Business Hackathon Creation Lab in Cologne
HSE students participated in Creation Lab, an annual international business hackathon, which is organised as part of the World Business Dialogue in Cologne. The forum’s partner educational, power and retail businesses will implement the best of the suggested solutions in their operations. For the second year in a row, Olga Dremova, a student of the of the HSE ISSEK master’s programme 'Governance of Science, Technology and Innovation', participated in the hackathon. Her team defended the idea of how to simplify the admission of foreign exchange students with the using gamification.
World Business Dialogue is an intercultural dialogue platform organised by University of Cologne students together with international companies. The platform brings together talented students, graduates, entrepreneurs, top executives, scholars and politicians. To be accepted to the forum, students must pass a competition: this year, 300 out of 2,000 applications were accepted.
The forum’s key topic was ‘Digital Zeitgeist: Time to Rethink Learning’. The participants, hailing from over 60 countries, discussed the three main aspects of future education: new knowledge and ways to acquire it in the AI era; ways to attract and retain talented employees in a company; and digitalization’s impact on creativity and designing new products.
The business hackathon has traditionally been one of the most interesting parts of the forum, and this year five companies and institutions became its partners: Metro, Evonik, University of Cologne, WiSo Faculty of the University of Cologne, and Covestro. Each of them selected three mixed student teams from universities across the globe. The teams competed in triples, offering solutions for various business tasks, and the partner companies will implement the best of these solutions in their operations.
HSE students have participated in the business hackathon for several years, though this year with a record number of participants: 12 students participated in projects for all five partner companies. HSE News Service spoke with members of the winning teams in each triple about their work in the projects.
2nd-year student of the master’s programme 'Governance of Science, Technology and Innovation
This is my second year in a row participating in the hackathon. This year, together with participants from Malaysia, China, Singapore and Germany, we worked on solving a task for the University of Cologne WiSo Faculty (Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences). We had to invent a way to use gamification in order to make the bureaucratic process of international admissions more efficient. We carried out a thorough analysis of the problem and organised a real survey among students involved. The knowledge I gained in my master’s programme’s research seminar helped us to create the survey successfully. Together with a creative presentation, this became our solution’s competitive advantage. At first, the judges couldn’t even believe that we managed to find exchange students in two days during the break. But we were inventive: we found one student and had him distribute the survey in university groups on social media.
I believe the ability to look for alternative options and work on a tight schedule are among HSE students’ key skills. Participating in the dialogue provides great experience with working in a multicultural environment, as well as with speaking English (and in the case of my team, Chinese as well). I think that next year I will go to the forum as an ambassador. I’d like more HSE students to learn about this opportunity to establish international contacts and to talk to globally recognised experts.
HSE Students Attend International Business Hackathon in Cologne (news about the first hackathon)