Innovators Hub Catalyst – day 1

Let me start by explaining what Innovators Hub Catalyst is! 

Innovators Hub Catalyst or IHC is a group started by Robyn Dooley and helped to make a reality by Andy Kent. Robyn is 19 years old and has had this idea for many years, to have somewhere that younger people could go and learn about the digital & creative industry, learn about networking and also to have talks given by some inspirational people to show us how we can develop ourselves. 

The first day of the Catalyst was a half-day session run in the Tempest building to show us what we could be looking at for the next 10 weeks. 

In this session we met Andy and Robyn and they told us a little about themselves. We also discussed our aspirations for the next few weeks and what would be expected of us. We were given two activities for the afternoon to get to know our peers, after lunch kindly provided by Angel Solutions. We were to get into groups and take a long bamboo stick and lower to the ground. The other was to build and fly a paper aeroplane 10ft. Neither of these sound difficult right? But they are! 

To lower the sick to the ground we got into groups of 6-7 and all held out our index fingers and balanced the stick on them. Everyone always had to be making contact with the stick and keep it horizontal, while lowering it to the ground. This still seems easy, but it’s not. The stick becomes oddly weightless and seems to raise itself up from everyone trying to continuously keep their fingers on it. The room suddenly became filled with noise: "lower it, stop raising it, whose lifting it". It was quite funny. Finally, everyone did manage to lower theirs and it was a good lesson in communication. 

The second activity was to build a paper aeroplane and fly it 10ft. To do this, someone from our group was sent off into the corner to build the aeroplane and we were given numbers 1-6 that had instructions for each of us depending on the number. Most of the instructions were straightforward. Starting from the first person, they had to go and write down how they thought the aeroplane was made, the next followed those instructions, it was checked, a design was put on and then it was handed to someone who had been given their instructions in secret. This person took our first attempt and screwed it up to throw away. In shock, we asked her why, her answer was that she couldn’t say. So we tried again, again, again, again. Until finally we got one through. We'd changed the design from the colours we had put on originally. After our attempts of the aeroplane got through our blocker we were allowed to try and fly them and see if they got to the 10ft mark. After about 7 tries our group got one across. 

3/5 of other teams all managed to get one across and finally this activity was explained. Basically what happened was we were given all the ways to make the paper aeroplane like a client would have given project specs. What we were not told is that the client did not want the colour red or any circles on their aeroplanes. This is what was stopping us from getting past the design phase. This activity taught us that even if we may be doing everything else right, if you ignore what the client wants, they will not pay for it. This was a very important lesson in customer relationships.  

The day finished with a few questions about what we were doing for the rest of the time and our thoughts on the day. Everyone had great feedback and were excited for the future days. I’m so looking forward to seeing where this could take me and to see what I could achieve and learn from this experience!