Reflection – Seminar Wrap-Up

Our seminar focused on a case from the city of M√ľnster, addressing the problem of reducing CO2 emissions caused by data waste. Before the seminar week began, our group of 27 students was divided into three subgroups, each consisting of three German students and six students from Georgia. The seminar adhered to the Design Thinking methodology, following its five-phase process over five days, from Monday to Friday.

Project Structure:

  • Monday: Empathize/Define
  • Tuesday: Define
  • Wednesday: Ideation
  • Thursday: Ideation/Prototyping
  • Friday: Testing/Presentation

From the outset, we appointed two representatives from each subgroup to manage and delegate tasks within their teams. These representatives also convened with others to discuss progress and plan further work. Additionally, we assigned the task of preparing the presentation to four people, ensuring representation from each subgroup. This presentation team was responsible for tracking the project’s progress and distributing the presentation workload evenly across all seminar days.

Experience

Working in a large international group was a novel challenge for all of us. Managing tasks and filtering diverse opinions proved demanding. However, the international composition of the group brought a wealth of diverse perspectives, which we leveraged in various situations. The different viewpoints contributed significantly to generating a wide range of ideas for tackling the problem statement.

Learnings

Our extensive pre-planning proved beneficial. Having a detailed schedule for the week allowed us to concentrate on the seminar activities without needing to organize the afternoon programs. Assigning the presentation tasks from the beginning was a novel approach that reduced stress for everyone involved. We also learned that effectively managing and distributing the workload among all team members, as well as maintaining clear communication between different groups, is a significant challenge requiring focused attention.

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