FedEx Express/ Junior Achievement International Trade Challenge 2022 国際大会出場者による『ITC2022挑戦の記録』シリーズの5回目は、高校1年生のKさんによる投稿です。新しいアイディアを創出することに苦労したというKさんは、この大会から何を学んだのでしょうか。
Signing up for ITC was easy.
I found a partner, thought of our team name, and filled out a form,
and that was it.
What I didn't have in mind was the difficulty of thinking new.
In both the Local Final, and the Asia Pacific Finals, the section our team struggled most with was coming up with our product ideas.
We would have a few ideas, find it on amazon, cross the idea out, and try to find a new one. Especially before the Local Final when we had a few weeks to think of our product, my teammate and I would spend hours walking around our classroom talking to ourselves about how it felt like everything already existed.
This felt questionable since when I was a toddler I would create crazy inventions out of cardboard and paper as a hobby, not even trying hard.
Well, how do we think out of what we live in (what exists)?
This was my question throughout the whole competition.
For my Local Final, we decided to expand on an idea/product which already existed, and came up with our product "LifeSver", which is a reusable health product made from pig iron and mulberry leaves that adds iron and limits absorption of sugars to lessen the risk of becoming anemic or diabetic. We researched traditional Japanese dishes that used pig iron for its effect, and also the influence of mulberry leaves to sugar absorption.
Here, we bumped into another problem.
The internet didn't have what we needed.
Until then, the internet had everything I needed. The weather, locations, time, products, etc. It was understandable that what we needed was not there since the product was something new, but I was really surprised to actually not find the information on the internet, and having to try finding something similar to what we actually needed.
For our Asia Pacific Finals, I was even more panicked by facing the fact that we only had two days to complete our task.
My new partner and I went a different route than what I previously had done. Not expanding on something that exists, but to completely think of the impossible, and then to check its possibilities.
Although this let us bring out a lot of ideas, only one or two were possible, and we decided on "CarbonSwap", a carbon-neutral steel tube that can be attached to cars' exhaust pipe, to lessen the amount of carbon dioxide emissions from cars.
With this product we could reduce greenhouse gas emissions of vehicles by over 70%! Doesn't that sound like the impossible?
Going back to the question I mentioned in the beginning, I really don't think there's anything I can do to think out of the box other than to not set norms inside myself.
Participating in this event really made me want to test myself on how different I can think, and how open I can be to new ideas. It was fascinating to see how difficult being an entrepreneur is, and the magnificence of our human minds that allow us to do this.