Hello and good day to you wherever you are on this lovely planet and reading this article,
My name is Hadi Salahshour, and I’m a master student in Finland. Well you might wonder what kind of name is Hadi, I will tell you. It’s a Persian name. Yes I’m from Iran but do not freak out, because I come in peace. Enough about me, in this article I am going to share with you my experience about ESTIEM Vision & businessbooster event in Kalrsruhe which was focused on ‘The Future of Food’.
As you might know, world population will reach to 9 billion by 2050, and supplying the food demand will be a major challenge for humanity. We in ESTIEM, the future faces of Europe, felt the need to address this issue, gather the fresh minds of Europe together with professionals, and collaborate to find ideas to solve this complex issue. Solving a complex problem is tough, and requires a framework to follow in order to generate solutions. One of the great tools that can provide you the needed framework is Design Thinking.
During this event we had the privilege of having an outstanding coach from a world’s largest enterprise software company, SAP, Chris Peters. And even more privilege by having a professional team of three brilliant coaches from InnoWerft, a German business incubator located in Walldorf. Step by step they led us through understanding the problem, understanding the market and customer needs, and generate new ideas. With business ideas created in Design Thinking, the task in the next day was to develop our business ideas and validate its financial viability. Just to describe the two business concept development workshops we had during this event, close your eyes and read the next sentence. Hah you cannot, instead read the next sentence and imagine what could it be like. Walls were covered by business model canvases, colorful post-it notes were flying on and off the posters, and ideas were transforming into business plans. Moreover the mentor session with Clemens Walter, the co-founder of MyCouchBox, had a significant impact toward getting insights on how an idea transforms into a business. And finally, the moment we all have been waiting for, the final presentations arrived and teams each had 15 minutes to pitch their ideas to jury. After every team presented their business models, the jury discussed and evaluated each idea. And the best team, our team, won the competition and received a party box full of sweet shots. I also feel the necessity to mention the diverse lectures of the event, for instance applied biotechnology, federal environmental ministry and intercultural training. In addition we had the chance to check out how they cook food in the student Mensa, how chocolate is made in Ritter Sport (they didn’t show us the Willy Wonka midgets), and how a fresh bretzel is produced. Overall I sincerely thank the awesome organizers for putting up a great effort to boost the academic side of the event.
And of course, there can’t be an ESTIEM event without partying. To sum it all up, it was all good!
Hadi LG Lappeenranta/Iran/Mannheim