January 30, 2014

Meetup Round 2: Together again

It felt almost as if we hadn’t seen each other in years, though it had only been three months since the last Meetup.

On January 12th, the Founding class reunited once again in chilly Chicago for our second Meetup. On that first night, we reflected upon our first term: Muffadal's permaculture odyssey to Australia and the Philippines; Carisa’s plummet into the depths of Alex Bogusky’s startup superfood company, SKOOP; April’s stretch into Product Development and Client Management at Doejo; Dane’s focus on highlighting the stories of female developers at DevBootcamp; and Joe’s event production exploration at Redmoon Theatre.

Class officially began the next morning at DIRTT Chicago. At Ei, we often stress the importance of space and DIRTT couldn’t have been a more perfect campus for our Meetup.

During the first week, the students conducted self-awareness interviews with members from their own community; crafted their learnings into engaging stories with Sandee Kastrul of i.c. Stars; continued working on the Ei bag with the talented crew over at Stock MFG Co.; and with the leadership of Aaron Wilson-Ahlstrom, they researched the co-working experience via the d.thinking method.

The d.thinking class continued into the next week with a presentation of prototypes for our friends at Workshop Chicago. There was no doubt that the second week brought on additional discoveries and opportunities. The students identified and explored their individual strengths with the guidance of Brandon Sammut, Ei’s new Mentorship Advisor; attended Story Club Chicago, where Muffadal was randomly chosen to tell a story in front of a packed room of strangers; developed a self-care plan with Kim Crutcher; learned more about community building with Alan Webb of Open Master’s Program; and participated in a budget friendly cooking class with Zullo.

On the very last day of the Meetup, we topped it off with a very special PechaKucha storytelling event sponsored by DIRTT Chicago and Leo Burnett. Each student compiled 20 slides at 20 seconds each and stood in front of an audience of friends to share their learnings from the past three months. From tying knots to herding cats, the students captivated the audience¬¬—6 minutes and 40 seconds at a time.

Check out more photos from event here

These Meetups are a truly special time for the entire Ei community. So, an immense thank you to all those who have stood by and supported us throughout this journey. And now, the students are off again to begin their next adventure. Stay with us and enjoy the ride.

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