Another year of resilience and growth for the EIT Alumni Community
The EIT Alumni Community celebrated its fifth year under the guidance of the EIT Alumni Board. Even amidst the global pandemic, this year saw the community broaden its outreach, impact and swiftly respond to societal challenges. Last year, the board welcomed new representatives from EIT RawMaterials Alumni and reached a milestone of 765 Alumni in the raw materials community.
Promoting entrepreneurial competences among young people as a pathway to taking an active part in European society and tackle societal challenges is very important. I am pleased to see the EIT Alumni continuing to offer vital skill-based and value-added activities for equipping its members to critically reflect and respond to these challenges through innovation.
Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth
Key highlights from 2020:
- The network grew by 4 000 members, now reaching over 14 000 members.
- EIT Alumni Connect 2020 on Responsible Consumption and Production was held for the first time online and for the third year its organisation was led by the EIT Alumni members, supported by the EIT.
- The Community amplified experimentations towards the ‘challenge solver’ concept by the organisation of the first EIT Alumni Challenge: COVID-19 Map & Act. In collaboration with the European Food Safety Authority, they launched a hackathon on Artificial Intelligence solution to detect fake news.
- Major collaborations were strengthened this year with the Marie Curie Alumni Association and the Erasmus Mundus Students & Alumni Association on career development during European Research and Innovation Days.
- Women@EIT launched a Female Leadership webinar series to help women take their leadership and communication skills to the next level in a six-month journey and share how they approach their development journey.
COVID-19: Map & Act Challenge
In June 2020, the Alumni Community launched the EIT Alumni Challenge COVID-19: Map & Act. The goal was to bring together alumni to map lessons learned, explore opportunities, and find ways to build a long-term resilient society. It asked the key question: What can European citizens and institutions do to mitigate and overcome the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on our society?
The winning idea was a platform to connect local producers and consumers, strengthening food production ecosystems in a sustainable manner while enabling consumers to discover local services. Other winning ideas included recycling and upcycling e-waste in order to distribute it to people who currently lack access to technology and an IoT tracing chip based on multi- party crypto to prevent data leaks in a time where data can save lives.
Overall, participants were able to develop innovative ideas tackling the COVID-19 crisis, work together with their peers from various professional backgrounds, meet inspiring speakers dealing with the COVID-19 crisis and get feedback from the community and experts from the EIT ecosystem.
The challenge was a good way to get to know Alumni from other EIT communities and offered a chance to respond to a really current and pressing issue.
Carolina da Silva Paes, EIT RawMaterials Alumni
Alumni attend their first ever virtual graduation ceremony
EIT RawMaterials Academy held the first ever virtual graduation ceremony, Label-Launch!, for all EIT-Label Master students. Over 100 EIT-Label graduates came together to participate in soft skills workshops, HR sessions, matchmaking events and listen to inspirational graduation speeches from their peers. In addition, Label-Launch! hosted over 10 leading industry, research and start-up representatives in the interactive matchmaking session.
Alumni workshop at the RawMaterials Summit 2020
Ali Hassan, EIT RawMaterials Alumni Board President, and Francisco Veiga Simão, EIT RawMaterials Alumni Board Industry Chair, hosted a workshop on ‘The Power of a Story’ at the RawMaterials Summit. The workshop helped participants develop storytelling skills to drive change in their industry and make strategic communications more effective. The workshop was aimed at entrepreneurs, industry professionals, policy makers, students, and researchers. The Alumni were also able to showcase to a wide audience the activities and opportunities the alumni community provides.
Learn more about the year in review in the impact report and join the EIT RawMaterials Alumni community!