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Advice from an Indonesia country finalist: Schneider Go Green student competition

Believing in your bold ideas to change the world

Hi, my name is Jessica. I am a final year Chemical Engineering student at the University of Indonesia and the Schneider Go Green 2019 country finalist for Indonesia. Winning Go Green has been a unique life experience that has allowed me to grow and learn more about myself. Let me share with you some personal takeaways from this global competition.

Discovering an exciting competition

Last semester, my good friend Aziza convinced me to join a competition called Schneider Go Green. It is a global competition organized every year by Schneider Electric, which is a company that I did not know well at that time. Since I’m a very spontaneous person, I immediately jumped on the opportunity to join the competition with Aziza. To be honest, I also did not know much about Go Green. Aziza and I checked the previous Go Green winning ideas and the more ideas we saw, the less certain we were on what submitting a bold idea really meant… What is a bold idea?! This led us to kickstart our thought process from the foundation: what idea would be important enough and what impact would we hope to achieve with our idea? As part of this journey, we were very focused on developing something that fit a clear purpose from the beginning.

country finalist of Schneider Go Green

This is how we came up with the idea of Calypso, a solution designed to recycle water and harness energy in tall buildings. We submitted our idea quickly, and unexpectedly, we were selected to compete at a national level. Wow! What a happy moment! We had the chance to present in the country finals and network with other students and many #SEGreatPeople.

A unique mentoring opportunity 

One of the most valuable things I found out about Go Green is the mentoring sessions. We are not left to compete alone or without proper coaching and preparation. Without the mentoring support from Schneider, I honestly didn’t think we would have been country finalists because we submitted a very raw idea. Due to the novelty of our idea, I was afraid of not being credible. I was very nervous for my first time explaining our bold idea. Initially, we realized that our objective was vague, and our message not clearly delivered.

Throughout the mentoring sessions, we received amazing support from Schneider Electric’s experts who helped us refine our idea. Our mentor quickly understood our idea, believed in it, and loved it! He also helped us to convey the right message. I was really impressed by the friendly, supportive, and positive atmosphere of the company. This genuine support and appreciation encouraged us to deliver more than what was expected. During each mentoring session, we learned how to embrace different perspectives (technical, commercial, user value, etc.), and something much more valuable that is often overlooked by many innovators: How to truly believe in your idea and to be bold enough to talk about it. As aspiring innovators, we learned to understand and face the inner fears and doubt about the idea we were working on, especially since it had not been done before. Our Go Green mentoring experience was extremely valuable and made us eager to dare to disrupt more in the future.

country winners Schneider Go Green

Empowered to compete from national to regional stage

On the day of the country final, I still remember that we prepared and practiced very hard for our presentation. Everyone else had amazing bold ideas and delivered mind-blowing pitches. I felt a bit timid that day, but I tried to stay confident. I realized the importance of strongly believing in your story in order to convey your idea. Our idea Calypso is about water provision for urban areas. An urban city like Jakarta should be a place of abundance with capable technological advancement. Yet, this gigantic city infrastructure still cannot provide one of our most basic human needs, water for everyone. With this idea, our aim was to make water provision in the most urbanized living areas available to everyone. Isn’t it ironic that although we already have the technology, it cannot help underprivileged people in some of the most urbanized places on earth?

At the country’s final stage, our focus was on conveying this message and how Calypso could enable our vision by making such a solution accessible to all, including underprivileged people. I deeply felt that our idea had the potential to make a meaningful impact and was worth to be heard. This is how we became the Schneider Go Green Indonesia Country Finalists for the 2019 edition and were invited to participate in the Asia-Pacific final!

Indonesia country finalists

Attending the Go Green Asia-Pacific final was a fantastic platform to build on our idea and articulate further our vision. Although we did not win, it was a great learning experience to be able to connect with other countries and listen to the bold ideas from brilliant and visionary students. My hope is that one day all these exciting ideas can be implemented. Thanks to Schneider Electric, I came to discover a company that truly embraces differences and empowers you to innovate at every level.

A meaningful journey

Schneider Go Green has been a meaningful life experience. I think everyone should try to embark on this journey. You will not only get a trophy but also get the courage to disrupt the status quo by sharing your idea on how we can make the world better. I know, it can be hard to come up with an idea at the beginning, especially since the competition topic can be very broad. The key recipe for me remains the same: start with the foundation, think of a problem you really want to solve, and then leverage your knowledge or scientific education to build something that will be able to solve it. I hope you will find this post useful. Good luck and all the best in your Schneider Go Green journey!

To learn more about Schneider Go Green and register your bold idea for the student competition, check out the website: https://gogreen.se.com/

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