Taking a picture together on stage in a big tent, creative problem solving and unusual ideas for complex topics - all this happened at Create Tomorrow in Enschede, the biggest student hackathon of its kind in Europe.
Around March or April, I came across a message that made me very curious. In fact, only a few words in the message really worked for me: “4,000 €” and “win”. I had to read the message carefully again, this time whole, and click on the provided link to engage.eciu.eu.
This is how I landed at the University of Twente a month later, on 1 May. The first evening I arrived I found myself at an organised integration for incoming ECIU students. I also found out then where I would be sleeping and the general plans for the following day. This is where I will surprise you - waking up and moving into the tents first thing in the morning. Once we had done this and had breakfast there were further team-building activities like putting together a tower of spaghetti noodles. On the same day, we took part in workshops. My favourite part of the programme was the public speaking workshop led by Peter Langela who is associated with the university and the Novet -T organisation as a photographer, coach and speaker. We were looking forward to the coming morning when we would check in at the event annually attracting almost a thousand students from all over the Netherlands.
Hackathon. That time has finally arrived. A big tent housing the participants' stands, a large stage, a bar, a photo booth and the company representatives who would give us tasks to perform in a few hours - it was incredibly impressive. The tent itself was huge and held around a thousand people. The students were placed at tables all around and grouped according to the companies whose challenges they were solving. Our task was to come up with a realistic solution to the problem, propose a business plan for it and prepare a presentation in case we were selected to speak on stage. Only one of the groups assigned to each company was to present later on stage. It was not mine or the one belonging to my polytechnic friends Eliza, Wiola, Maciek and Alicia. Apparently, our way of bringing the spy balloons safely down to earth was not the best one proposed. Tough luck - if not now, then next year.
After the final presentations, it was time for the entertainment and speaking part, after which we were all invited to a party with live music.
In the following days, we learned a bit more about the university and attended more workshops. We all returned to Poland safe and sound, intending to come to Create Tomorrow next year.
Author: Wojciech Wojcieszek
More photos and info https://createtomorrow.nl/pictures/