The battles are on
For some it has been a long lazy summer, enjoying far away places, coach-potating the Olympics or simply enjoying the rather fickle Dutch climate. For others, the holidays are nothing more than a vague conception of what may be indicated as having time off. And addressing the latter group of colleagues I hope that their effort will proof successful in the next couple of days. Yes dear reader, I am addressing those who organize the Media Battle and the Museum Battle. These battles are harsh confrontations of teams of students from the Universities of Applied Sciences of Utrecht and Enschede. Two simultaneously fought over struggles with realistic briefings. It is a true pressure cooker of near three hundred mostly enthusiastic bachelor graduates who solve rather complicated media and communication problems. The one battle is called the Media Battle, the other the Museum Battle. Let me elaborate briefly.
The Media Battle is organized within a research program of our research group called ‘City Center Entrepreneurs’. In this program we are pretty keen on getting insight in how digital media, and in this context specifically cross and social medial – have an effect on shops in city centers with ancient and truly beautiful Utrecht as one region of study and eastern country city Enschede as a second object of research. As far as our research group is concerned, amongst having been able to serve at least a dozen entrepreneurs in Utrecht and Enschede with superb (conceptual) communication solutions, three students graduated in the research program and not less than sixty-some under-graduates worked on the issue. Besides these regular forms of education, the minor Mobile Business Design also took on the challenge of solving serious and complicated modern marketing communications issues for no less then half a year.
The museum battle has the same set up as the media battle but serves renowned museums in rather complicated quests that are similar to the problems entrepreneurs in city centers have to face up to. AS we are on the verge of new assignments, I can only recall last year’s briefs of institutions like Museon, a leading anthropologic trying to support the process of assimilation of Polish emigrants in The Hague. Or Utrecht’s Historical Archive. It won’t be long before the activities of ‘De Vrede van Utrecht’ (The Treaty of Utrecht) will see their start. Our students developed a mobile Internet based app (regardless the operating system of one’s smartphone) to walk around and be informed about the kinky and naughty details of ambassadors to their sovereigns some three hundreds years ago; the World’s first bilateral treaty (please don’t shoot me on historical details). And there are many more terrific examples of “problem solved” that came out of this battle.
Today we start the next battle and having hardly anything to do with the organization (and that is a lot better that way), I wish all fair games, lots of fun, creativity and inspiration. To Frank Meeuwsen, Karin Hillhorst and their organizing team I say: well done so far! To the students I say: “go for it, think in terms of strategy before you chose media. Play the Media Strategy Game, available at Hal 16, your work space for three days (Tuesday till Thursday)”. And to the museums and entrepreneurs I say: “listen well to the solutions offered. There is most likely an answer to your problem”.
Let the Battle commence!