Big thinking students win a trip to Commonwealth Bank’s innovation lab in Sydney

August 25, 2016

Think Big winners Team Instinct, with Richard Wiles (right) are off to Sydney

Think Big winners Team Instinct, with Richard Wiles (right), are off to Sydney.

Three Murdoch students have emerged from a two-day intense innovating thinking competition as the best amongst a high-calibre group of next generation thinkers at the University.

Think Big 2016 – an innovation initiative between Murdoch and Commonwealth Bank Australia (CBA) held on 18 and 19 August – saw 10 teams given three real-world problems, with just 30 hours to develop and pitch their idea to a panel of judges.

The top three teams received cash prizes and the winning team won a trip to visit the CBA’s new Innovation Lab in Sydney, where they will be joined by the winning team of students from Murdoch’s Singapore campus, to be mentored by industry professionals in ways to develop their concept further.

Team Instinct, made up of Murdoch students Callum Rideout, Jay Araya and Holly McWhae, were announced as the 2016 Think Big winners for their “Uni-verse!” concept. They won the $1,000 first prize and a trip to Sydney to see how the CBA go about innovation and look at what is in the future, an experience that Callum Rideout said would offer great professional exposure.

“I've heard the Innovation Lab is awesome – it will be great to work on Uni-verse! again,” said Callum.

“Uni-verse! is a simple solution to address some of the problems faced by virtual working groups to improve group culture. Simply, think of a cut-down, simplified and combined version of LinkedIn and Facebook living inside Murdoch's Learning Management System,” he said.

The students were taken through a very specific design thinking process; different to what many of them would have been accustomed to, leading them to the best possible solution for their real-world problem.

Callum was impressed by the passion and commitment shown by the Murdoch students participating in Think Big and said the challenges presented through the competition would only enhance the student’s future prospects.

“The calibre of students competing was very high, and I believe everyone who participated has improved their employability and is now better equipped for the real-world,” he added.

Richard Wiles, Director of Higher Education and Government at the CBA said Think Big 2016 was all about learning.

“It gives the students at Murdoch an opportunity to gain some valuable experience by taking part in something where their ideas lead to a solution to everyday problems. Not only that, this program gives us great exposure to great students with amazing ideas. We’ve certainly learned a lot from the program as well, which helps us traditional bankers think outside the box.

“It has been a challenging few days but the students have really enjoyed it. And the innovative thinking the students have delivered is amazing.”

Mr Wiles said the Commonwealth Bank’s vision is to excel at securing the financial wellbeing of people, businesses and communities.

“At Comm Bank we very much value collaboration, excellence and service. We are about innovation and education is a key pillar of that at a local level and on the national and international stage,” he said.

The event provided the students with a great opportunity to build up their network, meeting a vast range of mentors from industry and the University. Students were encouraged to tap into these resources to help with their problem-solving.

“Working through the innovation process was a great challenge, and the mentors did a good job of keeping us focused,” Callum said.

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Media contact: Luke McManus
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