My R4i Experience: ILOUNO EMEKA EKPELU

From Anambra State Polytechnic, Mgbakwu

Having been in the academic pathway for a decade and counting, going for workshops and seminars across the nation, I thought that I had seen all there is to see regarding innovation in Nigeria. But stepping into Innov8 Hub for the Research for Impact (R4i) initiative, I was blown away. I never believed that such a world class center for birthing ideas into innovations really existed in Nigeria.

On seeing the Hub from outside for the first time, I thought that I had been brought into a factory or the regular places where I attend workshops, so I had zero expectations. But while I stepped into the Hub, my mindset automatically started reformatting, and it dawned on me that I am in for a life-transforming encounter through the R4i initiative. Taking a tour of the facility left me in awe; saying that I was impressed would be an understatement.

Beginning from the opening session and down to other sessions taken by a team of well-seasoned facilitators, R4i became an innovative full course meal that can carry one for a lifetime. It was really expository, an eye opener, motivational, interactive, fun, life-transforming and impactful, especially with regards to emotional intelligence. The different activities we engaged in during the R4i initiative such as: forming a team, brainstorming, group discussions, team work, individual assignments and many more were really engaging and highly educational. We all learnt from each other and also bonded more within and outside our teams. We became a family bonded by the innovative spirit.

I can authoritatively state with a 100% certainty that the β€œme” who stepped in here 10 days, ago with zero expectations, is leaving R4i as a transformed and motivated agent of innovations as I cannot wait to start putting all I have learnt into practice back in my Institution, community, state and the Nation at large.

Indeed, the R4i initiative was a valuable experience to me that will forever remain a reference point in my life, both professionally and personally. I wish to be back soon just like the popular Oliver Twist that will always want some more.

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