The final event of Thames Valley Tech Week at GROW saw students from across Reading join ConnectTVT for a competition-style problem solving workshop, looking at Reading 2050, and asked students to look at greener ways to improve Reading’s infrastructure and transport issues. REading UK 2050 collaboratively presented the process and issues uncovered to date to the assembled students before they were divided up into teams and each team assigned a mentor, or ‘grey’ as we like to call them, to give them some guidance about the task set for them.
Each team was given a brief, outlining what aspect the Reading UK 2050 initiative they would be focusing on. The briefs ranged from ‘What would an integrated transport system look like and how would you use it?’ to ‘With technology enabled communities and a vibrant urban ecosystem, what enablers will further enhance our society?’. The students then had to present their ideas and the presentation with the most votes would win.
The students threw themselves into the task and offered some real fresh thinking to the issues whilst under the guidance of their ‘grey’ mentors. Some of the mentors commented on how quickly the students really got stuck in to the task at hand. Their innovative thinking and enthusiasm was infectious and they were a credit to their respective colleges.
The workshop was punctuated by talks and activities from various speakers including Professor Tim Dixon who is a Professor of Sustainable Futures in the Built Environment at Reading University, Simon Beasley from Reading Council, and Georg Ell who is the Country Director for UK & Ireland at Tesla Motors. The students also took part in a ‘cool wall’ activity run by Jenni Montgomery from Barton Willmore. The day was a lot of fun, seeing two generations working in tandem. The mentors had a lot to offer in terms of experience and the students returned the favour with their fresh perspective and energy.