MAASTRICHT

BACK TO CITY

MAASTRICHT Posts

Claiming the spotlight in this week's City Focus is the historic city of Maastricht. Affluent in medieval-era architecture and Dutch culture, Maastricht has impressed us with their creativing thinking and love for the sciences. Having recently hosted their 35th Volume, there'll be more amazing content coming from the passionate and innovative minds of Maastricht. Best of luck to the organizers of Maastricht in planning Vol. 36! See you all there!

“Stunning!”, “Brilliant!”, “They managed to surprise us again!” These are some of the comments that were heard at this year’s PechaKucha event at Maastricht School of Management on Thursday 22 March. The eight students who took on the PechaKucha stage impressed the full audience of staff members and fellow students gathered in the business lounge with the personal and sometimes even intimate stories they dared to reveal.

PechaKucha is a concise and fast-paced presentation style that consists in using only 20 slides, and 20 seconds per slide, to share inspiring ideas or projects. Each year MSM and PechaKucha Maastricht team up to organize a special PechaKucha event for the School’s students and staff.

From writing a letter to your future self to embarking on a backpack journey around the world to managing a competitive cheerleader team from abroad to discovering the joys and challenges of gaming or oil painting, many speakers emphasized the value of embracing uncertainty and change. “Accept challenges and develop a positive and fearless attitude,” said Juan Carlos Ramonet Moreno (MM5). “Don’t get obsessed with a clear path and embark on a journey of self-discovery and continuous improvement,” advised Maria Kirichenko (MM5). “Value the importance of having a hobby and what you can learn from it,” highlighted Di Wu and Ramzi AlAshabi (MBA34). “Overcome your frustration and dare to change your career,” said Laura Sala Segura (MM5). Defining themselves as risk-takers, these five students showed how they all got energy and new ideas from pursuing their passions in life.

Natania Leongson (MM5) and Hai Dang (MBA34) delved into deep personal or global topics. “I would like to inspire you to shift your mindset about the concept of identity. Learn to view it not as something permanent or predetermined, but as a malleable, fluid, and constantly changing phenomenon,” Natania said. In her presentation, she used the metaphor of an Indian totem to show how identity can be seen as a series of experiences that continuously shape and color as we grow older. Hai revealed his profound love and sense of care for his home country Vietnam when he spoke about the Son Doong Cave, the world’s largest cave. “Exploring Son Doong with its extraordinarily rich and unique natural environment should be done with utmost care and in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner,” he urged.

Speaking last and bringing back his fellow students to their year at MSM, Praveen Saragadam (MM5) offered a straightforward and pragmatic tip, based on his personal experience: “Let’s suit up!” he exclaimed with a broad and enthusiastic smile. “In this changing world, the way we dress up has a significant impact on creating the first impression, so let’s suit up and build up our career!”

As every year, the event concluded with much joy and laughter when Oliver Olson, Director Global Education Programs, gave his now famous improvisation on random slides. Oliver used the opportunity to praise the students on their earlier performances and the stories they had shared: “It was wonderful to discover all these secret talents in the MSM family!”

 

By Sueli Brodin

"Some memories actually emerge to protect us from danger."

In "Can Memory be Restored?" from PechaKucha Night Maastricht Vol.31, Researcher from Maastricht University, Sarah-Anna Hescham shares new techniques that are being explored to manage and even restore memory loss. Remembering and forgetting are two important sides of the same coin that help us manage our day to day lives. But for some people, especially the elderly, forgetfulness is a common occurrence... Does a cure exist?

 Tanja Schell shows how powerful one of our most ignored senses is. We live in a world of scents. And we are influenced by them 24/7. All those scents influence our mood and our wellbeing, all of them. Even those we are not aware of. Scent is a hidden but powerful dimension which adds a strong sense of place to the urban space, it makes cities more attractive and more safe. After ages of reducing and controlling odour emissions in the city, time has come to develop a positive policy to use this invisible power.


“PechaKucha teaches us four important skills in management,” said Oliver Olson, director of Global Education, as he opened the fourth annual edition of MSM goes PechaKucha on Friday 17 March. “1. Following rules, 2. Being concise, 3. Public speaking, 4. Improvisation” Its strict format – 20 slides, 20 second per slide – forces you to think carefully about your message and to stay focused. At the same time, it allows you to practice your presentation and public speaking skills, and develop perhaps the most important one, which will help you throughout life in any situation, the skill of improvisation.”

Stimulated by these encouraging words, no less than 11 MBA and MM students took the PechaKucha stage at MSM in front of a full audience of staff, students, friends, family members and MSM stakeholders.

As always at MSM, their stories came from all over world, from Kenya to Peru, from Greece to Vietnam, from India to Chile and more. The students talked about topics that mattered to them and transformed the way they saw the world and the future, and the common point between all their stories was that although personal, they all had a deeper and universal value and meaning. We heard about what we can learn from observing birds in a city like Lima, how the financial crisis in Greece led to the development of new business ideas, why we should thank our enemies, the power of relationships, a successful financial product made in Kenya, and why education and life-long learning are key to making the world a better place.

T

The PechaKucha team in Maastricht complimented the students on their excellent choice of topics and slides. The strength of the PechaKucha format lies in the combination of an authentic message and powerful images. The presenters scored high on these points, whilst keep their own presentation and delivery style. Some used humor, others metaphors, some walked up and down the stage, others asked questions to the audience. The dynamic and engaging pace of the presentations lifted everyone’s spirits on this Friday afternoon.

The event, perfectly organized by Pilar Gonzalez, ended – how else? – with a brilliant improvisation on random slides by Oliver Olson himself, who took the PechaKucha standards to yet a higher presentation level under huge laughter and applause from the public.

All presentations will be online soon, don’t miss them!

 

By Sueli Brodin


"I started teaching, because I try to make students be able to apply their research, understand what it can mean for business."

In "A Researcher Gone Practical" from PechaKucha Night Maastricht Vol. 31Tessa van Asselt explains why academic insights should be used for business, and how research can be practically applied to business strategy. Tessa recalls the challenges she faced while trying to apply her research knowledge and methonds to a real-world project, and shares her passion about teaching and helping students to make links between research and business.

"Some memories actually emerge to protect us from danger."

in "Can Memory be Restored?" from PechaKucha Night MaastrichtVol.31, researcher from Germany at Maastricht University,Sarah-Anna Hescham wants to show us new ways that are being explored to deal with and even restore memory loss. Remembering and forgetting are two important sides of the same coin that help us manage our day to day lives. We do not need to remember everything, just what is important. But for some people, especially older people, forgetfulness can happen more often... Is there a cure?

The Teacher Who Learned to Listen


"Teaching isn’t just about bestowing substantive knowledge to students. It’s about teaching them and giving them experiences that Google can’t."

It is easy to grasp the concept that communication is a two-way street but how many of us really put the theory into practice? How easily do we fall on the default of just trying to put our point across, specially if we think about education?

Mark Kawakami is passionate about teaching and also describes himself as a failed comedian. In The Teacher Who Learned to Listen from PechaKucha Night Maastricht Vol. 31, he shared what conclusion he came to over the years of teaching.

"How did we get to grow mushroom on used coffee grounds?"

In "Growing Mushrooms in Coffee" from PechaKucha Night Maastricht Vol.30, as an event organizer and urban farmer Alexander Elichner tells us the story behind his ideas and ways to grow mushroom on used coffee grounds. He give us the tips and how to applies a sustainable and circular approach to farming! Do you want to find out how? 


“Somehow as we grow up, art disappears out of our lives. This is the story of how art reentered mine.”

In "Simple as ABC, Art for Behavioural Change!", from PechaKucha Night Maastricht Vol. 31, Prof. Shyama Ramani addressed the major problems of Indian villages - open defecation and littering of public spaces. Policy makers are helplessly wondering how to bring about behavioural change. Shyama proposed that communal art forms can be used as an instrument of behavioural change. How? Listen to this talk to find out.

Prof. Shyama Ramani of UNU-MERIT has been voted one of the #100 Women Achievers of India in the category of ‘Hygiene and Sanitation’.

VIEW MORE