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ED(ucators) Talk: How educators and students can benefit from a Global Community

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Eveline van Zeeland's presentation slide 'Envision a better world and try to create it'

“Something that was very special for me was the inclusion of different time zones”, said Igor Lopes Martinez (Professor of Logistics and Supply Chain Management at the Technological University of Havana in Cuba). “This way we could connect with educators from around the world”, he described as he talked about his experience at the Inchainge Connect Educator Conference 2022.  

For Gaby Neumann (Professor in Engineering Logistics at the Technical University of Applied Sciences in Germany), it was an intriguing moment to discover more about upcoming business simulation game, The Triple Connection 

Inchainge believes in learning by doing which is why our global events are weaved around the same thought. We offer a range of events that not only open up the space to discuss and ideate pressing matters such as sustainability, circular economy, and value chain management; but also weave together a global community. 

Building a Global Community, one step at a time!

One such event is the Inchainge Connect Educator Conference, joined by educators from around the globe as they discuss and present topics related to value chain education. Over 300+ participants engaged in conversations about some of the most popular and important subjects around a range of relevant topics. At this year’s edition, things were kicked up a notch with the reveal of the newly launched business simulation game, The Triple Connection.  

For Prof. Neumann the reveal was an intriguing moment.  

 “I was impressed by the lively discussions and participation following the presentations. Also, the topics raised throughout the program were very interesting.” 

Prof. Neumann expressed her interest in sustainable value chains and how the reveal addressed relevant issues that were discussed during a fascinating expert panel. However, not only did she gain knowledge and new insights but as a speaker she contributed to an excellent program with her presentation on Data Analytics best practices. 

Students and experiential learning 

Another event where we see the merging of our global community is the Global Student Challenge (GSC). Only the top 10% student teams from across the world get to participate in various Global Qualification Rounds, playing The Fresh Connection, from November to April. Only the best of the best qualifies for the Global Final week held in May where the teams battle for the Championship title and prizes. However, the best reward for all students involved is building an international network with top talent that will benefit them a lifetime. While the Global Student Challenge, along with the Global Final, is specifically dedicated to students of value chain management, it also gives educators the scope to observe the growth and development of their students.  

Prof. Neumann, who teaches her students through The Fresh Connection, said, “here I clearly see that we can treat The Fresh Connection as kind of a real-life company where students can make or have to make decisions. They have to implement the decisions and see what comes out of it. I want students to understand that what we do here is the same as they would do or could do in a real-life company.” 

Prof. Lopes Martinez, who encourages his students to always learn through experience, said, “I think it is a very good idea to have competitions between students because they don’t just play to learn something, but they can compete first within their group. They gather a lot of experience that motivates them.” 

Both educators encouraged their students to participate in GSC, while staying actively involved in their progress. Having had their students make it to the Global Final over the years with stellar performances they felt the excitement and anticipation of cheering on their teams. Prof. Neumann described how her students voluntarily took extra time before and after classes to prepare for the Challenge. Seeing the seeds planted grow and flourish in those young talents must be a wonderful thing to see as an educator.  

In our conversations both educators candidly shared their personal views on Inchainge Connect and GSC while also providing us with insights into experiential learning and its potential. In their opinion both events opened up a wider horizon for experiential learning – where on one hand experts were discussing its potential and on the other hand students were actively doing it. 

Eager to do it all over again! 

Both educators are eager to return to Inchainge Connect Educator Conference and the Global Student Challenge in the coming years.  

“Although it is not a huge conference with many topics, it’s a focused event. And within this focus there is so much to be discussed and it’s so valuable to exchange with others. So, I certainly have it on the list for the future.” – Prof. Neumann 

Prof. Lopes Martinez, too is looking forward to joining in the coming years. He is also up for sharing his experience and knowledge with the audience. He also added that as an educator he specifically enjoyed experimenting with everything himself first.  

“I think if you want to be successful, as a professor you have to play the business simulation games and you have to feel the same as the student try to do.” He mentioned that he wants to carry this knowledge forward.  

We are eager to expand our knowledge platforms and further grow our global community. We are definitely looking forward to the upcoming editions and the exciting people we get to meet. Are you? 

Let’s connect

Inchainge organizes global events that bring together experts, educators, professionals, and students to experience the multiple dynamics of learning by doing. Also, you get a chance to explore our business simulation games. Check out upcoming events!