Wetskills USA-2023, by Tim Rotteveel (HZ University of Applied Sciences)
Today was a really exciting (and wet ☹) day because it was the first day we started working on our own cases. In the morning we went to the Consulate General of South Africa. This is the place we will be working from the next coming days. The morning started off with a nice introduction of the programme and how our week is going to look like which is quit full and busy. Right after everyone had a meeting with the case owners. It was really interesting to hear how they approached their topic, solution and what decisions they made along the way. This is forming the basis on which we will continue building with them.
The topic we are approaching is Artificial glaciers. Artificial glaciers is something that is not necessarily new however there is a lot of upcoming interest in this topic. Artificial glaciers are a solution to water scarcity in the warmer periods. Due to climate change, precipitation in high altitude mountains and the forming of glaciers have slowed down and the melting has sped up. By making the glaciers artificially you ensure that there will be melting water during the period you need it most. We are not exactly sure yet on how to innovate this concept and grow it together with the case owners, however there are a lot of areas where improvement is possible. You can think of areas like how to implement it, social acceptance, upscaling, and technical challenges regarding the construction of these glaciers.
After our team meeting we had a lot of thoughts and challenges to overcome. Which is exciting because that is one of the reasons most of us are participating in wetskills. To take on challenges and work towards making impact. During our busy working days it is important to have a lunch break. During our lunch break at Panda Express we couldn’t stay of the topic so we further discussed everything. After lunch we had an exciting training about Belbin team roles. Here we learned a lot about what kind of roles there are withing organizations and teams, and how these roles affect efficiency in the workplace. As part of the training we filled out a questionnaire to see which roles fit your personality. With this information you could look at your team and which roles are missing. A solid question to ask to yourself and maybe your peers to facilitate self-development and awareness could be: What roles do you currently occupy, are you happy with this? What are you going to do to change this or further grow yourself in this role? Based on these questions. We talked about how we see our group and how these team roles would affect our work. During this training an interesting quote came up in the PowerPoint presentation which is a good thing to keep in mind while problem-solving.
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”
The last part of the day mainly concluded some brainstorming for out team. Because we were not a 100 percent sure on how to approach the topic we talked and discussed about it a lot and came up with some different concept approaches. We have planned a meeting tomorrow to discuss this with our case-owners and teammates to get their opinion and vision of the direction we are going in. Communication is a very important aspect of teamwork. Now we have left the consulate and had a nice walk in the rain back to the hostel. Tomorrow will be a new exciting day where we will get a lot of opportunities to challenge ourselves and further develop our ideas.