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The Kick Off Project at GCU!

Our Innovation and Enterprise team joined forces with the Centre for Creative Industries at Glasgow Caledonian University at the end of September to deliver a brand new initiative to the Centre’s final year creative industry students. SIE’s Enterprise Director, Ann Davidson, gives us an insight to the new initiative.

‘The Kick off Project’ was coined to reflect its primary aim of kick starting the students’ transition to professional life. We also wanted to get students from different design backgrounds to work in multi design or project teams so the teams were built around students from graphic design, product design and interior design backgrounds.

The project was run over four formal days with students attending a two to three hour session on each of the days. The preparatory formal sessions were designed to get the students thinking about how their creativity and design thinking skills could be used in different types of commercial situations that they might encounter after graduation. These situations ranged from self-employed to working for design agencies or other types of graduate employers.

They were asked to identify and practice how their skills in design thinking, their capacity to ‘hear’ from potential clients and gather information, and their ability to translate this information into clear insights, could be used in conjunction with key business skills to make them good problem solvers and consultants. Another way of looking at it, meshing design thinking with the skills to gather business intelligence through techniques like the Business Model Canvas and using this new found skill to solve real life business challenges.

We were fortunate to have a variety of local social enterprises give up their time to participate in the project. They took part in ‘client meetings’ on day two and set some excellent challenges to the project teams. They then returned on day four to be presented with possible solutions from the student groups. Great ideas with great potential were generated and it was clear that the students had risen to the occasion. During the project they became great consultants and took on board new enterprise skills that they will continue to use in professional life.

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Our thanks are due to the follow social enterprises:

Active 4 All

Enable Scotland

Geezabreak

Glad Café

Maryhill Women’s Centre

Neilston Development Trust

Nemo Theatre

Our thanks are also due to the GCU team for their massive input and support:

Dr Mary Maclachlan GCU

Dr Bruce Wood GCU

Diane Joyce GCU

Joyce Fleming (Lecturer City of Glasgow College)

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