Cambridge students take part in international energy design sprint

Students collating and voting on ‘how might we’ post-it notes

Can we make energy as abundant as music? That’s the goal a group of Cambridge students are working towards during an innovative design sprint.

Students from Cambridge Leadership College have joined with teenagers from across Europe, as well as from local Cambridgeshire schools, and remote teams in Saudi Arabia and Botswana to work on the issue.

Using the Google Ventures Design Sprint format the team began on Monday by unpacking the problem. Based at the British Antarctic Survey building at Cambridge West and supported by IdeaSpace, the group seemed undaunted by the scale of their task and were armed with a stack of post-it notes, whiteboard pens, and a lot of creativity.

The checklist for Day One was ambitious and included an ask the expert session, a series of ‘how might we’ discussions, and defining our group target.

Dr Chris Loughlan, CEO of the Cambridge Institute for Innovation, is among those helping with the project. He talked about how we can chart our innovation progress and he contributed to each part of the process on day one.

Geoffroy Dolphin takes part in the Ask the Expert session.

Our guest for the Ask the Expert session was Geoffroy Dolphin, a third year PhD student at  Cambridge Judge Business School, working on the political economy of carbon pricing policies. He introduced students to the concept of the energy trilemma. This idea encompasses energy security, energy equity and environmental sustainability and their relationship with one another.

During the Ask The Expert session the team completed a personal series of ‘how might we’ post it notes that gave voice to their ideas around some of the key questions raised during the day. These were then collated and voted on. By the end of the day we had created a group long-term goal of making energy as abundant as music with a target for this week of creating a prototype ecosystem to achieve the goal.

“It was great to be dealing with real world issues and feel like what we are doing can have an impact,” said one of the students taking part, at the end of the first day.

The energy design sprint continues until Friday 22nd June. Stay tuned to our social media channels for regular updates.

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