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Tangent Experience:
"So what do you actually do here?"

 
Everyone on the Tangent team has been asked this question more times than they’d like to count. We have visitors to Tangent almost every day that we’re open, and although we are experts in pitching, telling visitors about what we do is not the same as showing them. When we realised that instead of talking the talk, we should also walk the walk, the Tangent Experience was born.
 
The Tangent Experience is a new initiative aimed at providing members of our ecosystems an opportunity to visit the Tangent space for a 90-minute immersive experience. The Tangent Experience is a short, fun and experiential workshop that demonstrates how we do things differently in Tangent.
 
Attendees are mixed into groups and presented with a problem. The workshop challenges participants to engage with Design Thinking methodology to creatively problem solve. Guided by members of the Tangent Team, participants then pitch their solution as part of a team, cast their vote for who they think should be the winning team, and finally the winning team is presented with a prize.
 
Our inaugural Tangent Experience called on attendees to fix Valentine’s Day. Members of the Trinity FSD team were presented with results of market research which clearly showed that Valentine’s Day as we knew it, was broken. The teams quickly got to work and prepared 3-minute pitches to showcase their solutions to Valentine’s Day. Our winning team, who ideated a solution and went away with some Tangent swag and a whole lot of pride.
 
Before closing, we had one more opportunity to host a Tangent Experience. On 6 th March, we welcomed a group of individuals form our ecosystem who were curious about what Tangent does and how we do it. The group were challenged to build a duck! That’s right, they had to build a duck from pieces of Lego. What sounds like a straightforward task produced an array of results and showed just how creative these individuals could be with such a task. Second up was the Marshmallow challenge. Within a given time limit and without the use of a ruler, the teams had to build a tower out of marshmallows and spaghetti to an exact given height. Sounds easy, right? This is not an easy task at all, but two groups successfully built a perfect tower.
 
The Tangent Experience can’t happen whilst we all work from home in an endeavour to flatten the curve, but we are sure that the skills our Tangent Experience attendees developed through the experience have improved their agility for uncertain times such as these.
 

Keep Ireland Moving:
Tangent TV

 
At Tangent, we’re proving the value of agility in times of crises with our own team. Keep Ireland Moving is a Tangent initiative aimed at ideating, developing and delivering programmes which the Tangent team can execute, in an endeavour to Keep Ireland Moving.

Right now is the time to take initiative and respond to worker’s needs, including those temporarily out of work due to the economic impact of the virus. We want to make a difference by acting now and scaling up as the market requires and allows. Tangent TV coming soon… With Ireland at home with their laptops, we want to reach individuals in the comfort of their own home. How are people passing the time? When they’re not adapting to their new working from home routine, they’re looking after children who just want to go outside, and hopefully finding time for entertainment and media.

Here at Tangent, we’re going to create informative, valuable and quickly digestible content for our ecosystem to explore during this emergency period and beyond. Watch this space!
 
Reimagine Returners - Dept of Social Protection
6th March
 
As part of Jobs Week 2020, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection hosted an event in Tangent, Trinity’s Ideas Workspace on 6th March. The day was focused on returners and aimed to create greater awareness of the supports available to attract talented workers back into the workforce after taking time out of their career.

The event attracted a crowd of over 150 returners, industry, education and government representatives. Attendees were treated to a series of powerful presentations and informative Q&A sessions. Ciara Garvan of Workjuggle spoke at the Returners Event about the difficulties of balancing work and caring responsibilities. Eoin O’Dwyer from Skillnet spoke about Education and Retraining Options at Career Pathways for Returners.

Most poignantly, and possibly most importantly, attendees heard inspiring stories from three individuals who successfully returned to work after a period of absence. Niall, Anne-Margaret and Niamh each had their own individual story of first leaving the workforce and then returning. The powerful interviews distilled an instant confidence in the room, with the interviewees sharing their message: you can do this too. Tangent’s Allyson Lambert featured as a guest speaker on the day.

Allyson has successfully managed Tangent’s Postgraduate Certificate in Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, colloquially referred to as the Returners, for a number of years now. At Re-Imagine Returners, she interviewed two graduates of the course, Louise Quinn and Derek Byrne, on the value of the course, the value of returners in the workforce, and the opportunities that await those who make the decision to return.

Between presentations, attendees were invited to get a cup of tea and mingle with industry and education representatives. Companies which specialise in Returners programmes like Accenture, Mc Donald’s, GreyMatter, and Skillsnet were among the companies present and showcasing their offerings to individuals hoping to return to the workforce. The day focused on one clear message: returners should be valued as an important part of the workforce.

Closing remarks were delivered by Jacqui McCrum, Deputy Secretary General of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. Citing the value of skills which returners bring to the workforce from all walks of life, McCrum highlighted the need for an ongoing conversation between returners, available supports and employers - an endeavor which Tangent maintains at the core of its activity.
 
E4T Module: Creative Thinking and Innovation
9th – 11th March

The Creative Thinking & Innovation (10 ECTS) standalone postgraduate module took place in Tangent from 9th - 23rd March 2020. Trinity College Dublin PhD and Masters students, along with representatives from our European partner institutions on the E4T Erasmus programme attended the module. Students were connected with host companies, including Airfield Estate, Pets on Jets, Viva Green Group and Tangent (Maker's Space) and were tasked with applying the design thinking process to creatively solve a range of challenges facing the organisation.

This module was a resounding success for all involved. This module was moved from being delivered entirely in-class to online in an 18-hour period, without a break in delivery, as the decision to close schools and colleges came on day four of the course. This cohort of students demonstrated resilience, flexibility and all of the values we hope to instil in our graduates and delivered everything we asked of them to very tight deadlines. The pitch event on the final day of the module went extremely well, and the student groups received very positive feedback from the host companies and the judging panel. 

EIT Raw Materials Meet-Up
10th – 12th March
On the 10th March 2020, Tangent became the scene of Phase 1 of the EIT RawMaterials Programme. Over the course of three days, the first kick off workshop of the accelerator was hosted in the Tangent Bank of Ireland Main Space. Twelve teams from start-ups across Europe attended the event in an endeavour to assess and improve the market entry success rate of their start-ups. This event focussed on addressing market risk and is only the first step in the EIT RawMaterials Accelerator programme.
 
Receiving support from partners in the EIT RawMaterials consortium is essential to the successful scaling of EIT funded start-ups. Ahead of the event, Katarina Öquist, Business Developer for EIT RawMaterials North CLC, explained to Tangent that, ‘there are stage gates between each of the phases, at which start-ups need to gain approval to enter the next phase. Each phase has specific objectives and funding, as well as a specific process and timeline.’ By participating in this event at Tangent, EIT RawMaterials start-ups availed of a combination of group work and individual coaching, as well as an opportunity to network within the EIT RawMaterials ecosystem, which aims to support them as they move through Phase 1’s specific objectives and through their first stage gate.
 
On the evening of 11th March, networking become the priority. An evening reception provided participants with a chance to mingle after completing their second day of the intensive workshop. Additional members from the EIT RawMaterials’ ecosystem were invited to attend and, despite relatively low numbers due to the escalating COVID 19 situation, there was a very positive energy and valuable connections were formed between TCD spin-outs and the accelerator teams.
 
On the final day of the workshop, we were also hosting an EIT Health proposal bootcamp.  We were able to facilitate direct “Cross-KIC” engagement, introducing EIT RawMaterials staff from BenNeLux and the Baltics with the UK & Ireland CLC’s Innovation, Education and Business Creation Managers.  Separately, Breandán Goss, who runs the Tangent’s EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator connected with the event facilitator, Hans Westerhof, who also runs the BeNeLux Climate-KIC programme to discuss future collaborations.
 
Inaugural Pitches for PG Certificate in Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship
 
An absolutely phenomenal range of pitches delivered as part of the Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship course at Tangent, Trinity's Ideas Workspace Hugely impressed by the quality and range of product and service ideas, the level of engagement with the prospective client and the application of material we've covered across module

Huge kudos to Karl Thomas, Gillian Roddie, Terre Duffy and Joanne Corley for all their work on the programme.  Special thanks to Katrina Enros and Colin Keogh for giving their time to judge the event. Small Green Thing, a seaweed based organic soap that smells like heaven were the winners on the night, but it’s fair to say there were fine margins and I would be confident in putting any team from this cohort up against any enterprise in a pitching contest! 
 

EIT Health Submission Bootcamp
 
Applications to the EIT Health Accelerator 2020 closed on Monday, 16th March. Ahead of this deadline, start-ups interested in applying for the programmes were invited to attend an info session chaired by Rosemary Gallagher, the EIT Health Business Creation Manager for UK & Ireland on 26th Feb in Tangent.  Several start-ups from Tangent’s EIT Health-funded Digital Health Validator bootcamp attended and we wish all the teams best of luck with their submissions.

Principle Investigators (PIs) working on proposals for EIT Health’s BP 2021 call for proposals were given the opportunity to attend an EIT Health Submission Bootcamp, held in Tangent on 12th March. Three EIT Health professionals; Valentina Isetta, Innovation Manager for EIT Health (UK-Ireland), Pau Miñarro, Education Programme Manager for EIT Health (UK-Ireland) and Rosemary Gallagher, Business Creation Manager for EIT Health (UK-Ireland) were all available for one-to-one meetings throughout the day. All three representatives met with PIs throughout the day to assuage concerns, answer any burning questions, and provide technical support to those preparing to upload their submission.

When coronavirus concerns began to impair operations, the EIT Health professionals displayed their agility by adapting their meetings and support to an online forum. Valentina, Pau and Rosemary provided invaluable support to potential projects across Trinity. We are very excited to see those projects move through their next steps.  The call deadline has since been postponed from 25th March to 8th July as many EIT Health are currently focused on the COVID 19 response. 
 
Supporting Students 

Owing to the fact that many of the participants in the Regional Programme have suffered significant upheaval in their professional lives due to COVID-19, we have put additional supports in place to address the new needs and concerns of our students. On Thursday 2nd  April at 6pm an Online Webinar was delivered by Gerry Duffy, a motivational speaker and business coach on Mindset and how it affects your resilience when faced with challenges in your personal and professional life. To offer additional support with their Group Pitch Project, a call was put out to Tangent staff and many volunteered to Mentor the groups, we had so many volunteers that all 16 teams have a dedicated Mentor and the students have expressed much appreciation for the help. We had been putting together a CV skills and employment workshop before the current economic environment changed so drastically so we have worked with the contributor to adjust the message to reflect one that applies more appropriately to a new landscape for employees, employers and the self-employed. We began Module with an additional session dedicated to discussing the upcoming assignments as many expressed that they felt under pressure due to the new demands on their time and attention. We will hold another one in approximately 2 weeks’ time. The feedback from this session was that the students felt that their concerns were heard and their struggles acknowledged and that they are feeling more supported in getting to the end of their course. 

Digital Open Hours and Entrepreneurship Skills Sessions
 
Making the jump from in-person open hours and workshops to digital delivery has been a rapid and rewarding process!

We set-up Tangent Open Hours in October 2019 to let students know that they didn’t need to be a fully formed entrepreneur to enter the Tangent floor. Students came to study or do group work but would often seize the opportunity to run their ideas by Joe, since he was there with a big sign saying “Here to help”. When the Covid-19 outbreak hit, the challenge was to create a digital space for this serendipitous idea development to take place.


Since its launch in September over 1000 Trinity students have joined Tangent Online, Tangent’s open Blackboard module with resources and opportunities for innovators. This made the use of the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra feature through the Tangent Online module a natural platform to host “Digital Open Hours” and “Entrepreneurial Skills Sessions”.

The first four sessions went well but there were some key learnings and pivots needed:

1.  During in-person “Open Hours” students valued the semi-private nature of conversation when they came to Joe’s table… This was lost during digital open hours as students could “enter the room” without speaking while another student was discussing their ideas.
     *   Pivot: Promote virtual 1:1 mentorship meetings using zoom instead of open hours


2.  The Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Platform assumes the best of participants during the “Entrepreneurial Skills Sessions”... For example they can turn their own mics back on despite being muted and repeatedly raise their hands if they would like to be disruptive.
 
 *   Pivot: Stream “Entrepreneurial Skills Sessions” directly to the Tangent YouTube channel. This platform is more accustomed to “online trolls” and therefore has layers of protection in place to stop would be disrupters.

Over the past two weeks, the Tangent Entrepreneurship stream has successfully held numerous digital 1:1 mentorship sessions and today Joe hosted our first YouTube live stream where he continued walking participants through workshops in the Techstars Entrepreneur’s Toolkit. As can be seen in the live chat from the two sessions, students are continuing to engage and support their peers despite the platform change. Today’s session is now available here:
 
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5CYTrbWsVo


Joseph Keegan is a student of Tangent’s and sent this following his participation in today’s session…

“After this Global Medical Emergency Shock it has taken me a couple of weeks to reboot and it was great to refresh my mind”.

Hopefully the workshops to come will see more students like Joseph feel supported and refreshed!
 
 
Agility In Action:
CTIE 6 Module from in class to online in 24 hours

 
Gillian Roddie from our Education team was tasked with redesigning an entire programme, in just 24 hours… I’ve always used the Tangent, Trinity's Ideas Workspace tagine without giving it much thought.

What's an Ideas Workspace when it's at home anyway? It turns out it's a place that has the resources and vision to facilitate & support #creativity, and the type of leadership that trusts a staff member when they say "I think I can do this" to address a significant challenge. As the world continues to be rocked by #coronavirus we have to find ways to keep it turning, and education will continue to play a pivotal role in that. We were due to begin a new cohort of one of our flagship PG Certificate courses at the end of March, a course that has historically been held fully in-class.

With a mandate to go online for all education delivery, and a full class list waiting to start, I asked for 24 hours and holed myself up in a room with all the whiteboards I could find. The result: our brand new fully online PG Certificate in Creative Thinking, Innovation and Entrepreneurship started on March 27th and it looks SO GOOD!!

Thank you so much Daniel Rogers and Rosemary Deneher for trusting me, and all my Tangent colleagues for the endless supply of goodies and hot tea for the day. Allyson Lambert we've got this!! 
 
Contact Tracing Centre in Tangent
 
The @defenceforces are training in covid-19 contact tracing volunteers from @HSELive right now here on the @TCDTangent floor at Trinity Business school. They will be operating from a base here in Tangent from April 1st. We are delighted to support them in flattening the curve.
 
Tangent welcomes SME
 
Owner-Managers for a Plato Dublin Workshop, with the Local Enterprise Office On 5th March, Tangent hosted a Plato Dublin workshop. Plato Dublin is a Business Development programme for owner managers of SMEs funded by the Local Enterprise Offices in the Dublin region. On 5th March, these owner managers were welcomed to a workshop which focused on LEAN techniques. A networking breakfast was followed by a presentation and discussion on applying LEAN techniques to SME businesses. 
 

Stamina Trainers Conference 
5th, 6th March
Trinity’s Centre for Innovative Human Systems hosted the 2020 Human Factors Trainers & Safety Management Conference in Tangent, Trinity’s Ideas Workspace on the 5th and 6th March 2020. A group of 20 participants, many of whom had travelled from across Europe, made up of regulators, auditors, trainers, managers, health and safety personnel, and more, joined a two-day interactive conference designed to bring attendees up to date with ‘the cutting edge of current research and practice’ in the fields of human factors and safety management.
 
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