By Tina Larsen
Start NTNU is one of many student organizations at NTNU working towards students to create an interest for innovation and entrepreneurship. They, like many of us, are in a new and uncertain position regarding the Corona crisis. Normally, they organize a number of events throughout the year. This can e.g. be conferences with inspirational speakers, case competitions, excursions, games expo and more. With their approximately 50 active members, who are organized into a number of project groups working on planning and implementing these various events, the Corona crisis will create problems as the campus is closed indefinitely.
Here is what the leader of Start NTNU, Eskil Schjølberg, has to say about the Corona crisis and how they are planning to continue their work:
“The Corona crisis puts a clear stop to our core activity, namely arranging events for students. Of course, it is very boring, especially as we now had planned two big events to take place at the end of March. These had to be canceled due to the circumstances, and all of the plans the project groups had made over a whole year were never realized. It is also not possible to run the organization with physical presence or to have any kind of internal social events. This is a major challenge as we have a strong culture for this“.
How do you adapt to the circumstances and what actions do you take?
“Everything from weekly meetings and workshops goes as normal over video meetings. A digital platform is also set up where people can meet and be social, e.g. have lunch “together”. We also try to find other ways to achieve our purpose, and this often occurs as a result of our members’ own initiative. Start Magasin is an example of this. The goal is to get out information about what is happening in the innovation environment at NTNU, preferably through interviews of key people. We also intend to write about our organization, how we work, what we learn and include some pictures of what we do.“
How are you now planning to carry out the planned projects and events?
“With an uncertain future ahead, it is difficult to plan projects, but we try to do the best we can. The project groups that got their events cancelled are, for example, looking into the possibility of creating a live stream of ratings that was supposed to have taken place at the events. They have also begun to lay the groundwork for the next year’s event, as some of the work that was done can be continued. There are still some uncertainties related to the events that will take place this fall, and because of this these project groups have also started to look at alternative solutions. There are, among other things, good opportunities for creating fully digital solutions of hackathons and case competitions. It’s really all about being solution-oriented and creative, and we have a crazy culture for that here at Start NTNU! Members usually get to try out the ideas they come up with.“
Start NTNU are clearly affected by the Corona crisis, but they have taken creative measures to adapt to the current situation. These measures are solution-oriented and can be an inspiration for all of us in these strange times. Read more about Start NTNU and how they operate at https://www.startntnu.no/.