Think outside the box! Present a viable business project as the final presentation in the Innovation and Entreprenership module of the first year of the EIT Digital Master School programmes in ICT Innovation. A team of students in their first year at KTH in Stockholm took this challenge seriously and searched for a problem that needed a solution that could be enabled by ICT.
Midas Nouwens, Nora Tejeda, Mikaela Illanes, Hai Dinh Tuan and Ninh Truong found that, in Sweden but also a globally, increasingly it is difficult for the next generation to foreseethe impact of their educational choices on their job prospects: what kind of careers are available to me once I graduate and what does it really mean to work in those fields?. There seems to be a gap between the needs of the industry / labour market and the education system. What can be done?
The Inicio team came up with a concept that would provide secondary school students with practical, hands-on experiences that help them explore their interests, discover their passion and find the right choice of education track. They offer a 2 year program where students attend engaging workshops that correspond to the specialized high school tracks in Sweden, tour companies to see their daily activities and get in touch with professionals in the industry to ask the questions teachers cannot answer.
The only thing we need is your curiosity
The team has been active in organising Makerspace events around Kista and have seen how valuable these playful yet practical introductions to digital technology are to both children and adults. Through Mikaela they got the opportunity to pilot the concept in classes in the 8th grade – 15 year old students about to select their next career step – with great success.
It needs to be very motivating, engaging instead of discussing. These kids face other challenges as well so we need to provide a framework that supports the students’ natural predilection to explore, says the team. Setting it up as a non-profit organisation has been another challenge for the team– how to develop the format, how to finance it, how to promote it, etc. But there is a lot of interest in Inicio: stakeholders in the area are in contact and the determination to try to make it grow is strong.
Although the team will be moving to various locations for their second year of the EIT Digital Master School programme they have some ideas on how to keep Inicio going come back and continue with the business for their Master thesis work. The Inicio project will be part of a Makerspace Education network to be launched in July and hosting regular sessions throughout the fall at the Stockholm Co-location Centre together with Professor Mark Smith, IT Products and PhD student Alexia Trolliet.
Watch the video presentation on Youtube : www.youtube.com/watch
More information about the program, next steps and the team at: www.myinicio.org