Week 3: Sustainability in the Big Apple

This was the final week of our New York course and adventure. This course went by way to fast. I think it would have definitely been useful and worthwhile to have one more week. We had interesting speakers this week and went on the most insightful company visits. This was my favorite week of the program.

The VISITS:

We visited an urban farm, Brooklyn Grange, a tech/prototype and food incubator warehouse, and the shared workspace “We Work”. We learned about the business side of rooftop farming, as well as some farming tips to be as efficient as possible. They also make a very tasty hot sauce from the peppers they grow =) The warehouse we visited in Brooklyn held a bunch of really cool food startups like Mama Cho’s Super Spicy KimChi, which is amazingly good. The main reason we visited the space was to see Brooklyn Research, which is also a type of shared space with a lab area and 3D printers for the ability to make prototypes. The company also makes technical/lighting/creative exhibits with sometimes incredibly short notice from their clients. We Work was a really cool co-working space. Unlike the accelerators we visited earlier in trip, We Work does not have a lengthy application process. They are also growing extremely quickly and have spaces all over the world.

We also had two really interesting company visits looking at two different aspects of real estate in NYC. A CEU Business alumnus, Ilona, gave us useful information on commercial buildings and how companies can most effectively find offices. She also gave us an overview on residential side, which was actually very complicated. The company visit to Rudin Managment gave us insight to the building owner and developer side- building innovations, energy saving innovations and techniques, how they differentiate their buildings and how they need to completely renovate some buildings to fill changing customer needs. I was really interested in how they were able to find creative ways to save on energy costs, for example, the Di-BOSS system, which uses many different sensors and can link the different systems within a building in a central location that can be accessed almost anywhere.

The SPEAKERS:

Danny Planko spoke to us about alternative education systems- the possibility of bypassing the University/College system. I think for many jobs university and graduate programs are used as weed out systems- when there are too many job applicants for available jobs. This alternative education system can help students gain tech skills after university when they cannot find jobs. Mike McGetrick has a marketing firm focusing on higher education. He outsources to Costa Rica unlike most companies in general that outsource to Asia (India, Philippines). This allows him to keep more control as it is closer and in similar time zone. My favorite speaker was Bob Zuber. He has a really interesting job that focuses on controversial issues and takes him all over the world.

All in all, this New York City course was awesome and valuable. I really hope it continues for future students.

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