Monday 13. October
09.00: Microsoft Innovation Center
We first went to the Microsoft Innovation Center where we met up with three of the employees at the center. We were told about the work Microsoft do in Brussel and also how they work internationally. Right now, they are working on developing programs that can be used for learning purposes. Also, they have developed a program that can be used in recovery training, and as a virtual physiotherapist. This program is connected to the gaming console Kietic and is designed as a game where the moves required in the game correlates with the movement the person need in his or her recovery training or physical training.
The Microsoft employees also talk about the importance of safety and privacy settings, and how they are constantly working on improving the safety of their users/costumers. Because Brussel is the European centrum for rulemaking it is important for Microsoft to have both a location and lobbyist who tries to influence different politicians to also listen to their thoughts and experiences.
In-between the visit at Microsoft Innovation center and NHO there were individual lunches where the students and the teachers could eat or go sightseeing.
14:00 NHO with Ingvill Sjøvold Nilsen
At NHO we met with a woman who told us about how NHO works in Brussel, and why it is important that they are situated so close to the EU parliament. Because the decisions made in the parliament also affects Norwegian firms and organizations, and how NHO works it is important that NHO are up to date on the things that are happening in the parliament, and what decisions are being made. NHO are also working to have an impact on what are being decided in the parliament.
Last stop of the day was the parliamentarium. This is a place where you can learn about how the EU parliament works, the whole history of the European Union and how the organization has evolved through the decades. The parliamentarium is built as a kind of virtual guided tour. You are given a pair of headsets at the start of the tour, and through the whole tour you can connect them at certain stops along the tour and listen to educational information in your own language. The tour gave a lot of different ways of learning about the EU through different games and exercises along the tour.
In the evening we had a shared dinner with both the classes and the teachers at the Belgian Queen. We had a 3 course meal. It was a lovely evening with everyone togheter.
Tuesday 13. October
08:30 Agder Energi with CEO Jan Pedersen
We started this day with a presentation of the CEO of Agder Energi. He told us about their green project “grønn energi” which have been established using only trainees. He also told us about how the electricity marked are changing and how companies like Agder Energi are working to keep up with this changes, for the private persons them self. These changes are coming as a result of more alternative sources to acquire electricity. Like wind mills and solar panels. This lead the original electricity companies to find new solutions for their costumer, that fit their new and different needs concerning electricity.
12:00 Leuven University with Geert van Hootegem
At Leuven catholic university, we met with Professor Geert van Hootegem, who welcomed us with a nice lunch. He told us about some of the projects that the university has been working on. One of these projects was a project concerning minimizing health risks in certain professions. The university had been working on developing models that would be used to uncover reasons for health risks, and how changing the work environment and how specific tasks were being executed could minimize and limit the health risks and therefor make people able to stay employed for a longer time period. In the end of the session, he opened up for questions and discussions.
14:30 City tour
We wandered around Leuven for about one hour together with Professor Geert van Hootegems assistant, where he showed us the city of Leuven, before we went to the airport.