Over the seven days of Donostia WeekINN, more than 4,300 people followed the events scheduled on live WeekINN TV video, or afterwards on the videos set up on the channel. The figures show that Innovation Week, organised by the Department of Economic Promotion through Fomento de San Sebastián, succeeded in adapting to the circumstances created by the pandemic, and provided a comprehensive, varied programme as a space for reflection and debate on the major challenges and key criteria to address the ‘superchanges’, the watchword for this year's event. After the event, Economic Promotion councillor Marisol Garmendia said "certain key issues for the city are being reinforced: putting people first, using technology and science as a tool to shape the future, driving enterprise and focusing on collaborative projects”. The event with the largest repercussion was ‘Female scientists of yesterday and today’, with almost 700 viewers.
Economic Promotion councillor Marisol Garmendia added that "against such a complicated backdrop, it is most satisfying that we were able to hold the Innovation Week, and adapt both the contents and the actual format. In due consideration of the challenges our city faces, we felt it was important to provide a space for reflection, knowledge and connection, to make a contribution to the task of devising and developing new bases for our model of life and work, putting people first at all times. And we did so, implementing new digital formats to disseminate and produce experiences and encounters to share ideas and address the superchange now upon us. This WeekINN has definitely helped us make a start on clearing a path, with formats that will help us move closer to people, businesses and all agents, to learn and be capable of carrying out projects towards the future, in a change of paradigm such as we are experiencing at the present time. which is stepping up the pace of trends which were already upon us, such as gradual digitalisation, the main feature of this WeekINN”.
San Sebastián's 7th Innovation Week was held between 24 and 30 October on the theme of 'superchanges', those historic moments marking a before-and-after in the history of humanity. This year's event focused on furnishing a response to the ‘superchanges’ by means of three interconnected criteria: people, technology and collaboration. The WeekINN was a 95% online event, with 24 activities scheduled: talks, debates, conferences, games and exhibitions. The topics addressed covered various areas such as the challenges facing trade and the digitalisation of trade, the future of large events, climate change and the food and agriculture sector, or new ways of meeting up online.
Some WeekINN figures:
- More than 1,000 students from 20 teaching centres in the city took part.
- More than 1,000 people signed up for the games and challenges organised online: Gymkhana, Escape Room and Minecraft.
- Visits to the WeekINN website were up by 26%
- New WeekINN website users rose by 64%
- 40% of connections to the WeekINN website were via mobile phones
The first activities took place on the weekend of 24 and 25 October, with a gymkhana inviting participation by means of panels set up around the city. An online escape room was also set up, where participants had to various enigmas relating to the history of the city.
On Monday 26 October, WeekINN hosted talks by Alicia Pomares, managing partner at the Humannova Group, who helped us reflect on personal skills for the future, and Ana Aldea, who dwelt on new ways of meeting up online. On Tuesday, MIT doctor in artificial intelligence Nuria Oliver gave a talk interrelating technology and data in connection with smart cities and the superchange. A round table was held on the same day on the future of large events, with Iñigo Argomániz (Getin), Joxean Fernandez (San Sebastián Film Festival), Iñigo Ibarnegaray (VOCENTO) and Begoña Larzabal (Real Sociedad football club), to discuss the need for adaptation to the new context in order to avoid paralysis.
The hospitality and retail sectors also had a space for reflection, with the premise of sectoral transformation through digitalisation. Another focus of WeekINN was Europe, including conferences and group encounters with, among others, Román Arjona, chief economist of the DG Research and Innovation at the European Commission, in a bid to define the challenges and opportunities facing the old continent. We also learned from success stories in other countries such as Estonia, in order to draw conclusions that could also be applied to Donostia.
One of the most successful events was ‘Female scientists of yesterday and today’, with talks at the Aquarium followed by almost 700 people. WeekINN also had a space for the challenge of designing the cities of the future in the wake of the pandemic, featuring a number of experts.
All the Innovation Week Videos are still available on its website, and on the YouTube channel WeekINN TV.