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Students bring fresh perspectives to New Zealand businesses

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After an intensive two-week programme, Solve It closed on high spirits for both students and sponsors this year. Solve It invites students to create solutions to pressing environmental, social and business problems for leading organisations. This year those organisations were Hynds, Auckland Transport and Auckland District Health Board.

During these two weeks, students work on fully empathising with the problem, formulating their ideas, testing, prototyping and refining their solution before pitching it to a panel of judges from each organisation. Each challenge had a winning team that received $5,000 and a runner up team that received $3,000.

Auckland Transport was impressed with the amount of thought and effort the students put into developing their solutions.

“We were delighted with the six different solutions proposed to the problem of how to encourage high school students to think about cycling options to get to and from school. Having these University students spend a concentrated two-week period investigating the issue and solution was very valuable for getting new ideas and a fresh perspective.

“Both the winning solutions are able to be integrated into existing programmes and are focused on both school and community participation, in line with our current programme deliverables,” Claire Dixon, Community Transport Manager at Auckland Transport says.

Hynds found that the Solve It programme allowed for a fresh perspective around their problem of the social and environmental impacts of Auckland’s current wastewater system.

“We were impressed with the level of commitment, passion, and professionalism shown by these young minds. From day one, they were really engaged with the topic and went the extra mile to provide innovative solutions to such an important challenge as waste water management in the Auckland Region. During the programme, the students showed us a different way to interact and connect with customers and users and provided fresh perspectives to our sector,” Patrick Barciela from Hynds says.

Bachelor of Science student Lisa Zhang, a member of the Human Beans team who were winners of the Auckland District Health Board challenge, found that Solve It allowed her to develop some important transferable skills.

“I feel I have learnt so much in the past two weeks, in many areas I feel are important for personal growth, and skills that are transferable for any field. These include teamwork and the team dynamic, critically analysing the problem and context, consulting with stakeholders for feedback and market validation, empathy and design-led thinking,” Lisa says.

Similarly Khemal Abidin, a Bachelor of Engineering student and member of Team Ora working on the Hynds challenge, found that Solve It allowed him to develop skills he believes will be beneficial for his future career.

“Joining Solve It helped me to practise identifying problems, understanding related stakeholders and being courageous to say my idea. Good things that I believe will be beneficial in my career or starting my own business.”

Karyn Lowe from Auckland District Health Board says that “the programme has reignited our teams desire to do better for our donors. Our team were really impressed with the passion, respect and engagement from all of the students involved with our challenge. The way they interacted with all our team and our live donors was really professional and we really appreciate how they listened to all the different perspectives of our problem and came up with a variety of solutions for us to move forward with. What we loved about this programme was having a fresh set of minds on our problem that could think outside the square of how we are used to working in the public health system and its confines.”

Winning teams are now working with sponsors to present to Boards and some are discussing possible internships to work on implementing their solutions.

Auckland Transport

Problem posed: How would you solve it for cycling to school?

Auckland Transport (AT) is committed to increasing safety and reducing congestion around Auckland schools. Currently less than 2% of New Zealand high school students ride bikes to class. AT is looking for new ideas to encourage high school students to think about cycling options, to get to and from school.

Winning solution – Bike Bandits: An app based solution that addresses the concerns of early high school students regarding cycling, and incentivises them to cycle.

Runner up – Nexus: Improve physical (visibility and familiarity), social (place making) and aesthetic (attractive settings) connectivity between cycle infrastructure and secondary school students.

Hynds

Problem posed: How would you solve it for waste water?

Hynds has built its reputation on industry-leading innovation in the civil infrastructure market, including wastewater systems. They care about communities and are looking for innovative possibilities around wastewater, including solutions that address the social and environmental impacts of Auckland’s current wastewater system.

Winning solution – Nitriters: Developed a NiteSpray solution to spray on the concrete pipes to limit the effects of corrosion and prevent the costly replacement of the waste water pipes.

Runner up – Grease Tacklers: Developed an economical grease trapping solution made of organic materials that can be used in both residential and commercial pipe systems.

Auckland District Health Board

Problem posed: How would you solve it for live organ donors?

Auckland District Health Board (ADHB) is seeing increased numbers of kidney donor transplants performed each year from live donors. ADHB plays an important role in improving, promoting and protecting the health of communities. They are looking for ideas around the care of live donors post-procedure, particularly from a patient centric viewpoint and in support of their emotional wellbeing.

Winning solution – Human Beans: Created a companion booklet and a donor pin that is sent out to patients after the procedure to increase awareness and act as a segue to community support.

Runner up – Donor Care: Developed a consolidated CRM platform specifically for ADHB that allows both patients and transplant co-ordinators to communicate easily and efficiently and monitor the progress of their transplant journey.

Like what sponsors and students have to say and want to get involved? To be a sponsor for our next programme email us at cie@auckland.ac.nz.

The winning team of the Auckland Transport challenge ‘Bike Bandits’.

The winning team of the Auckland Transport challenge ‘Bike Bandits’.

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After an intensive two-week programme, Solve It closed on high spirits for both students and sponsors this year. Solve It invites students to create solutions to pressing environmental, social and business problems for leading organisations. This year those organisations were Hynds, Auckland Transport and Auckland District Health Board.

During these two weeks, students work on fully empathising with the problem, formulating their ideas, testing, prototyping and refining their solution before pitching it to a panel of judges from each organisation. Each challenge had a winning team that received $5,000 and a runner up team that received $3,000.

Auckland Transport was impressed with the amount of thought and effort the students put into developing their solutions.

“We were delighted with the six different solutions proposed to the problem of how to encourage high school students to think about cycling options to get to and from school. Having these University students spend a concentrated two-week period investigating the issue and solution was very valuable for getting new ideas and a fresh perspective.

“Both the winning solutions are able to be integrated into existing programmes and are focused on both school and community participation, in line with our current programme deliverables,” Claire Dixon, Community Transport Manager at Auckland Transport says.

Hynds found that the Solve It programme allowed for a fresh perspective around their problem of the social and environmental impacts of Auckland’s current wastewater system.

“We were impressed with the level of commitment, passion, and professionalism shown by these young minds. From day one, they were really engaged with the topic and went the extra mile to provide innovative solutions to such an important challenge as waste water management in the Auckland Region. During the programme, the students showed us a different way to interact and connect with customers and users and provided fresh perspectives to our sector,” Patrick Barciela from Hynds says.

Bachelor of Science student Lisa Zhang, a member of the Human Beans team who were winners of the Auckland District Health Board challenge, found that Solve It allowed her to develop some important transferable skills.

“I feel I have learnt so much in the past two weeks, in many areas I feel are important for personal growth, and skills that are transferable for any field. These include teamwork and the team dynamic, critically analysing the problem and context, consulting with stakeholders for feedback and market validation, empathy and design-led thinking,” Lisa says.

Similarly Khemal Abidin, a Bachelor of Engineering student and member of Team Ora working on the Hynds challenge, found that Solve It allowed him to develop skills he believes will be beneficial for his future career.

“Joining Solve It helped me to practise identifying problems, understanding related stakeholders and being courageous to say my idea. Good things that I believe will be beneficial in my career or starting my own business.”

Karyn Lowe from Auckland District Health Board says that “the programme has reignited our teams desire to do better for our donors. Our team were really impressed with the passion, respect and engagement from all of the students involved with our challenge. The way they interacted with all our team and our live donors was really professional and we really appreciate how they listened to all the different perspectives of our problem and came up with a variety of solutions for us to move forward with. What we loved about this programme was having a fresh set of minds on our problem that could think outside the square of how we are used to working in the public health system and its confines.”

Winning teams are now working with sponsors to present to Boards and some are discussing possible internships to work on implementing their solutions.

Auckland Transport

Problem posed: How would you solve it for cycling to school?

Auckland Transport (AT) is committed to increasing safety and reducing congestion around Auckland schools. Currently less than 2% of New Zealand high school students ride bikes to class. AT is looking for new ideas to encourage high school students to think about cycling options, to get to and from school.

Winning solution – Bike Bandits: An app based solution that addresses the concerns of early high school students regarding cycling, and incentivises them to cycle.

Runner up – Nexus: Improve physical (visibility and familiarity), social (place making) and aesthetic (attractive settings) connectivity between cycle infrastructure and secondary school students.

Hynds

Problem posed: How would you solve it for waste water?

Hynds has built its reputation on industry-leading innovation in the civil infrastructure market, including wastewater systems. They care about communities and are looking for innovative possibilities around wastewater, including solutions that address the social and environmental impacts of Auckland’s current wastewater system.

Winning solution – Nitriters: Developed a NiteSpray solution to spray on the concrete pipes to limit the effects of corrosion and prevent the costly replacement of the waste water pipes.

Runner up – Grease Tacklers: Developed an economical grease trapping solution made of organic materials that can be used in both residential and commercial pipe systems.

Auckland District Health Board

Problem posed: How would you solve it for live organ donors?

Auckland District Health Board (ADHB) is seeing increased numbers of kidney donor transplants performed each year from live donors. ADHB plays an important role in improving, promoting and protecting the health of communities. They are looking for ideas around the care of live donors post-procedure, particularly from a patient centric viewpoint and in support of their emotional wellbeing.

Winning solution – Human Beans: Created a companion booklet and a donor pin that is sent out to patients after the procedure to increase awareness and act as a segue to community support.

Runner up – Donor Care: Developed a consolidated CRM platform specifically for ADHB that allows both patients and transplant co-ordinators to communicate easily and efficiently and monitor the progress of their transplant journey.

Like what sponsors and students have to say and want to get involved? To be a sponsor for our next programme email us at cie@auckland.ac.nz.


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