Global Entrepreneurship Summer School (GESS), Munich, Germany, September 2018

Two FIPDes students, Elena Araujo Soto and Puja Rauniyar were selected for the Global Entrepreneurship Summer School 2018 held in Munich, Germany among 35 students all over the world to work on the globally challenging problem of “consumption” around the world. Global Entrepreneurship Summer School (GESS) is a seven-day program where 140 university students come together in Munich, Mexico City, Shanghai and Cape Town to develop entrepreneurial solutions that meet the world’s biggest challenges. In the spirit of promoting “billion-dollar projects to foster societal change”, GESS works on the UN Sustainable Development Goals aiming to empower students to become young responsible leaders who create positive change in society. The entrepreneurship programme in Munich started on 20th September 2018 and continued until 26th September 2018 with a great learning experience. 35 students from 23 nationalities with more than 100+ ideas just in 7 days came under one roof. All were extremely motivated and determined to make global contribution in the world. Everyone had their own different ideas and solutions to the widely given concept of ‘consumption’ during the summer school. But it wasn’t that easy just to use our idea and get a solution to the problem. Surprisingly there was a twist and it was that we had pre-formed group/team to work with during the competition.

The team formation was decided by the GESS executive members depending on our interest and academic background. It was really fun to work with unknown, unexpected and people with academically different background and culture. The school had knowledgeable sessions on social entrepreneurship from the world’s renowned social entrepreneurs like Muhammad Yunus, Klaus Sailer, Andy Goldstein, and Aaron Hurst. Not only knowledge intensifying session from experts were the part of the programme, but also invigorating activities, super fun ice-breakers and most exciting Oktoberfest along with the experience of extremely excitement moment to utterly frustrated moment and also ideas to solutions were the best part of it. All the teams were given a name. My team was named as “Alice in Wonderland” whereas Elena’s team was named as “Wonder Women”. Me along with my teammates worked on the idea of utilizing the time which is wasted in traffic jam while travelling for work or business proposes. For this, we proposed a mobile bus with co-working space having all the amenities needed to work inside it.

While the team Wonder Women worked on the idea of giving waste battery from E-bike a second life which still has around 70% power left in it when thrown as a waste adopting sustainability and moving to more circular economy in todays’ world.

Other teams worked on many different ideas during the competition. The award winning team, “HtoO” worked on the idea of limiting the consumption of water by proposing a ‘bath mat’ which provides different signals depending on the amount of water consumed by an individual during bathing. It was mainly proposed to create awareness about water consumption problem among people. The summer school taught many life lessons. It wasn’t about award winning and securing a place instead it was the biggest learning one can experience in their life. It was an incredible life changing week spent with greatly inspiring students from the world. We from FIPDes were fortunate enough to be a part of this summer school and experience life as a “rollercoaster” with many ups and downs and still remain focused, determined and motivated. Life is full of challenges and it is very important to learn and improve ourselves each coming day. This summer school taught us many new things in life and provided us a wonderful life learning experience where life was full of excitement, fear, happiness, joy, craziness, surprises, tiredness, frustrations, difficulty in agreeing with the team, and even sadness, so many mixed feelings at a time. Still, the best experience everyone must take up. It can be concluded in a line as “WE CAN BE THE CHANGE WE WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

Written by Puja Rauniyar, Nepal, Cohort 7

- Updated April 2019 -