Michele Riva

Kickoff and AlumniUnite: are they really sustainable?

Discussion created by Michele Riva Partner on 08-Dec-2017
Latest reply on 15-Jan-2018 by Falko Döring

Dear Community,


This year I took part in the Kickoff and, for the first time, in the AlumniUnite. As a second year ENTECH student, I was there as a catalyst and it was an amazing experience to either attend the Kickoff a second time and to be part of my first AlumniUnite.
During the days I spent in Barcelona I had very interesting conversations with either first years and seasoned graduates. Some of these conversations, unfortunately, converged on questioning the apparent sustainability of these InnoEnergy events. Some raised objections about the apparently huge economical resources invested, others noticed aspects in the organization which were far from the definition of sustainable.
As I agree with many of the points emerged from these discussions, I would like to foster a constructive discussion so that the next Innoenergy events can really keep up with the very same idea of sustainability they promote.
Here follows my personal list:


The catering

A HUGE amount of plastic was used for the Kickoff. Even though separate bins for different materials were in place, I can't avoid thinking that all that waste could be avoided. Should we make sure the next time that the catering guys understand what the event is about? It should be very well possible to ask them to use paper tableware and to serve food on demand rather than preparing an excessive amount of portions.
Also the AlumniUnite could have done better. The idea of relying on street food was awesome and I very much loved it, but there was no waste separation for recycling: everything went together in huge trash bags which I'm sure will end up in landfills. What about the next time preparing separate trash bags for different materials?


The promotion material

If I had picked up all the promotion material during these events, I would now have:

  • A new backpack
  • A fancy notebook
  • A mug
  • A pen
  • A pair of gloves
  • A fabric bag
  • A glass jar
  • A plant
  • Something I probably forgot about

This doesn't take into account the material provided for free by industries such as EDP. Isn't it a little bit too much?
I appreciate a small gadget as a memory of the event, but I don't need all these items and indeed I didn't pick up many of them.
I wonder how much money went into making those objects, and whether taken or not what will be their end. Will they be thrown away after some time together with the Kickoff cutlery?
If we really love gadgets, I believe the best course of action for the next events should be to include a list of the available promotion material in the participation form. This way every participant chooses which item he needs or wants.
Even better, I'd love to see that material paid for: the saved money could be used to reduce the participation fees.


The Mega Party

Truly one of the BEST parties I had in my life. Hands down and thanks to the organizers!
I have no idea whether it was the fruit of a really convenient deal with the location or the result of an expensive investment, but if the latter is the case then I'm not the only one who thinks that part of that money could be used in other, better, ways.
Don't get me wrong, I loved the party, but I don't think I need such a huge and expensive celebration to feel part of a community of people who want to change the planet for the better. Couldn't we rather have a more modest party and grant one or two more scholarships to the first years?


These are my 2 cents, for the growth of a community of which I recognize the potential What are your thoughts on these matters? How can we improve?