Cracow. Over 200 000 students, vibrant communities, start-ups, worldwide brands, high-tech, art and culture. Great initiatives mushroom here and there but still... there is something missing. Something inside the universities that would pull them into the melting-pot, make them co-create the creative and entrepreneurial ecosystem, something that would help students think big and let them do inspiring and useful things while still at academia. They do it right in California, you know? ... :-)
So here is our message to the world...
So here is our message to the world...
Hi! We are Weronika, a.k.a. WTA (as in Weronika T. Adrian) and Mirka, a.k.a. MMD as in Mirosława M. Długosz ;-) We work at the AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków, Poland as research and teaching assistants (see our websites: WTA, MMD - both to be updated RSN... )
WTA is a proud member of the GEIST Research Group - an amazing and non-trivial team of individuals who spend a lot of time together living their lives/dreams/nightmares and locally changing the world ;-) MMD works in Laboratory of Biocybernetics and as a PhD candidate in biomedical engineering tries to prepare a breakthrough in the world of physiotherapy by doing research on posture analysis. We work on our PhDs and do "a few" other things in the meantime...
Last year we spent two wonderful months at Stanford University as laureates of the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education program Top 500 Innovators (Ministry Website and our website - in polish). We LOVED the experience and all the inspirations it gave us - please stop by and read Weronika's testimonial at Stanford Center for Professional Development :-)
We were supposed to learn about the technology transfer, knowledge commercialization and "how they do it in Silicon Valley". But... we got more, because we were able to experience the Silicon Valley ecosystem - and it gave us a broader perspective and ideas on how academia and business
can should interact...
WTA and friends started writing a blog (Oct.-Dec. 2011) that was later continued by MMD and other people from the second edition of the program. We also talked on radiofonia about Stanford University and Silicon Valley. But it is soo last year.... ;-)
Now it's time to share what we got! As soon as all the formalities are accomplished, we're going to start two courses on creativity and Design Thinking at two leading Cracow universitites: AGH University of Science and Technology and Jagiellonian University. Yay! so excited! :-)
Our dream is that our work with students is FUN and they learn USEFUL things, we can test, experiment, go out & TRY! experience, use IMAGINATION, create VALUE in interdisciplinary teams and in cooperation with companies.
So... we want a d.school in Kraków. We want a Project Realization Lab. We want interdisciplinary teams that work on innovative projects, challenges that could not be worked out by companies and so they ask young minds to help. Big Hairy Audacious Goal? Of course, as it should be! :-) If your dreams do not scare you, then something is wrong with your dreams! (They are probably not big enough ;-) )
It is a great challenge and we have no idea if/when/how it will work. But equipped with what we learned at Stanford and experienced so far in Poland we are just not afraid ;-) It's OK to fail ("fail early, fail cheaply... to succeed often!"), we've always been learning by doing and we just LOVE challenges! We want to try and prototype and add a little bit of a creative sand to the Kraków Silicon Valley! :-) So back to crayons and pens - we've got still much to do! But will keep you informed... :-)
WTA & MMD
[UPDATE] We have formalized our initiative and we now call ourelves The Innovation and Creativity Lab Foundation (Fundacja Laboratorium Innowacji i Kreatywności, FLIK) :)