Four seasons in one day

It’s been a few weeks since our induction into the world of REACT and our first Sandbox event and it’s time we got cracking with our blog. We’re going to be backtracking a bit here, as we’d like to get started by exploring our initial expectations as we tip toed into REACT for the first time. Next though, one of our team (Ross) has been lucky enough to nip over to the US, so stay tuned for fan stories afoot.

The first Sandbox Event. What did we expect? Well, other than bringing along our beloved idea, our team and the notion that we had to get started - that was it in a nutshell! Up until this point we had only been able to meet briefly (pesky work getting in the way) and then suddenly there was this 3-month deadline looming. On the one hand we were hugely excited, on the other there was the realisation that we now had to get something done…

The whole process - from the initial idea, the ideas lab, through to the interview and actually getting through the REACT process? Well, it seems to keep you so busy that when it actually comes to starting the project, you almost feel as if it’s already been done!

Big mistake.

Getting over that ‘mini issue’, the introductory workshop was so much more that we could have expected. First and foremost it was absolutely wonderful to see the other teams involved; there seemed to be so many more people in the room than anticipated. Everyone was energetic, enthusiastic and pretty inquisitive in terms of the nature of each other projects. There was an overall feeling of excitement – a real buzz in the room. 

Reality hit hard as one of the first slides to be shown had a rather ‘up and down’ chart displaying what would (most certainly) lie ahead. Pretty sure the room went quiet at this point. Anyway, we didn’t have to wait long for that little nugget to hit home! Sure enough by the end of the following day we’d pretty much seen the up, seen the down, seen the up again (probably best to finish on the up). Yikes.

What this event did though was to take us on a very insightful journey. It was a 2-day intensive - focusing on getting to know each other, exploring our ideas / our differences / our individual needs and essentially giving us an insight into how we might work together. This is an essential aspect of the project but really just the starting point. What we were also able to experience was how other teams were working, which allowed us to be inspired, gather feedback, learn and listen – with very big ears! 

The concept of REACT and the funding opportunities that bring together such a unique and diverse group provide for endless possibilities. The difficult bit here is looking at exactly what is achievable within the time frame available. Flip that over, it is also the exciting bit, because if we could achieve xxx in 3-months, just think what we could achieve in a year…

Note to self: do not get overambitious!