The yearly event we look forward to the most at Idea Fund is our annual Dessert—a time to talk with the Dickinson community about campus developments in sustainability and innovation, all over delicious sweets. This year, we switched the Dessert up from years past, dropping “formal” from the name and loosening the expectation of professional dress. The result: an event on October 9th that we felt was open and welcome to all
We gathered to mingle in the Stern Great Room, enjoying cupcakes, cookies, and coffee from the Peddler—one of the most well-known student projects that got its start from Idea Fund.
While eating our desserts, we had the chance to hear from Myles Parker ’19, co-director of Idea Fund, about the current state of the organization. Myles spoke on past projects, like The Hive, The Handlebar, and The Peddler, and what’s ahead this academic year. One featured initiative: the Kitchen Colloquium, which aims to stock the kitchens of living spaces with common sets of cooking supplies.
We also heard from two first-year participants in Idea Fund’s 2018 Kickstarter Pre-Orientation, Jooeun Song and Ian Greenawalt. This program for incoming students focuses on innovation and entrepreneurship at Dickinson, culminating in a “Shark Tank”-style idea pitch. The two explained their creative concept of an app that would display opportunities for engagement in the Carlisle community.
The highlight of the night was an engaging activity led by organizers of IC@D, the annual Innovation Competition at Dickinson. Each spring, teams of interdisciplinary students pitch their ideas for innovations through IC@D to a panel of alumni, faculty, and staff judges, with the winners receiving a $1,500 prize. This semester, IC@D is hosting Idea Creation Workshops—gatherings of students who are paired into teams which tackle problems on campus, with the winners receiving a prize.
IC@D hosted their own Idea Creation Workshop at our dessert, centered around the question “What can the Idea Fund do to more effectively encourage innovations by Dickinson Students that will benefit the College community?”. With gift cards to Helena’s Creperie on the line, dessert attendees got to work, organizing themselves into three teams and quickly brainstorming ideas.
Each team then presented their solutions to the whole room and a panel of judges. The finished concepts featured whiteboards of student suggestions in the dining hall, a March Madness-style tournament between student ideas, and the ultimate winner—a workshop space in the library, with tutorials led by professors and students.
All of us at Idea Fund would like to thank everyone who took the time to come out to share desserts and ideas this year. We’re looking forward to seeing you at our future events, including our December Art Fair! And if you couldn’t get enough of the innovative challenge of IC@D’s workshop, be sure look out for their upcoming gatherings as well.
Claire Jeantheau ’21, Marketing Team Member