Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our fourth Training Week took place digitally. The week was packed with guest lectures, workshops, TREO Talks, administrative meetings and even a virtual pub session as well as a digital competition for the best homeoffice lunch.
The week started with a design thinking workshop held by Dr Patrick Brandtner. In this multi-day session, the PERFORM ESRs (Early Stage Researchers) used design thinking to develop innovative solutions to tackle consumer problems during the COVID-19 pandemic. Typical for design thinking, each group started with understanding the problem and to emphasize issues from different customer groups through personal interviews. The next step included summarizing the findings and defining the customer’s needs and requirements though Personas. Finally, the ESRs practiced the ideation phase by brainstorming of possible solutions and developing prototypes.
In another workshop presented by Dr Zohreh Pourzolfaghar, the ESRs had the opportunity to provide constructive criticism on each others academic work to practice giving meaningful feedback in a scientific context.
The PERFORM Network also adapted the International Conference on Information Systems’ (ICIS) concept of TREO Talks. TREO stands for Technology Research, Education, and Opinion. Hence, ESRs had the opportunity to present their own ideas or to share knowledge from these three fields. The TREO talks offered a great opportunity to enrich research ideas and to gather useful feedback or to find collaboration opportunities.
The final highlight of the week: On the last day, the PERFORM Network attended two inspiring digital guest lectures on the topic of AI and Neural Language Processing. The first lecture was presented by data scientist Katherine Munro from the company Smarter Ecommerce (smec) who consulted on the topic of “AI in Digital Marketing”.
The second presentation was given by the Head of Emerging Technologies Bernhard Niedermayer from the company Cloudflight who showed a broad overview of use cases of “AI in Industry”.
It was great to see that even in such troublesome times, there was plenty of room for digital socialising, for example during a virtual pub session and a digital cooking competition. Summarizing the fourth Training Week, even though conducted completely digital, it was a great success. Thanks to everyone for taking part and giving their best under such unusual conditions.