Imperial College London

Business School students take fast fashion challenge in new teaching spaces

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students at Scale Space

Business School students inside the new lecture theatres at Scale Space. Credit: Marcus Ginns

Students tasked with creating more sustainable fast fashion were the first to use the Business School’s new lecture theatres at White City this week.

The students, from the MSc in Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Management gathered at the Business School’s new teaching spaces at Scale Space for the launch of a new Impact to Innovation Challenge. The theme of the challenge was fast fashion - inexpensive clothing that is rapidly produced by large retailers to meet the demand for the latest trends.

Taking inspiration from OpenIDEO’s Nike Grind challenge, students were split into teams and asked to come up with a solution for making fast fashion more waste-free by limiting the drain it creates on natural resources. These solutions could focus on ways to reuse materials at the end of their life, or different business models and ways of shifting consumers’ perceptions of fast fashion.

The challenge forms part of a new Personal Innovation Development Module that gives students the opportunity to consolidate their learning on design thinking and entrepreneurship and apply them to a real societal issue. The students are working on the challenge in partnership with the London chapter of OpenIDEO and the ICBS Business Design Studio.

During the Summer Term, each team will develop a solution to the challenge and create a five minute video submission. The winning team will get a £500 prize and the best solutions will be presented in a closing event at Scale Space on 13 August.

Using the latest technology from Imperial’s Edtech Lab, the event was simulcast across two new lecture theatres with active presenters in both rooms, with other students and presenters joining the discussion both in person and via Zoom.

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Business School students using the new lecture theatres at Scale Space. Credit: Marcus Ginns

The launch event took place in the Business School’s two lecture theatres at Scale Space, a new facility at Imperial’s White City Campus that houses leading scale ups in the technology, digital and life-sciences sectors. It is the first time that Business School students have experienced teaching at Scale Space since the partnership with the digital venture builder Blenheim Chalcot was announced last year.

"The moment you walk into the Scale Space building you can imagine buzzing group meetings in one corner and spontaneous networking sessions at the Hive café." Nele Wessels MSc Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Management student

Reflecting on the day, Dr Michelle Rogan, Academic Director of the MSc Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Management said: “Teaching at Scale Space was wonderful. The lecture theatres are light and airy and the technology is really excellent. With the simulcast set up, I could move seamlessly from one lecture theatre to the next, while staying connected with our remote students and speakers on Zoom. I would not have imagined having the ability to teach in this way only a couple of years ago.

“Being in close proximity to Blenheim Chalcot and their ventures that are also resident in Scale Space adds to the energy of the place. Given the limitations of the pandemic, we appreciate now more than ever the benefits of co-location for sharing knowledge. Scale Space is a real asset for those of us that teach about entrepreneurship and for our students who are starting their own ventures or aim to work with start up ventures.”

The Business School has 12,000ft2 purpose-built space at Scale Space dedicated to teaching and research and its MBA and Master’s degree programmes will have elements taught there. With nearly 360° screens and modern sofa-like seats, the lecture theatres are equipped to the newest standards. Scale Space will enable Business School students to become more involved with Imperial’s wider White City campus as well as forging connections with the scale up companies based with Scale Space and in the wider entrepreneurship community of White City.

Describing her experience of Scale Space, Nele Wessels, one of the students who took part in the challenge, said: “The moment you walk into the Scale Space building you can imagine buzzing group meetings in one corner and spontaneous networking sessions at the Hive café.

“If you need to grab a coffee or a hot chocolate in between lectures, you can find free coffee machines in the open area, as well as vending machines. I think Scale Space is a great place to study and work, as you have all the opportunities in one place.”

Reporter

Laura Singleton

Laura Singleton
Communications and Public Affairs

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Comms-strategy-Learning-and-teaching, Comms-strategy-Entrepreneurial-ecosystem, White-City-Campus
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