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Friday, 20 March 2020

Women in Graphene meet in virtual reality

The Graphene Flagship Women in Graphene network held its fourth “Career Development Day”, a networking and training initiative, on March 18-19 in a fully virtual environment. Largely participated, it showed not only the interest for this kind of events, but also the great potentiality of virtual platforms for professional meetings. Dr Cinzia Spinato, of the ICN2 Business and Innovation Department, participated with a talk about bridging the gap between academia and industry.

On March 18-19, the Women in Graphene network of the European Graphene Flagship held the fourth edition of the “Women in Graphene Career Development Day”, an event aimed at fostering networking as well as at sharing career experiences and advice among the female professionals involved in the Flagship. The meeting was supposed to take place in Bologna (Italy) but, due to the travel and movement restrictions imposed to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus, a virtual reality venue was adopted. Thanks to the Virtway Events platform, speakers and attendants were able to share the space of a virtual amphitheatre through their 3D avatars, give their talks showing the slides on a screen, ask questions and interact.

During the first day of the event, women active in various fields of science, from research to project management, to technology transfer and entrepreneurship, shared their professional experience and point of view, showing a spectrum of different career opportunities related with science. As a special guest, Laura Kennington, a British endurance athlete and adventurer who is also an internationally known motivational lecturer, participated too.

Among the speakers was Dr Cinzia Spinato, of the ICN2 Business and Innovation Department, who talked about bridging the gap between academia and industry. Starting from her personal experience, she explained the role of the technology transfer officer and of the business development officer, showing how relevant and challenging the work of these figures is.

On the second day of meeting, an interactive negotiation skills workshop was organized, meant to provide and experiment with practical exercises strategies to negotiate, to present ideas with clarity and authority and to feel self-confident in professional and business meetings. Specifically designed for this event, this interactive negotiation skills workshop is one of the various actions put in place by the Women in Graphene network, which was launched during the Graphene Week 2015 with the objective of strengthening connections among the women involved in the Graphene Flagship and of addressing and discussing their specific professional needs.