Digital Okanagan's PIVOT 2013 Recap

The morning of January 26th started early for those attending the launch of Digital Okanagan’s PIVOT 2013. Students and instructors at our Kelowna campus along with industry professionals gathered at the school to prepare for a day of problem solving, education and networking.

PIVOT consisted of guest speakers, group projects, and of course a series of “pivots” to encourage participants to think on their feet. 

Pivot 2013 Recap

Digital Okanagan board member Mica Knibbs, who is a Graphic Design & Web Development grad and local business owner, led the event. PIVOT was a daylong workshop geared towards educating participants on how take changes aka “pivots” that occur in the workplace and successfully navigate through them.

After a brief introduction, Mica quickly organized everyone into groups and gave each group a hypothetical workplace situation in which he randomly threw pivots into. Each group was encouraged to think outside of the box and instructed that anything goes!Pivot 2013

The first pivot was having a group member replaced with one from another group. There was little warning of the pivot as groups were merely instructed to ensure that everyone had a copy of the group’s notes. Once the switch was made, new group members were quickly integrated into their new homes. 

A couple of the groups went off campus to question local businesses to get better insight into their assignment. One group visited the local SPCA while another visited Mega Bites and Bean Scene to acquire additional information. 

Once everyone made their way back to campus, it was time for lunch. Lunch gave participants the opportunity to network and share their experiences with other groups.
Lunch also provided Mica and the rest of the PIVOT 2013 team with the opportunity to have participants volunteer to take part in a dance off. Volunteers showed off their rock star, vogue and waltzing dance moves (just to name a few!) as a board of judges determined the winner. 

After lunch it was back to work. Groups finalized their projects and got ready to present in front of their peers. Each group assignment was very different and in having such diverse groups brought fourth many unique and creative ideas.

Once the presentations were complete and the winning team was announced, Pivot participants were seated to prepare for the two guest speaker presentations of the day.

First up was Andrew Greer, Business Development Manager of Accelerate Okanagan. Andrew discussed the numerous programs offered through Accelerate Okanagan that provide the opportunity for individuals with similar interests to connect and further expand their professional networking circle. Programs range from Gaming & Animation Industry coffees to an evening dedicated to gamers, giving them the opportunity to sit down for a casual beer to discuss the latest and greatest in the gaming world.

Next to the stage was Stephan Wiedner, COO, Co-Founder and Head Coach of Noomii. Stephan started his presentation with a group exercise where he gave the group a sequence of numbers. They were then asked to guess the next sequence of numbers and based on whether or not they got that sequence correct, determine the next few sequences in order to determine the rule for these numbers. Many participants believed the rule was the numbers went up in multiples of two as that was what the first sequence of numbers did. Stephan informed the group that the actual rule was that each sequence of numbers had to ascend, not necessarily by multiples of two. 

This exercised proved that often, when we believe we are doing something correctly, we often don’t search for alternate methods of accomplishing our goal and stick with the methods we believe to be effective.

Stephan then shared his experiences with pivots in the workplace. Stephan had been a part of a couple different companies before Noomii became established and successful. He explained how he had to look at his work tactics from a different point of view in order to become successful as his current method wasn’t leading him to achievement. Stephan emphasized the importance of not being married to your idea and to seek insight from surrounding sources in order to gain better understanding of your project. 

After a day full of networking, dancing, exploring and problem solving, PIVOT 2013 participants left the workshop feeling empowered, motivated and educated. This great workshop put on by industry professionals is sure to become a highly sought out annual event! 

Check out photos from the event on flickr!

About Digital Okanagan

Digital Okanagan is a community of designers, developers and communicators who share a passion for digital media, education, innovation and collaboration. Digital Okanagan is a non-profit organization and hosts various events in the city to promote networking among creative minds alike. For more information or to learn more about volunteering and membership, you can visit their website.

About Accelerate Okanagan

Accelerate Okanagan’s mission is to help develop and support a vibrant entrepreneurial, creative and innovative technology community as well as offer programs that support entrepreneurs and technology companies looking to start, accelerate and grow. For more information and to learn how you can join today, visit Accelerate Okanagan.