The ‘Innovation Jam’ it’s engaging and exciting session that became the stand out favorite at ISES 2015.
But what is it? It’s a session where students decide what goes. They use it as a tool to facilitate discussion, spawn new ideas and learn more about important topics. Delegates were encouraged to pitch business models, technologies and ideas to their peers, to generate in-depth conversations and spark new ideas on energy. The first 25 delegates with ideas, each chaired a table in the room, where they acted as facilitators of their discussion topic. Other students were free to move between topics, contributing thoughts, asking questions and contributing to ideas.
This session was unique from others at the conference because conversation was generated, shaped and dictated by the delegates themselves. The concept was simple, 600 people, 25 ideas and 2 hours. Ideas ranged from the use of cactus as an alternate biofuel, to the impact of militarism on climate change. In addition, Student Energy chaired two topics, the development of a university-level chapters program and the role of Student Energy should change in the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP21). Both of these were amongst the most popular topics discussed and generated interesting and innovative dialogue.
Even though most delegates wanted to keep brainstorming all night, the discussions ended after two hours when all groups were invited to present the key points raised in their conversations. The ideas, business models and technologies presented were truly inspiring. Students from all around the world collaborated to form unique ideas, thought processes, and solutions to current energy crises. One group presented the use of the vibrational power of the Piezo crystal as a sustainable medical device embedded between the heart and ribs. Another group marketed a phone case that harnessed solar energy to directly charge the phone, with no cords or adapters required. The phone case would be responsive to both natural and artificial light, to appeal to those who spend their days inside or outside. They had even approximated a price of approximately $150 USD for their new product. Others discussed the hybridization of existing technology to maximize sustainable output. When obstacles or barriers were reached within each working group, delegates were not hesitant to reach out to other students, often standing up at the mic again to make a call for anyone with the needed expertise or background.
Even some of our panelists got in on the excitement acting as consultants for some of the more technical ideas.
As the session neared a close, the room continued to buzz with excited chatter about energy. Delegates were absorbed in discussion, enthusiastic to continue developing their ideas with fellow students. The innovation jam truly captured the theme of the conference, connecting the unconnected. On day one of the conference, the delegates were strangers to one another; they were unconnected. Now, delegates are discussing, planning and creating change together, marking an important transition in our energy future.