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SAP TechEd Madrid InnoJam 2012 opened its doors at 10AM this morning to a crowd of 56 participants. This is the second TechEd InnoJam for the season, after Las Vegas and before Bangalore. More than 60 participants from nearly 20 countries showed up at the Feria de Madrid  conference center on this Sunday morning for this 32-hour non-stop design and coding competition. They are supported by a large contingent of tech experts, Design Thinking coaches and SAP mentors, as well as tech experts from our event partners Microsoft (with Windows 8 tablets!) and RIM (with BlackBerry tablets!).

Madrid_4.jpgThe participants formed 9 teams, joining forces with people they had never met before to design, code and demo a working prototype over the next two days and one night on the theme “Better Cities – Better Lives”. The winning team will not only receive the very coveted SAP InnoJam winner shirts but will also present their demo on stage in front on thousands of TechEd attendees on Tuesday evening as part of TechEd DemoJam.

As soon as the welcome address was over, the participants started learning about and applying Design Thinking under the guidance of our Design Thinking coaches. The five challenges were prepared specifically for this event by our Design Thinking expert Hester Hilbrech together with topic expert Ulrike Kleifeld from SAP Industry Public Services. They all relate to improving public services and the lives of citizens in large cities.

Madrid_3.jpgRight now the participants are interviewing each others for the Research part of the Design Thinking workshop. Since we are all citizens of various cities, we all have a unique point of view to contribute to the discussion. There’s lots of energy in the room right now as participants go from one time-boxed Design Thinking task to the next. And for such a concentration of tech nerds, there are surprisingly  few laptops open! The blue glare of laptop screens, all too familiar from other technical conferences, is replaced with dozens of colorful post-it notes that start covering the flip charts, tables and walls of the room.

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In the next step they will review their findings, narrow them down to a few key insights and brain-storm the design of the prototypes that they will code overnight and throughout the day tomorrow Monday till 3PM.

Stay tuned as we introduce the teams and the 5 Design Thinking challenges around the theme “Better Cities – Better Lives”!

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