General anticipation and nervous excitement was the order of the day at the top floor of Pontio. After the introduction the initial activity was to sell yourself in order to form a team. Putting your personality and skillset into a tiny whiteboard produced an exuberant array of displays. After the hustle of forming teams the first task was discussed; essentially each team had to create a portfolio of personalities based on the criteria they themselves dictate. As a ‘floating facilitator’ it was fascinating to witness the difference in each group dynamic and motivations. The dynamic ranged from free flow between all the members to a single individual dictating the conversation. Each having its own benefits and problems. Also, I witnessed confusion settling in pockets here and there, primarily because this is the first time for a lot of students not having precise guidance and deliberating with others for the future direction of the work and how they tackle it as a team.
Second Week – Innovateam
This week teams were introduced to the two businesses involved this year, Rib-Ride and Zip-World, through captivating company presentations. Both presentations detailed their place in the adventure tourism industry talking us through their history and the scale they operate now. And indeed the BIG reveal was showcased providing some clarity to the situation the students found themselves in.
The task for the teams involved realising and mapping the potential of the regional assets to North Wales. I had the pleasure of working with InnovaTeam who had an excellent dynamic between the members, where two students were residents of North Wales and the others being visiting students. The varied insights worked well in identifying all the diverse cultural, physical, infrastructural services unique to this corner of the UK, leading to a well poised understanding of the whole landscape.
Although great work was accomplished mapping the area the next focus would be on identifying the missing services in the ‘gaps’ in the map and take insights of what could be especially through the eyes of the persona’s they created in the first week. Throughout the ‘Mapping and Gapping’ the team considered the assets that is useful to the business involved which was great to see, they naturally drew themselves out tunnel vision of just completing the task to question ‘how does it all relate?’. Overall, well done to the InnovaTeam and I hope the work ethic continues during the meet-ups.
Third Week – Benchwarmers
For the third week I was paired with the benchwarmers, although however underwhelming their name may suggest, they were anything but. From the previous week the team had produced a dense map of all the services available in north west Wales and made it fully interactive which proved to be a valuable asset. The task this week consisted of creating scenarios involving the various profiles they identified in the first week. The trick was to get a feel of how these personas would operate within the map they created from which the benchwarmers produced a diverse selection of storylines and activities. Although the team split in half to produce enough work, the last few storylines were rushed due to level of detail recorded into the earlier ones but did integrate a higher degree of wellness. To concentrate the output the team did well to pick up the intrinsic commonalities between them to further produce well balanced storylines, contributing significantly towards the homework which was to produce a video and presentation involving a video derived from this week’s work.
Fourth Week – Benchwarmers
The feeling from the previous week was very enthusiastic about the presentation especially towards producing the video. The Pecha Kucha presentation was well rehearsed during the performance and the video had a definite sense of professional touch to it, the team moved evolved from benchwarmers to super subs. The presentation revolved around the personal growth of the unmotivated individual to #StepOutside and brave the wellness, a concept the judges praised them on. They attempted to introduce a four-phase plan from pop-ups distributing information, a mindfulness centre utilising the adventure scene, interactive information screens around north Wales and then social media impact with their hashtag. The judges provided feedback immediately highlighting how could their ideas are applicable throughout the year. The judges also questioned what specific product would appeal to the companies involved, where the team currently presented something more akin to a campaign. Finally, the judges asked the team to explore their hashtag and get to the roots of what it means. Overall, good progress till this halfway checkpoint, it’s time to get warmed up and get ready to enter the arena.