y means of the Catalunya Emprèn program, at the Department of Enterprise and Knowledge, the Generalitat de Catalunya launches the third edition of the iFest, the festival of science, technology and disruption. The goal is to convey the awareness that young people can do greater things in the coming years, that they can be more “sophisticated” than what they initially think, and that this sophistication can come from science, innovation and technology; disruption in general.
The iFest is aimed at all those young people who have an interest in science, innovation, technology and who want to make disruptive contributions to society. The participants in the iFest are young students of FP, baccalaureate and universities, called “players”, who constitute themselves in teams and who have a teacher or leader (“shaker”) that guides them throughout the project.
One of the innovations of this year’s edition is the iFest Countdown, in which the participating teams will develop the solution to one of the 12 real challenges posed by companies that, thanks to technology, want to have an impact on society. The methodology is based on four phases: Inspiration, Ideation, Prototyping and Communication. This methodology fosters creativity and leads projects towards disruption. During the process, they will work with dynamics and content of disruptive innovation, developed and validated in Silicon Valley. The process is already underway and will last several months with the aim of reaching a most innovative and viable solution.
The challenges to which the projects of the participating teams must respond are:
- ICAEN (Catalan Institute of Energy), how to empower people so that they can decide on their energy consumption?
- Cuatrecases, how can we make society aware of the legal opportunities and risks that our actions present on a day-to-day basis? Or, how can we promote knowledge of new innovation trends and new business models by legal operators that apply and interpret the rules so that both worlds are more connected?
- Barcelona Science Park, how would you improve the day-to-day life of a patient suffering from muscular dystrophy or Kennedy’s disease?
- 4. Gardening Guild and the Carl Faust Foundation, what should the gardens and the urban vegetation be like in 2030?
- Atrápalo, how can we make our users aware of the true value of their time?
- Canon, how would you like the company of the future to be?
- Penguin Random House, how to unite technology and new trends with literature?
- Schneider Electric, how can we raise awareness and encourage families in Spain to be more responsible for their homes in terms of energy?
- Vodafone Group, how to improve the educational experience of students through new digital technologies?
- Aigües de Barcelona, Barcelona, water, and sustainable tourism. How do we raise awareness, innovate, and learn to value water?
- Mobile World Capital Barcelona, how to improve the lives of people with disabilities or functional diversity through mobile technologies?
- Volkswagen Group España Distribución, how will the future be formed through new technologies?
All of them grant a prize for the best project, and finally the winning team will travel for a month to Silicon Valley to develop their project.
Mentoring of experts from different sectors
During the first months the participants will work hard on the challenge, and they will be able to do it with the support of a team of renowned mentors in different fields, who are protagonists of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Some of these mentors are Aleix Planas, director of BizBarcelona, Marc Bonavia, CEO of “Catalonia.com” in Silicon Valley, Xavier Verdaguer, serial entrepreneur and founder of Imagine Creativity Center, Alfons Nonell-Canales of Mindthebyte, Maria Mora of Foment del Treball, Alex Puig of Digital Currency Summit, Cristina Aresté, Head of the Innovation Management Service of the UPC, Quim Gudayol, director of Nexos, and a long list of experts. They will also have the support of mentors that the companies themselves -which pose the challenges- offer to the participants. The iFest website includes detailed files for developing the project and guides for teachers, in order to be able to teach their classes.
Activities in the Catalan territory to learn about the Catalan entrepreneurial ecosystem
The iFest Countdown proposes a series of activities as a complement to the didactic units that work with the disruptive method, with the objective that the players discover the ecosystem of Catalan startups first-hand. Thus, the teams will participate in field activities (visits to innovation centers, startups, coworking, accelerators…) and in workshops linked to the disruptive work method for challenges.
In order to show a global vision of the system, visits will be made to emblematic centers such as Pier01, the international reference hub in Europe, Connector, Netmentora, Barcelona Drone Center, FabCafé, Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Spaces, Valkyrie Hub Space…
Exponential, present and future technologies
Exponential technologies such as IOT, nanotechnology, Artificial intelligence and robotics, VR / MX, biotechnology and Blockchain will be very present during the iFest Countdown, as tools to solve the great challenges of humanity. The players will come into contact with these technologies, which will be part of the development of their projects.
These projects will be exhibited in a final event, the iFest Zero 2019, a conference with inspiring presentations, projects with solutions to real challenges and networking for those who are passionate about innovation and technology. In this context, the Demo Day will take place, when the teams will make a final presentation of their projects and prototypes to compete with the rest of the participants.
This event will also include the following spaces:
Presentations and different performances of these days’ young protagonists in innovation and disruption in order to inspire, with showcases and examples, and to generate sympathy and transmit the desire to do things. Science, technology, opportunities, in a creative, possibilist, enterprising and open environment.
Technological workshops to discover exponential technologies through augmented reality or gaming: companies and experts that provide solutions to the most urgent challenges in the world.
Showcase of prototypes where young people and centers can show their demos and explain their maturation process to the public, among which investors, that will be invited.
The great moment, in which each team will have to defend the project through the presentation of their prototypes, and thus compete with the rest of the participants.
With the formula Disruption x Technology + challenges = You can change the world, the iFest invites all young people to participate.