Last week a group of students from across the design faculty including a few from product design attended the 2015 Better By Design CEO Summit. Run every eighteen months, the Summit is a two day design conference targeted at integrating design concepts and methods into business. This years theme was “Balancing Transformation”.
The students in attendance were given the opportunity to network with over 400 delegates in attendance from a range of organisations that apply design, in some form, to their business. Among these were some major organisations including Fisher & Paykel, Icebreaker, and Air New Zealand.
Throughout the two days, AUT students were given the full delegate experience. They attended presentations by international speakers from companies like Nike, Coke, and Google as well local speakers from Xero and IVHQ. Students also participated in interactive workshop sessions alongside other delegates.
In between scheduled events, the group from AUT ran the AUT Interactive Zone, a space equipped with examples of student work and interactive question walls. Populated with questions and quotes from AUT students, the question walls encouraged delegates and speakers to offer their valuable insights in post-it form creating a dialogue with students. With questions like “What can I do to stand out?” and “What do you see as the key issues for the future?” the aim was to gather responses that address the key concerns of students looking to transition from study to work. Delegates were also asked to offer their commitments to an ongoing relationship with AUT whether through mentoring, the offer of internships, or future research project opportunities.