest Food team with Alettea Tordai from EIT Digital Alumni and Dim Hoogeveen for adopting document similarity ranking to nicely present and understand the results.
Congratulations to all teams!

11 March 2021 - No Comments!

EIT Alumni @ the MCAA Annual Conference

Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA) General Conference  took place between 5 & 7 March 2021. EIT Alumni organised a session ‘Entrepreneurial journey: How to turn your idea into reality’.

The EIT Alumni session, moderated by Sara Ricardo, Board Member of MCAA, included discussion with Chaitanya Dhumasker (graduate from the EIT Climate-KIC label programme at the Technical University of Berlin, co-founder and CEO of MonitorFish GmbH, EIT Change Award Winner 2020) and Dorine Duives (assistant professor at the Department of Transport & Planning at Delft University of Technology, coordinator of the Active Mode Lab, CTO of City Analytics a spin-off of Delft University & Technology research supported by the EIT Urban Mobility, Winner of the 2nd place of EIT Woman Award 2020).

The aim of the session was to share with participants the journey of turning an idea into a successful project, guide them what is needed on the way, what kind of support they should look for and how to stay motivated. Participants had a chance to learn about personal insights and testimonials from taking the entrepreneurial journey and find out the opportunities the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) has to offer to aspiring entrepreneurs.

Chaitanya shared how his company MonitorFish evolved to focus on the aspect related to having an idea, looking for funding, highlights and downsides of entrepreneurship.

‘The possibility of being an entrepreneur is fascinating.’ – Chaitanya Dhumasker

MonitorFish

MonitorFish

Dorine presented the perspective of becoming a researcher and entrepreneur, being herself, an assistant professor and CTO of CityAnalytics. The main takeaways from her journey are:

  • Always remain investigative - why the product is needed, is it already on the market or not, will there be buyers?
  • Dare to dream.
  • Be proactive and persistent, talk with people in the network.
  • Find support asap in companies and institutions that work with start-ups as they have seen it all and know what are the most critical issues for start-ups in different phases.
CityAnalytics

CityAnalytics Dashboard

The session was closed with a Q&A session between the panellists and the audience.

Check the EIT website to learn more about Chaitanya’s. Learn more about Dorine’s projects here or other initiatives by Women@EIT.

You want to learn more about MCAA? Find all you need here.
Find out more about the different EIT Alumni Communities here.

17 December 2020 - No Comments!

EIT Alumni CONNECT 2020 – first time online!

Over 120 EIT Alumni came together on 28 and 29 November to connect, build partnerships, co-create projects, and work together to develop the EIT Alumni Community.

EIT Alumni CONNECT  is the annual big event and opportunity for EIT Alumni members to meet, discuss and debate on social, environmental and technological challenges.

The theme of the 2020 EIT Alumni CONNECT was 'Responsible Consumption and Production' and how EIT Alumni could address it. It was about how to do more and better with less, about decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation, increasing resource efficiency, and promoting sustainable lifestyles.

Alongside interactive networking session, a series of workshops allowed our members to get unique insights from external organisations, and from members of the EIT Alumni Communities: EIT Climate-KIC Alumni, EIT Digital Alumni, CommUnity by EIT InnoEnergy, EIT Health Alumni, EIT RawMaterials Alumni and representatives from EIT Food Alumni.

The first day started off with a welcoming speech by EIT Director Mr. Martin Kern who emphasized the role of the Alumni members to lead the change to a greener, sustainable and more digitalized Europe, before giving the floor to the EIT Alumni Communities representatives to introduce the main activities and plans for the current and upcoming year.

Wrap up video EIT Alumni CONNECT 2020. 

Panel discussions

Throughout the two days, two panel discussions took place on the theme of the event ‘Responsible Consumption and Production’, one focusing on the ‘Industry Perspective’ with Selah Li, ELLURE AB, Harrison Wavell, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Antoni Pijoan, EIT Manufacturing. The second panel discussion focused the ‘Consumer Perspective’ with Giulia Marzetti, EIT Climate-KIC Alumna, Mara De Pater, CollAction and Alessandra Schmidt, Fab Lab Barcelona IAAC.

Both panels touched upon the themes with very valuable insights including:

  • Idea of developing mass personalisation instead of mass consumption;
  • Importance of the distribution of infrastructure (idea of localism – localised production);
  • Emphasis on the need of documentation of product production;
  • Idea of prosumer (a person who both produces and consumes a particular commodity);
  • Importance of reusing, reducing and recycling;
  • The need for Doughnut economics ('economy exceeds within the boundaries of society');
  • Advocating for degrowth movement ('a really good believe system for both consumers and producers').
Workshops

On top of that, a series of parallel workshops ran on the first day of the event with different topics and hosted by a group of industry experts:

  • 'Gender Databias in applied AI', led by Women@EIT;
  • 'Better life for farm animals', led by Matus Gasparik, EIT Food Alumni;
  • 'Towards sustainable food systems': Awareness and Action, led by Silvia Fernandez Gonzalez from EIT Climate-KIC Alumni, representing DESOS Opció Solidària;
  • 'Climate impact forecast', led by Bram van der Grinten and Gabi Brunazzo;
  • 'How to ExPlane your organisation', led by Symke Nieboer, Isabel Seeger and Peter Paul Vossepoel.
Networking and virtual party time

The second and last day of the event was more interactive, with an online networking session for the participants. They had the opportunity to connect, talk and overcome the space and virtual barrier.

The event ended with a virtual party time where participants enjoyed games, a quiz and other activities. For next year, we hope to see everyone again, in a better and more sustainable world.

Watch the welcome by EIT Director Martin Kern, the two panel discussion and presentations of the different EIT Alumni Communities.

26 October 2020 - No Comments!

CONNECT 2020 takes place on 28 & 29 November

EIT Alumni CONNECT is the annual meetup of our EIT Alumni Community.

Over 150 Alumni will come together on 28 and 29 November to connect, build partnerships, co-create on projects and work together to build, and develop the EIT Alumni Community.

This year’s theme is Responsible Consumption and Production and how EIT Alumni can address it. It is about doing more and better with less. It is also about decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation, increasing resource efficiency, and promoting sustainable lifestyles. Alongside interactive networking session, a series of workshops will offer to our members unique insights from external organisations and from members of the Alumni Communities: The CommUnity by EIT InnoEnergy, EIT Health Alumni, EIT Digital Alumni, EIT RawMaterials Alumni and EIT Climate-KIC Alumni.

Whether you want to sharpen your current skills, explore opportunities across sectors or meet like-minded professionals, you will find what you want - all online.

Save the dates: 28-29 November 2020
Agenda

28 November 2020 (Saturday)   

15:00-15:10 Opening
15:10-15:15 Welcome
15:15-15:40 Introduction to EIT Alumni Communities
15:40-16:10 Pannel discussion - Industry Perspective (Responsible Consumption and Production)
16:10-16:20 Ice breaker session - quiz on EIT Alumni Communities
16:20-16:30 Break
16:30-17:30 5 Parallel Workshops

  • Towards Sustainable Food Systems: Awareness and Action
  • Climate Impact Forecast
  • Gender databias in applied AI - led by Women@EIT
  • Better life for farm animals
  • How to ExPlane your organisation?
17:30-17:40 Break
17:40-18:00 Presentation of results

29 November 2020 (Sunday) 

15:00-15:10 Opening
15:10-15:40 Panel discussion - Consumer Perspective (Responsible Consumption and Production)
15:40-16:00 Closing remarks
16:40-17:00 Networking time through B2Match platform
17:00-18:00 Party time

Join us on-line to collaborate across sectors, grow and come together

Where

Virtual event (note: if you experience access issues to this session, we recommend trying an alternative website browser to the one you are using).

Registration for EIT Alumni CONNECT 2020 is limited to members of the EIT Alumni Community.

The internal registration for participating EIT Alumni CONNECT 2020 was closed on 31 October.

Please be aware that registration does not automatically mean participation. The event will host approximately 150 participants from each EIT Alumni Community (CommUnity by InnoEnergy, EIT Health Alumni, EIT Digital Alumni, EIT RawMaterials Alumni, EIT Climate-KIC Alumni). The final selection of the participants will be done by each EIT Alumni Community for their own members.

30 September 2020 - No Comments!

EIT Alumni at the R&I days 2020

How to develop our career in these challenging times!

The European Research and Innovation Days took place from 22-24 September 2020. For EIT Alumni Jeroen Van Lent, Vice President of the EIT Alumni Board participated in a workshop about Career Development and Entrepreneurship, with focus on developing your career path in these changing and challenging times. Other participants were Katharina Heil, President of the Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association, Mostafa Moonir Shawrav, Chair of the Marie Curie Alumni Association and Claire Morel, DG EAC and European Commission moderated the event.

One of the topics the panelists discussed were the opportunities but also challenges that digitalized world presents. One of the European Commission priorities is ‘A Europe fit for the digital age’, this calls for a need to be creative but also to find a balance between digital skills and social skills, especially in  educational environment.

Digitalisation has become very important in these current times of Covid-19, the young generation is used to take advantage of the digital world. There is a need to be creative.

Katharina Heil, President of the Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association.

The EIT Alumni community organises hackathons so people can get more skills. There is a need to innovate how education is teaching other skills, to push people out of their comfort zone.

Jeroen Van Lent, Vice President of the EIT Alumni Board.

Another topic was how digital changes can drive the transition to a greener economy. Followed by a discussion on the possibilities lifelong learning presents and that it is often underestimated and not well enough presented to young graduates.

Connections are key, it is important to disseminate information at European Commission and University level. There is a need to be more active on social media and sharing events/job offers/opportunities. There is a room to improve and trainings are essential.

Katharina Heil, President of the Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association.

There is a gap when we discuss about skills and there is not a common approach. It is necessary to identify the skills gap, see the necessary skills and provide customised solutions.

Mostafa Moonir Shawrav, Chair of the Marie Curie Alumni Association

The session was closed with a question and answer session between the panelists and the audience.

Did you miss the R&I days?

Watch some of the sessions here!

24 April 2017 - No Comments!

Meet Andra Lungu, Alumna of EIT Digital Master’s School

During the course of 2017, EIT Digital will meet former Master School students and ask them why they chose their programme and how they see their professional future. Last week they met with Andra Lungu.

EIT Digital Master's Students

EIT Digital Master Schools offer two year programmes in 19 of the best European universities, providing ICT and entrepreneurial training. Every year, 500 graduates join the alumni network and begin a career in the best European and international companies and organisations.

Andra Lungu

Andra is a student from Romania who joined the Cloud Computing and Services (CSS) Master after a bachelor degree at Bucharest Polytechnic University. She tells EIT Digital about her learning and experiences during the two years of her Master's.

What studies did you do before joining the EIT Digital Master Schools programme?

I started studying Computer Science in high school as I was good at maths, so it was quite a logical path forward. I then passed my bachelor degree at Bucharest Polytechnic University in Computer Science. The content of the programmes at the University were technical and I graduated as an engineer in 2013.

How did you come across the EIT Digital Master Schools programme?

An assistant professor at the Bucharest Polytechnic University recommended the EIT Digital Master Schools programme to me when I was searching for a Master's programme after University. The Cloud Computing and Services (CSS) Master had all I wanted from a Master programme and offered me the benefit of studying abroad in both France and Germany.

What motivated you to join the programme?

I liked the idea of experiencing two different cultures in the course of my study. It was also a challenge, as I knew the French language but not so much German. To me, it was the opportunity to discover new cultures and work in two different countries.

Andra Lungu with classmates at the Summer School in Finland

Can you tell us about your experience as a student in France and Germany?

Université de Rennes 1 in France was a great start to my studies, the programme manager, Stéphanie Halochet, did a lot to help foreign students set up in France. She was a bit like a second mother, helping us with administrative work and day-to-day issues. Rennes is a small city and to me, coming from Bucharest, it was fun and unusual to have people recognizing me in the streets, like in a village.

During the Summer School in Finland after the year in France, I was able to develop a personal entrepreneurial project based on information and big data, which helped for my second year in Berlin.

My second year at the Technical University of Berlin was even busier. I didn’t suffer from the language barrier as people spoke English and Berlin is an international city. At the time, a lot of startups were being created and I felt right in the middle of the buzz.

The EIT Digital Master Schools taught me entrepreneurship as well as competences in my field of research. In the first and second year, my project was about big data, so logically I joined the startup « Flink » to work as a research assistant during my studies. It was great to work in a team of startupers and get both academic knowledge and business experience at the same time.

During the programme I liked how we could combine startup ideas with technical courses in a fun way. In Bucharest I just studied engineering, with EIT Digital I could also get into the business side of technology. It was also very interesting to compare evaluation methods in Rennes and Berlin: The French academic system is more theoretical whereas the German academic system is more practical.

What did you learn about yourself during your studies?

I learned that I can face cultural challenges, become friends with other Europeans, and I learned to become independent by working and studying at the same time.

What have you done since the Master's programme?

After the degree I came back to Bucharest and joined Orange to work for a project in big data - my job consisted of developing methods and tools to analyse data from phone networks. I am now working for Adobe on a gateway project: we develop a bot to detect anomalies and work on algorithms in machine learning.

Do you wish to move again in Europe?

Yes, I would like to travel again, but maybe not just in Europe. I can envisage America as a next adventure. Silicon Valley next, who knows?

Why would you recommend the EIT Digital Master Schools?

In this programme you meet people from all around the world, with very different backgrounds, you experience the challenge of working together in the same project.

Joining the EIT Digital Master Schools means joining a huge network of alumni and friends from all over Europe. I still have good friends and many great memories of events, the graduation ceremony and of our Summer School in Oulanka (Finland).

In conclusion, I would recommend the Master's programme as it is a great experience which allows you to go out of your comfort zone and discover new cultures, as well as study in the best European Universities. With my experience at the startup « Flink » and my year at the Technical University of Berlin, my CV was very attractive for the big tech companies I have worked for.

It is a unique personal and professional experience.

Article taken from EIT Digital. Original author - Alexis Poulin

6 April 2017 - No Comments!

EIT Digital Alumni Annual Meeting 2017 #digitalumni17

2nd annual meeting of the EIT Digital Alumni a triumph.

On the 20th of March, EIT Digital Alumni held their 2nd annual community meeting, this time gathering in Brussels. The idea was to create a memorable and exciting platform, a forum for discussion, a journey for the alumni.
They aimed to inspire. They succeeded.

The event began in the late hours of the 19th. As the last rays of sun shining on the Grand Place were slowly eclipsed by the towering steeple of the City Hall, alumni assembled in the square for a night of networking, sightseeing, lively conversation and (we can only presume) the sampling of a few Belgian beers.

The next morning, fresh faced and ready to collaborate, the alumni streamed down the thin winding veins of Brussels town centre. Their destination? The European Parliament; the heart of Europe.

After a stirring tour of the site where unanticipated exits are taken and passionate speeches are given, the alumni were transferred back to the Egg, suitably inspired.

After a quick registration, the alumni were treated to a keynote speech from the unconventionally captivating Mills, the co-founder of ustwo.

His key points?
- Follow your passion! Don't let anyone say you can't do it. Live your dreams. If you have an idea, dare to pursue it. Don't be afraid of what other people think about it. JFDI!
- Know that it's going to take all your time!
- Embrace succailure. Learn from your failures. Use them to mould you into the person you want to be.
- Love your 'fampany'. Companies shouldn't be about the individual. It's all about the collective, looking out for each other and growing together.

After a tasty bite to eat, the participants reconvened for a panel discussion from three illustrious figures of EIT Digital. Willem Jonker, the CEO, Anders Flodström, Chief Education Officer, and Edna Ayme-Yahil, the Head of Communications, took to the stage offering a fine balance of personal insights and practical advice to spur the alumni forward.

The latter half of the event was given to presentations delivered by alumni, for alumni.

Reports from board members on successful events gone by, plans for the future, and new intriguing opportunities were intertwined with the presentations of alumni working groups, eager to display and discuss their new initiatives and the benefits they would bring. Not only to their alumni family, but to society as a whole.

Sadly, all good things must come to an end. Almost 24 hours after the initial Grand Place reunion, alumni had the chance discuss the day’s events, mull over ideas and reinforce new bonds.

So as you can see, the event was, by all accounts, legendary!

Check out more #digitalumni17 photos on our Facebook photo album!
See the full collection in Google Photos.