The University of Barcelona (UB) students Nadia Iemolo and Alice Demattos were each awarded a scholarship by the UB Business School of the Faculty of Economics and Business at the UB to attend the Summer School on Management of Creativity in an Innovation Society, co-hosted by HEC Montreal, the University of Barcelona and Ryerson University. In this interview they both speak about their experience during this intensive two-week programme in which participants can explore and compare the creative and innovative ecosystems of Montreal, Toronto and Barcelona.

How was your experience at the Summer School on Management of Creativity?

Nadia Iemolo: My experience at the Summer School was fantastic. It was learning by doing. The Summer School is the perfect example of a creative ecosystem that allows and promotes innovation. What I enjoyed the most was the multicultural and transdisciplinarily of the participants, which promoted a unique working atmosphere. I also liked discovering so many examples of how companies –such as Cirque du Soleil and Spin Master– changed towards such creative cultures that made them successful.

Alice Demattos: If I had to summarise this experience, three words would be essential: passion, creation and collaboration. They do not only describe the Summer School, but they are also personal lessons taken from it.

Do you think that the skills and knowledge acquired during the Summer School will prove useful in your future academic and professional career?

Nadia Iemolo: Absolutely! My experience in change management of organisations and my inquiry and academic background in social transformation made me a professional with a special perspective on companies’ strategic and cultural challenges. That was how I learnt that creativity is a “must” for achieving better results either on business or social issues. During the Summer School, I gained a new viewpoint to approach and manage innovative ecosystems within the company and social organisations in general. It was the perfect environment in which I could learn how to improve my skills and knowledge.

Alice Demattos: As a matter of fact, I have been studying creativity as a process that can help peripheral communities to develop. Perhaps other participants could think that we were not in the same Summer School because their passion and future creation are located in other spaces. However, I was able to draw the tools that can support my dreams from this opportunity. Thanks to the Summer School I could put into perspective what I am passionate about and the way I (inter)act with this passion to create a future. The Summer School is not just about creativity stricto sensu: it is about the future that we are (co)designing.

Would you recommend the Summer School to you colleagues and friends?

Nadia Iemolo: Of course. If you like academic and professional challenges and enjoy making new friends while working hard in a fun atmosphere, the Summer School on Management of Creativity is your place.

Alice Demattos: Yes. The Summer School is an international community that, once you have experienced it, you belong to it. The participants are passionate people within their multiple and diverse backgrounds and career paths. Moreover, during the Summer School I had the opportunity to meet influential leaders, thinkers, designers, creators, managers, professionals and renowned academics. I cannot imagine any other opportunity where I could have given this chance.