Preparing for the last presentation is not always easy, thank fully we have a great team at Teach for America subteam. Based on the schedule received by Earthwatch organisers we started to structure our presentations. I have plural as we had two of them – one for the Teach for America team and another, shorter version for the rest of the team.
Luckily we had the final presentation in our Teach for America headquarter – so we decided to have the both presentations on the same day. After a lots of preparation, practice, we finally delivered two very successful presentations, along with our CSC USA 1 team mates in front of all the participants, IBMers and NGO partners. And last but not least, we had a great goodbye with Earthwatch and Scott Kania, Earthwatch CEO.
We are having the last week of the assignment. Time flyes! Besides starting to preparing for the closing presentations everybody started to making a to do list – what to do next, and how to use our time spent in the city.
We have discovered some rooftop bars, cinema, and many more cultural offerings of the city. I enjoyed the jazz and blues concerts the most – where we also had a chance to taste some delicious Luisiana food.
This week our CSC USA 1 subteam facilitated a design thinking workshop for Teach for America with a great team made of the key stakeholders. The workshop reviled exciting findings, generated conversations and took us one step towards an exceptional customer experience. My table was table 2, with two alumnis, corps members and myself.
Baseball is the only sport from the US, you cannot find in my country. We have American football, basketball but baseball not at all. I thought I would get familiar with the rules before we go, but I have changed my mind – we were busy at work and doing research should not be so much fun. So I decided to go and experience the game instead. The first thing what was strange it took more than 3 hours. I liked that people were walking around, drinking, eating – it was more like an event than a sport match. We got a certificate that we had the first baseball game in the SOX stadium – moreover SOX won. Oh and did I tell you it was an Elvis themed night? We met a few Elvis in the crowd and there was a short concert at the end. Oh and fireworks. Could it be any better?
On Sunday we went to the beach…to do some community work. With Alliance for the Great lakes, volunteered to clean Loyola beach, which is the longest beach of Chicago. It was a great experience as we received volunteer t-shirts from Alliance and when the local people asked what are we volunteering and who we are the were so grateful for the service we do. It is great that volunteer work is so much appreciated in the US. And furthermore I had two great learning – the beaches of Chicago recall me the beaches of Barcelona. Second – almost 100% of the trash we collected was plastic- you can totally through it to the Recycle bin within 2 seconds and it is totally recyclable. On the other hand plastic waste makes so much trouble to the ecosystem, nevertheless it makes the beach trashy. So I would say – reduce, recycle, reuse.
Friday was a busy day for CSC USA1. We started with the usual kick-off on Webex with John, but this time from the IBM Chicago office. Scott Kania, Earthwatch CEO, who arrived the day before to visit us, came to the meeting.
Following the meeting we had an IBM community day service with P-TECH students. These schools (called P-TECH for Pathways in Technology Early College High School) are grades 9-14 schools, as opposed to the traditional 9-12. Students at these schools are pursuing both their high school diploma and 2-year associate degree at the same time. IBM had a partner P-TECH school, Sarah E Good STEM Academy here in Chicago since 2012. We were divided in smaller groups and we could hear the presentation of a P-TECH student that they usually have at the end of their internship. We gave them coaching and advice on presentation skills and on how to present to IBMers. I really enjoyed the community service day as I was working for a while with presentation as and the two students, Martin and John were so sweet. I hope both of them rock their presentations.
Since our partner organisation is Earthwatch we get some education and interesting insight on environmental protection. Gitte, our NGO partner, held us a little lecture on Global warming, the long-term effects of and what the city of Chicago and other cities in the region are doing to make life greener in the urban jungle.
I was always interested in the topic, I also try to make my life greener. I take the public transport, I try to maintain a plastic-free household, cleaning with less chemicals and reduce/recycle the waste I produce. However it was interesting to me to see how much harm we cause with Global warming and how fast was the process in the last decades, so it is scary to think about what else can come as development is faster. It was also interesting to hear about the circular economy instead of the linear one and the effect to the nature. Gitte asked what is the day of 8th August 2018. I knew that (sadly) this is the date, by when we use the natural resources of the Earth for a given day – this is the Earth overshoot day. Gitte told me since she has this presentation nobody ever knew it. So basically that was my first proud moment of my assignment. And basically what was surprising to me the green countries are on the top of the list – most European countries has used the resources til April. And it does not mean our lifestyle is not maintainable – in 1970 mankind finished their natural resources til around Christmas. So it made me thinking as well. Even thought I try to maintain a green life, what else I did not think about? What can I personally do to #MoveTheDate ?
More on circular economy – Ellen MacArthur Foundation video