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“Unique tools for effectively transforming ideas into business”. The fourth module of the educational project Converge

Converge Project Module 4

On December 7-9, the fourth module of the educational project Converge, developed by IPERF, the International Institute for Research Performance and Innovation Management e.V. (Germany), jointly with Graduate School of Management (Russia) took place. The project was initiated by the Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs (RUSNANO Group). During the first modules of the project participants learned about emerging technologies, human-computer interaction design, technology transfer and product management.

There are business owners and executives of the high-technology, construction, manufacturing and IT companies, financial organizations, restaurant chain and advertising agencies among 35 people who participate in the training.

The fourth module of the project was devoted to the next big innovation in the world—Internet of Things.

After studying the basic principles of programming, participants in practice looked at how the Internet of Things works. They built interactive systems with the help of Arduino Kits, consisting of controllers, sensors, boards, mechanical parts, batteries, LEDs, etc.

The participants also learned how the Internet of Things is arranged and how it transforms various industries such as production, energy, transport, logistics, healthcare, retail, agriculture and others. To better understand the potential of the Internet of Things in the world, debates between teams were organized.

Much attention was paid to team projects. The trainers of the course conducted individual consultations with all the teams and together with them defined the directions of projects development.

According to Dmitry Knatko, assistant professor in the Department of Strategic and International Management at GSOM, during the group discussions the teams and course instructors jointly presented innovative ideas in the context of the convergent approach of Technology, Design, Business, critically assessed the prospects of projects in their implementation, discussed challenges and key milestones that need to be addressed in the next two modules. Also, during discussions of team projects, we addressed the development of hypotheses about the customer pains and their solutions, experiments that can test the commercial attractiveness of business models, as well as innovative technologies, the use of which provides real-time and objective information in the live mode, helps to create new and unique forms of interaction with customers and new business models.

Anna Pankova, General Director of Brand Outpost and one of the course participants, outlines that we live in a multidisciplinary world and feel the complex interrelationships of all disciplines, but education persistently continues putting forward mono-disciplines, bringing us closer to the achievement of desired success by long and ornate roads.

Anna says, ‘The Converge project stands out—it is a revolution in business education. Combining design, technology and business into a coherent sequence of algorithms and templates, the creators of the course—Tatjana Samsonowa and Sebastian Denef—provide a unique tool for effectively transforming ideas into business. The tandem between Tatjana and Sebastian along with the vast experience of GSOM professors allows to instil a creative sprit and the desire for knowledge into each participant of the project and learn to guide it on the way of turning the idea into an efficient working business.’

During the educational project, the participants will participate in six training modules on three thematic blocks: Technology, Design and Business. As a result of the course, the participants will complete a project to create a new product/service or to improve an existing product/service within their companies.

To support the work of mixed teams, OWN.space, the cloud platform, was adapted. This platform allows creating virtual workspaces, where team members, together with virtual agents based on artificial intelligence technologies, can perform tasks for their projects.

The next module dedicated to design thinking and service design will be held on January 18-20, 2018.