Our Spring Semester Innovative Consulting teams have been hard at work wrapping up development of their recommendations for each of their clients over the past few weeks. Here is an update!
With only two working weeks left in our program for students this spring, they have been busy writing drafts of their final reports, creating final presentations, and meeting with their clients to ensure end deliverables are on par with desired scope outcomes presented at the start of the semester.
The infamous “Bomb Cyclone”, along with some other snowy weather obstacles prevented teams from meeting not once but twice over the past three weeks. Even so, each team made a marked effort to be present with their peers and complete assignments, regardless of in-person meeting time. Great job! Let’s go over a snapshot overview of the teams from the past few weeks:
The Altia team took time to visit with their client for a demonstration of technologies utilized in Augmented Reality of windshields. The team met with Barry, a representative with Altia who focuses on User Experience. He shared prototypes for design displays with the team. Focusing on the layout for key features like a speedometer, voice command, navigation, highlighting of pedestrians, bikers, and other vehicles, it was beneficial for the team to see those components in action. Altia also provided a brief demonstration of how a display could use face-tracking technologies to shift a display as a viewer moved. Our student team is conducting further research to solve the issue of outside moving simulation, for instance, another car in motion, to improve the responsiveness of the feature.
The team is also researching glass technology that would allow for Augmented Reality to be displayed on a vehicle windshield without issue. Some key new research directions unrelated to the demo include thinking about how government regulations could impact Augmented Reality in heads-up displays: will regulation ensure that the technology is placed for safety, or will it act as an additional distraction to driving? The team is also researching commercial vehicle applications and what that market looks like. The team has completed their first final draft of their report and will continue to hone in and refine details in the coming weeks, preparing for their final complete report to their client, Altia.
Food Access Team
Our Food Access Innovative Consulting team has also been hard at work collecting end of project information to assist them in making final recommendations for their client, El Paso County Public Health. Over the past few weeks, the team has had the opportunity to visit with “expert in their field” community members to explore programs already implemented in Colorado Springs and understand how the team can bridge the gap between them.
Stacy Poore, former COO of Care and Share Food Bank of Southern Colorado, visited the team to discuss feasibility of recommendations prepared, and more importantly, connected the group to resources and contacts Care and Share has to offer. The team walked away from their meeting with an understanding of how Care and Share operates, the differences between their organization and smaller ones such as Colorado Springs Food Rescue, and how the team can leverage each for the benefit of the county in addressing Food Access.
Although a formal partnership may not be needed to service those in the targeted food deserts, Stacy highlighted the potential for an El Paso County Public Health/Care and Share Food Bank partnership in which food education classes as well as food distribution could be handled directly between the county and the non-profit. Typically, Care and Share hosts one event per month with their partners. This means that a partnership could bring potentially 36 events into the three neighborhoods in Colorado Springs identified as most in need of intervention. Considering, too, that this organization has hundreds of partners, they would be able to provide both corporate and local resources to El Paso County Public Health without the county having to make those connections directly.
The team also met with Bo Bowale of Organic Soul Project to understand efforts already underway by Bo and his team to address Food Access specifically in South East Colorado Springs. Bo presented ideas and concepts to the group they had discovered and explored in their own research which was a great feeling. This meant the team was not only on the right track with possible recommendations, but also that they had a potential partner for El Paso County Public Health to explore in the future.
Meeting with these community field experts allowed the Food Access team to understand more wholly how their proposed solutions would best fit into each of the neighborhoods for their final report to El Paso County Public Health. Once the team identifies which recommendations would be most effective at increasing food access in each community, detailed financing, logistics and operation plans, as well and minimum viable product recommendations, will be presented as a best possible solution for each neighborhood.
Our Colorado Springs Utilities team has been working through deliverables for their client over the past few weeks. As with any consulting project, the possibility of scope changes is a reality. The Utility team has encountered several scope changes throughout the Spring Semester and due to their tremendous effort, are able to stay on top of work needed to reach their clients outcome goals.
The team received valuable feedback after their mid-point presentation from their client earlier this month. Examination and incorporation of feedback from their client allowed the Utilities team to formulate a work plan moving forward to best utilize the remaining weeks on the project. The team has completed a first draft and will continue working on refining that report until final presentation to their client at the end of this month.
Affordable Housing Team
Our Affordable Housing Innovative Consulting team presented their mid-term report to local representatives at the beginning of the month as well. The team presented five key factors of affordable housing which included: policy, capital, design components, land and inter-generational attributes. Each factor was researched over the first half of the semester and narrowed down to understand the main components needed to create a viable affordable housing program. The team completed a debrief after their presentation to ensure everyone was off to a good start on continuing research and refinement for the project.
The Affordable Housing project will continue to next semester with the Quad’s Summer Intensive Program. The current team is doing a great job providing a robust foundation for the next team to hone and refine. This will be vital to allowing the next team to further the development of the project. The current Affordable Housing team will complete more research on each of their recommendations, including analysis of additional opportunities, namely on the capability of a diversified income housing project.
Venetucci Farm Team
Last but not least, our Venetucci Farm team also completed their mid-point presentation to the Pikes Peak Community Foundation which summarized work completed by our Quad teams over the past three semesters (this team is the third and final team for the project) at the beginning of this month. The main focus of the presentation was to demonstrate the level of research done by the team and to give a sample of what the final deliverable would be: a comprehensive report outlining the past, present, and recommended future for Venetucci Farms. The presentation was well received and additional direction and clarification was given to the team.
After mid-point presentations were complete, the team incorporated feedback from their client and constructed the first draft of their final report. Information to be included in the final report has required prolonged contact with county and state officials and the team is looking forward to compiling the information for their client to be able to utilize at a later date. Work on this project is progressing well, and the team feels confident that the final recommendations presented will be what the Pikes Peak Community Foundation needs to keep Venetucci Farms a viable and involved organization in the Pikes Peak Region.