Green Schools Co-Presidents Melissa Cowell and Ehasanuzzaman Satu, along with other Green Schools students, attended the 6th Annual Igniting Innovation Summit at Harvard University. Satu and Melissa each reflect on their experiences below.
“Attending the 6th Annual Igniting Innovation Summit at Harvard was a great pleasure and contentment for me. Being a person who has grown up in Cambridge where innovation thrives at basically any corner you turn, attending the summit at Harvard was an experience that I could bring back into my life. I, along with two of my NGSS colleagues, attended the “Bowling Again”: Innovations for Community Revitalization panel in the first session. There we learned from 5 panelists that presented about their amazing innovative startups and the ways they reach out to communities to get them more active and to help innovate more as a whole for the greater good. A startup that stuck out to me was SeeClickFix. The company sparked interest to me; they not only reached out to the community to attract users, but it did so for a good cause. It brought together the relationship between city/town officials and the citizens of the community itself by creating an app where if you see a physical issue that is on the roads that needs to be fixed, you go to the app, post the issue, and their the city officials get the necessary thing together for it to be worked on. But this was just one of the innovative startups that stuck out to me. Another one was Agora Townhall; this company stood out to me in a way where it also helps the community by engaging the city/town leaders with the community members itself, but rather in a more direct way to tackle almost any issue a citizen found– all through technology. All in all, after attending this event as a Green Schools student leader, I found myself lucky. Almost all of the attendees were either in college or had already graduated, and to be a representative of the high school community and a representative of the green community at the same time was a very fortunate experience. As a team with 5 other student colleagues, at the summit, we were able to spread our ideas for a more sustainable and innovative future along with how the organization contributes to it and how we hope to continue it to help our earth as a whole.”
“On November 14th, I, along with some other students, had the opportunity to attend the Igniting Innovation Summit at Harvard University. This summit united students, educators, and leaders in their field who are extremely passionate and care a large amount about pressing problems in the world today. The Summit attracted many young entrepreneurs from across the globe who have dedicated time and effort into issues that one individual person can make an impact toward the solution. During the event, we heard addresses from multiple speakers, which were all extremely powerful. They helped us to understand that we all have the capability to step up, and make a difference. Each person that spoke specifically described their own individual project that helped them, but generally made the point that anybody can make a difference. We also had the opportunity to attend two different panel session. The first panel session I chose to attend was titled “Bowling Again: Innovations for Community Revitalization”. I really enjoyed the topic of this panel discussion, because it is an extremely prominent issue in society today. There are so many little things in our communities that need to be fixed, but are not being done. Each individual company that was represented on the panel, was giving a way for people to be connected with government officials. They offered resources to build platforms with self interest and public involvement. People need to be aware that these resources are available, which was really interesting. This panel did an incredible job of explaining how important it is for the individual person to get involved in their community. The second panel session I chose to attend was called “Design Thinking to Green the Planet”. This panel discussed how crucial it is for companies and people to change their ways of life in order to better our own planet. Climate change is a real issue in the world today, and there are many different ways to do your part to protect our future. The 2015 Igniting Innovation Summit was truly inspiring, and gave many people the opportunity to realize that we all have the opportunity to make a difference, no matter how big or how small.” ~ Melissa Cowell