Global Technology Innovation Contest

I was honoured to be asked to be one of the judges at Accenture’s Europe Innovate for Talent final last week. To be honest I was surprised to get the invitation and found myself in illustrious company with a strong dose of imposter syndrome. Why, I feel an imposter I am never sure.

Like any company, Accenture likes its acronyms and initials, with the full title being EUROPE ATC GTIC Final Event – Innovate for Talent Jury. It took me a while before I worked out that ATC stands for Accenture Technology Centres and GTIC was the contest itself. 

I’m not going to talk about the ideas that came out of the contest as I promised I wouldn’t. Most had commercial value and it would be wrong to give such assets away. They were amazing though, well thought out and highly technical, all based around helping talent management within Accenture, its current and future clients.

I can talk about the contest however. It was held in a Metaverse style app with a stage and breakout areas. Each team was given a short time to present followed by an even shorter Q&A from the jury. There were nine pitches in total and I must admit that it was hard to concentrate on each one even though each was only presented for a relatively quick time.

The first thing I wanted to say is how everything was presented in English, even though there were teams from all over Europe, as well as further afield. Each team was multinational. Presenting in a competition in your own language is stressful enough but doing it in another adds another dimension of complexity. Add to this the inevitable technical challenges that arise in an online event and 

Nearly all of the ideas were based upon artificial intelligence (AI) and many were set in a Metaverse environment. This is not natural to me and still looks like technology for technology’s sake yet there is clearly a huge amount of work going on and it can only get more realistic and useful over time. It has captured people’s imaginations and I can see a time when we talk about Metaverse natives and Metaverse immigrants. There will also be those people who get left behind.

It is clear  that a lot of extra-curricular activity has gone into these ideas and that Accenture has dedicated people all around the globe, working hard to build a sense of community in an increasingly online environment. This is hard and these tools were an attempt to make the task easier. Somehow though, the people need to come before the technology and not the other way around.

My head hurt after the session!

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