19th March 2014

Helping at GeoVation Camp is quite addictive!


Shona QuinnToday’s blog is from Shona Quinn, a Market Analyst in our Products and Innovation department and one of our graduates from last years recruitment scheme.

Just over two weeks ago, ten teams – each with a bright idea to help encourage active lifestyles – descended on Ordnance Survey Head Office in Southampton for GeoVation Camp, where around 15 Ordnance Survey helpers were waiting to advise on Ordnance Survey data and help the teams to develop their ideas.


After a great experience helping at a previous GeoVation Camp, I knew that I definitely wanted to help out again – the buzz in the atmosphere at camp is quite addictive!  There were several of us ‘returner’ helpers, showing that GeoVation is an inspiring event to attend whether you’re a helper or a member or an ideas team. And thanks to more new helpers this year, there was more support for each team than ever before. Every team had at least one Ordnance Survey helper with them all weekend, so there was dedicated assistance available for the teams throughout the camp.


Helping medal routes develop their ideas


This new development in the camp process worked well – allowing the teams and helpers to really concentrate on identifying the ‘problem’ that each idea was solving, the ‘solution’ that the team was providing or proposing, and their method of ‘execution’ to make their solution happen.  I also had chance to help several different teams practice their pitches on the Sunday morning of camp and it was great to see how each team worked and find out about the solutions they were proposing to help us all live more active lifestyles.

Jack Harrison, a Product Developer here at Ordnance Survey said it was “fantastic crash course in design thinking and provided a fresh way of looking at business planning. It was exhausting, but seeing the pitches come together on Sunday was inspiring and I look forward to seeing what the winners can produce going forward”.

The best thing for me was the experience of working in an environment that was dynamically different from my everyday work and for helping the Idea team/Innovators create a successful bid for funding. I felt a great sense of satisfaction knowing that I’d helped evolve the team’s idea into a winning bid.’ said James Terry, Technical Product Manager

The GeoVation process itself is really interesting, and makes the event hugely valuable to all the teams at camp.  It was great to see the development of all the ideas over the course of the weekend.  No matter how much the teams had prepared for camp beforehand, following the GeoVation process made each clearer and stronger, ready to pitch for funding on Sunday afternoon.  There has already been talk amongst the Ordnance Survey helpers about trying out some of the process to develop our own ideas!

It was an exciting and exhausting weekend, but I think we all came away from the event inspired by the ideas and enthusiasm of the teams involved.  I’m looking forward to see what all of the teams go on to do next!

More information about the GeoVation Camp see our blog: Challenging our finalists to build exciting ideas to get active

Shona Quinn