Why my Go Green experience was one of the best things that ever happened to me
I have no words to describe how happy and proud I am being one of the top finalists of Schneider Electric’s Go Green 2019 competition representing the South America team. Things started so simple: without any resources, but with the desire to make the best out of the Go Green experience.
Where it all started
My name is Mírian and I’m an architecture student of the public university of Brazil, finishing my bachelor’s this semester. My focus in school is the usage of big data, sensors, blockchain and its impacts and changes in urban laws, like primary planning and soil parcelments. To summarize, my studies are all about proposing urban solutions for future smart cities. I discovered the Schneider Electric Go Green competition when my lovely friend Lukas from Virginia Tech realized that the student competition would match my research. Thanks Lukas Weidner for sharing the link for the competition with me and for believing in my potential! After reading the rules, I remembered an article draft that I was writing about Internet of Things (IoT) for urban farming and I invited my friend Lucas Heringer to team up with me for the contest, supporting me and helping with idea development – thanks Lucas for staying with me until Barcelona and helping me improve the idea.
Our Bold Idea
I remembered that UFOP (Universidade Federal de OuroPreto/ Federal university o Ouro Preto), our university, has an extension program about local farming in the countryside, improving on local business models and creating a circular trade. I thought about, what if it had the same size of a big city, turning unused spaces into urban farms? To do so, we considered using sensors and geolocation to define the best locations and most suitable crops. With other groups of sensors, we would check for issues such as rainfall, pollution and soil. This would create a database to filter information and determine the best usage for the area. Our proposal for Go Green was to create a system that would be adaptable for each city’s mining data and selecting what is best for each region.
Even with many challenges along the way, we achieved first place for South America! It is with lots of lessons learned and a thankful heart that we closed the cycle and were able to represent South America and Brazil specifically. We would like to say muchas gracias (many thanks) to Mario A. Velazquez, general manager in Peru, our mentor for the regional and global stage. Without your advice we wouldn’t get as far as we did! Thanks for believing in our idea, we did our best. Obrigada (thank you) Cristiano dos Anjos, End User VP for South America, for believing in our potential. Obrigada to Mayara Viana for helping us when we had questions about the competition. Thanks to Agnaldo J. R. Reis, Luiz Fernando Rispoli Alves, Davi Neves and Julia Mendes (all #SEGreatPeople) for all the tips on how to improve our idea and presentation. Thanks to Hajo Schilperoort and Alexandre Bento for all the proofreading, support and tips. We represented the Escola de Minas (Minas school) in our best manner!
Thanks so much to Schneider Electric for giving us the opportunity to learn more about technology through this student competition and for introducing us to so many amazing students at the Global finals in Barcelona. I will always have my international friends Ayushi, Rachel, Nimisha, Naveen, Adrienne, Romina, Noah, Gabi, Yumi, Alejandra, Kirsi, Michael and Eva. I’m so proud to have been a part of Go Green 2019 with you all! I recognized how hard you all worked on your ideas, and the support to develop and mature it. Even coming from different places and backgrounds, we all competed on the same level!
Also, I’d like to thank the Schneider Electric team: Isabelle Kahakura Batista, Yeonjoo Lee, Jen Au, Tina Mylon, Carolina Latorre, Eduardo Hermanovich, Joan-Jordi, Elena Simon, Barry Grier, Marien Galicia and many others I met along the way for all the advice, tips, lectures, jokes, support and encouragement. These individuals took the time to listen to us. They respected us and were really interested in our ideas and suggestions. I have changed as a person after this trip to Barcelona and the Innovation Summit. I really have no words to describe how grateful I am for my Go Green experience. In fact, I really hope to work for a great company like Schneider someday!
To get information and secure your spot for the 2020 edition of Schneider Go Green, visit our website www.gogreen.se.com
The 2020 global winner will win a trip to Boston with an MIT and Greentown Labs tour!
About the Author
Mírian Maia is student of Architecture and Urbanism of Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto – UFOP. She is an enthusiast of technology and usage of algorithms, big data and IoT to create urban solutions to more sustainable and efficient smart cities. After years on computer science, she decided to move to architecture to explore her creativity and started the undergraduate research project by PIBIC/CNPQ about the impact of inconsistencies of urban laws of Ouro Preto on daily of inhabitants that live in risky areas. She was a global finalist of the Go Green in the City competition in 2019 representing South America and her dream is to become an urban scientist using technology to help people gain access to basic rights such as food, water, sanitation, life quality and housing in cities of the future.