Organized jointly by ITU, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Ministry of National Development of Hungary, Next Generation Day brought together university students, young entrepreneurs and ICT professionals. From short presentations through guided tours of the Exhibition to interactive workshops, there was something for every participant to engage in.
Forming part of the Exhibition, the Hungarian Pavilion featured some of the greatest entrepreneurs, innovators and supporters of ICT development in the country. The doors were opened for these great Hungarian thinkers to share their views by providing a hands-on experience of what it truly means to be a Hungarian innovator in this age, what it takes and the obstacles they face. Everyone needs support and guidance when it comes to getting an idea off the ground. Short presentations were given by the Antall József Knowledge Centre, which introduced its profile and highlighted the importance of pushing young minds beyond the theoretical education provided in lectures. Antal Károlyi (TractionTribe) voiced the potential that Hungary and other Central and Eastern European countries harvest. Taking on a different approach to innovation, Andrei Damsa gave an insight to the world of gamification as an innovative motivational design in the fields of business and education. Who knew that a classic game of Chess or the world renowned (and addictive) Candy Crush shared common ground with high performance at work? Barbara Fazekas (GreenFox Academy) also shared their mission to inspire young coders to help them attain the type of future they want whilst also helping employers minimise recruitment risk. The man behind Unibreeze, Dani Vincz, also shared his experience, explaining why becoming an entrepreneur was a ‘good idea’ and the lessons learned along the way. The Hungarian Pavilion also hosted a collaborative workshop by BME, ELTE and Ericsson. This allowed the Next Generation Day visitors to see what the several research groups that form part of the HSN Lab are really about and how all three companies came together to strive for the development of the ICT world. Sharing the workshop limelight was Széchenyi István University, where they demonstrated the symbiotic relationship between industry and academia – a very useful understanding especially for the university students amongst the visitors.
The Hungarian Pavilion was vibrant and lively, showcasing some of the key Hungarian entrepreneurs who have made a name for themselves not only nationally, but also all around the world.
In the workshop area the Global Shapers and NESsT organised a World Café and panel discussion on the possible role of technology in social change, aiming to come up with novel ideas to resolve nowadays’ challenges using the advances of the ICT industry. The Girls in ICT panel discussion, moderated by Kata Pál, Director of the Hungarian National Trade House encouraged female participants to open towards the IT/ICT sector by presenting role models and discussing the current challenges in the IT/ICT professions and tackling stereotypes. The president of the Young Entrepreneurs Organization of the European Union (JEUNE), Patrik Kovács reflected on why it is so important to build strong global networks in business. Zsuzsa Várhalmi from ELTE informed students about EiT Digital Master School, a special educational offer by European universities, cooperating with leading European companies. Ádám Drobinoha, 26, talked about his journey in the field of entrepreneurship, and shared his views on effective time-management. Gabriella Cseh from Facebook introduced how the social media can support the entrepreneurship.
“We have the political priorities, the ideas and the tools. We now need to work much harder to put words into action, to show that innovation is not a buzzword, but a strategic goal for Europe” – emphasized Mr. Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport in his keynote speech to the participants of the Next Generation Day.
MMCluster organized a string of workshops covering a range of topics and formats at its HITS@ITU Pavilion. In “Experience live 3D printing” by FreeDee Printing Solutions participants were able to explore 3D printing and 3D scanning, have their faces scanned into a print-ready format, and witness an object being built layer by layer by a MakerBot 3D printer. The “Build your own robot from discarded trash” workshop by REBOT was devised to introduce newbies to programming and robotics through a playful and environmentally friendly approach: through building their own robots out of discarded household garbage. The participants of “Accelerate innovation” by Digital Factory learned some of the recent trends and behind-the-scene tricks of startup acceleration. Kitchen Budapest‘s “Format workshop“ guided participants through the creation process of new social formats for collaboration and cooperation, relying on “motivation architecture” as a design concept. And those picking the “Tinkering with Arduino” workshop by FabLab Budapest learned about the micro-controller Arduino, and started using it for simple interactions and for building simple prototypes of electrical systems. Though the workshops ran with suboptimal numbers of participants, the people who did participate in them were evidently happy and engaged.
Informal guided tours showed Next Generation Day participants the highlights of the ITU Telecom World exhibition, from National Pavilions and industry stands to SMEs and entrepreneurs on the Showfloor and in the pavilions. Each tour focused on a specific theme, visiting exhibitors, products, solutions and projects on innovation, telecommunications technologies and social entrepreneurship.
Hundreds of university students and young entrepreneurs took part in the programme to directly experience the latest ICT innovations, and to share knowledge and visions with the influential event participants. Based on the impressions and experience they gathered at the Next Generation Day, we count on their contribution in realising our common goal: accelerating ICT innovation to improve lives faster.