In the last two years, the Netherlands Innovation Network Sweden hosted and co-organized the GroUp challenge, a Dutch/Swedish student event at the Innovation House at the Dutch Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden. During these events, students from Dutch and Swedish universities jointly develop solutions that can solve relevant and worthwhile problems.
It was a lot of fun to work in a team towards a common goal.
Last year’s winning team, team Nodes, consisted of four students with different study backgrounds: linguistics, spatial planning, neuroscience, and game design. They set up a career path network to connect people to suitable workplaces and opportunities through technology and data. In the career path network, jobs (clustered by similarities) and career-progression-data are gathered in order to find a career paths through the clusters. Team Nodes carried on with their project after the GroUp challenge. They continued to develop their idea with an extra team member. The Innovation Network Sweden talked to team Nodes: How did they experience the GroUp challenge and what inspired them to take this next step after the challenge?
How did you experience the GroUp challenge?
The team described the week as a fun, exiting, motivating and energetic week with hard work. “It was a lot of fun. The days we were working on it, it was a lot of fun to work in a team towards a common goal.” Besides that, team Nodes liked the chance to talk to people from different academic backgrounds from all over the world. “Everyone had different intakes on the ideas and different things to contribute with. It was interesting to work with people who are different than my own background.” The GroUp challenge was also quite a busy week. Because there was an extensive program and a lot of work was done in a relatively short time, the team experienced an energetic atmosphere. All in all, the GroUp days were fun and inspiring.
Everyone had different intakes on the ideas and different things to contribute with. It was interesting to work with people who are different than my own background.
How come you took this next step after the GroUp challenge?
When the GroUp challenge finished in December and everyone was saying goodbye to each other, team Nodes agreed to stay in touch: “Let’s take some time to think about it and talk to each other in the new year.” Then, from January onwards, they started meeting up regularly, added a new member to their team and set up a work structure together. Now they have weekly meetings and are in the process of further setting up and developing their project.
What inspired you?
Team Nodes was intrinsically motivated to continue together in the first place, but experienced a lot of support and help from the organizers of GroUp as well. “It was our own plan to start, but we were helped with many tips, such as contact references, instructions and legal insights. It was very helpful.” They were mainly inspired and motivated by the empowering atmosphere during the GroUp days. The coaches were very motivating and offered support if anyone wanted to continue. “It was a very empowering atmosphere, so it’s an easy step to say: “We’re doing this!””
It was a very empowering atmosphere
This year, the third edition of the GroUp challenge will take place in Stockholm, with students from Groningen and Uppsala. We’re looking forward to it!