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The First Meeting of the EIT RawMaterials Alumni Association
Participants from educational programmes, start-ups and business competitions are to play a pivotal role in the EIT RawMaterials Alumni Association.
On 15- 16th June 2018, the EIT RawMaterials Alumni Association kicked off its inaugural meeting in Berlin. A diverse group of 25 participants from 17 countries (out of which were 5 EMerald students and 2 EMerald alumni) participated in the event. All had taken part in educational programmes, start-ups and business competitions supported by EIT RawMaterials. The enthusiastic group of students, entrepreneurs and other members of the raw materials community had travelled from around Europe for the event, taking part in two evenings of socialising and a full day of workshops, discussions and networking at a Berlin co-working space.
After opening remarks and an introduction to the education and business development activities of EIT RawMaterials by Dr Rima Dapous, Director of Education at EIT RawMaterials, and Mikko Korhonen, Business Developer at EIT RawMaterials, the stage was set for the participants to brainstorm on what the alumni network should offer and on how they would like to get involved. In different breakout sessions, participants presented their visions for the alumni association with four groups discussing and presenting on career development, business development, mentoring and lifelong learning courses. The discussions generated a wealth of exciting ideas on how to deliver benefits to the EIT RawMaterials Alumni and the sector as a whole by connecting and sharing expertise from across the community through different events and activities.
Networking, Collaboration and Mentoring Opportunities
In a speed dating session, participants went on multiple “networking dates” of 7 minutes. Each participant created cards for ideas they are interested in “selling” and “buying” for which they are seeking collaborators, partners, investors, advice or expertise. This exercise generated lively discussions and fostered early collaboration between participants. With the help of a booklet with pictures and bio texts of all participants, the session was a best practice example of the wide range of networking, collaboration and mentoring opportunities that can be enjoyed as part of the EIT RawMaterials Alumni Association.
The day ended with information about the existing EIT Alumni Community, including a live discussion with Francesco Bonadiman, currently the Community Officer of the EIT Alumni Board and the President of the EIT Digital Alumni Board. Finally, the formation of the founding EIT RawMaterials Alumni Board took place, by which time a wealth of connections, friendships and ideas had been created – a fantastic taste of the future of our EIT RawMaterials Alumni Association.