Having secured a place as one of the top 16 innovators on the program, the candidates got a chance to prepare themselves mentally and emotionally for the competition ahead during a specially designed ‘orientation week’ that will also allow them to get to know themselves and one another better.
Overlooking Doha’s expansive West Bay area, Host Khaled Al Jumaily stood on the helipad of the ‘Tornado Tower’ to congratulate the candidates for making it this far in the competition. The candidates were introduced to their first 3 mentors, motivational and personal development trainers, Neil Almond, Hanan Nagy and Mohammad Al Hayder, who will be supporting them throughout the week ahead.
Trainer Mohammad Al Hayder kicked off the week with a workshop that dealt with setting ground rules that would help the candidates to co-exist in the workshop. Sitting in the green spine open area of Qatar Foundations Education City, he asked the candidates to close their eyes and point their fingers in the direction that they considered north. By doing this exercise, Mohammad was able to highlight to them how important it was to recognize that people have a different map of the world and as they were going to have to co-exist in the workshop, reminding them it was essential that they agree which direction North is ahead of their journey to avoid miscommunications later.
The next day, the candidates headed to the Museum of Islamic Arts to explore the resourcefulness of a few inventors that changed the world - Ibn Firnas, Ibn Sina, Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell. Led my orientation week trainer, Neil Almond, the candidates grouped themselves in fours, before they embarked on some research and brainstorming with their almost life sized cut outs of their chosen inventor.
Hind & her group were the first to start sharing their findings about the resourceful characteristics that they believed helped Alexander Graham Bell achieve success.
Hicham S & his group were next with Ibn Sina
Jenan spoke on behalf of her group about Thomas Edison
The final inventor to be explored was Ibn Firnas with Ahmad’s group, who revealed that the most important traits that they found in Ibn Firnas was that he had ultimate curiosity and believed that everything is possible therefore one should never give up.
Orientation week would not be complete without a thorough self evaluation from each candidate, therefore trainer Hanan Nagy presented the next mission, ‘The Wheel of Life’. Each candidate learned about their strengths and weaknesses by ranking themselves from 1-10 in areas like confidence and communication skills, dropping a mini magnet of themselves on a bespoke ‘Wheel of Stars of Science’. Hanan stressed that the wheel would be living in the workshop to remind the candidates of the growth they will be experiencing over the next couple weeks. During this activity, Iyad admitted that has a problem with focusing and Maha said that although she is a great listener, she needs to work on expressing herself more.
To sum up the conclusions of Orientation week, and ensure the candidates were clear about their personal goals and missions, trainer Neil set the candidates on their biggest challenge yet with life affirming wooden boards that would act as a powerful metaphor for breaking through their barriers and re-enforce their resolve. Each candidate customized their 1 inch thick wooden board with their goals and fears before learning how to successfully break through-it with their hands.
Prior to entering the workshop for the first time, the candidates enjoyed a day on the high seas inside a traditional Dow boat, and were given a surprise visit by season 1 winner, Bassam Jalgha, who encouraged everyone to really enjoy the adventures ahead and make the best of their time in the contest.