jovoto brings together talented creatives from around the world to collaborate on projects and solve a design or innovation problem for big brands and NGOs. By taking part, members can be awarded not only money, but also a number of additional bonuses, including career-defining trips.
Last year, jovoto creatives Claudiu Pantiru (pikART) and Ion Ciobanu (c5llonn) received a special experience award, which rewards talent for outstanding submissions in a project. The friends and roommates from Romania talk exclusively to us about this defining experience, which took them to TEDxWanChai, Hong Kong. Plus, they share insights from their journey to inspire other budding jovoto creatives!
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How it all started
Claudiu and Ion met in 2011 while studying at the G. M. Cantacuzino Faculty of Architecture in Iași, Romania. However, it wasn’t until they discovered a shared passion for creative solutions, through jovoto, that their partnership really came to life.
They were excited when they heard about the “Artificially Enhanced Banking” project with Deutsche Bank. The task was to improve the banking system using digital solutions. The global bank was looking for ‘disruptive ideas’ that responded to the digital revolution.
The pair discussed ideas as a team on jovoto and discovered that they shared a similar vision. Their approach was to use artificial intelligence (AI) to help improve the way people bank and manage their finances in the future. Futuristic, yet simple enough to develop, their proposal was well considered with depth and detail, winning them a trip to TEDx for their outstanding contribution.
As is commonplace with a number of projects on jovoto, finalists are invited to present their ideas to the client’s top-level management and attend a three-day innovation workshop. There were 27 awards from a €25 000 prize pool. Claudiu and Ion won a €5000 Jury’s Choice and a €750 Community Award for their idea – and the special experience award.
The duo credit their success in the project to the strength of their partnership. They worked together on a number of creative projects on jovoto before their final success, each one teaching them new skills, all the while strengthening their collaborative bond.
“Collaborating is awesome. It provides experience in managing diverse situations and how you cope under pressure. It forces you to consider your teammate’s opinion too. It’s a must for any creative and makes working fun!” said Ion.
The duo emphasise that their way of working involves listening to each other’s feedback, challenging thoughts, but coming together to create robust results.
TEDx in Hong Kong
For their efforts in the “Artificially Enhanced Banking” project, Claudiu and Ion were awarded a once-in-a-lifetime trip to a TEDx event of their choice, in the world, courtesy of jovoto and Deutsche Bank. The inspirational talks have become iconic in the world of business, and the opportunity to attend a global TEDx was a dream come true.
They settled on TEDxWanChai, as it provided the perfect platform to explore Asian culture that they have a shared interest in. Ion said: “When we discovered that the TEDxWanChai event in Hong Kong had a ‘cultural crossroads’ theme, we instantly knew it was the right option for us.”
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Reporting back from the conference, Claudiu and Ion were fired up and inspired, admitting that nothing could have prepared them for the educational journey and that TEDxWanChai exceeded their expectations.
Claudiu said: “The quality of professionalism of the organizers, the attention to each aspect of the event, and the wonderful stories each of the speakers came with filled us with so much energy and inspiration to design great things in the future.”
Among their favourite speakers was Dr. Mike North, an entrepreneurial spirit, and innovator in engineering, design, television, and medicine. At one point, his conversation turned to the internet and AI, which resonated with the duo.
From global leaders to local thinkers, acclaimed artists to entrepreneurs and environmentalists – all were present at TEDx. Claudiu and Ion were excited to meet creatives from different cultures and backgrounds. In doing so, they realised that jovoto provides a similar platform – just an online version of it!
The pair found their trip a cultural education as well. They enjoyed meeting Hong Kong locals at events and sampling cuisine not often found in Romania. Ion said: “It was pretty fun to get to know a different part of the world. We got the chance to exchange more ideas and thoughts than before about our future challenges.” During the week-long trip, the friends were able to strengthen their working partnership as well through their shared experiences and learnings.
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Discovering the future
The Hong Kong trip left a deep mark on Claudiu and Ion. It also provided an opportunity for the pair to reflect and recharge. It has inspired them to take up new opportunities and build on their past collaborations.
What they learned most from the experience is how inspiring it is to be surrounded by a hub of creative people from diverse backgrounds, all open to sharing challenges and ideas. It has encouraged them to reflect this in the future work they do – especially being open to other perspectives.
Above all, they have learned to embrace problems as new ways to discover the future. The team will continue to connect with the creative and innovative global community on jovoto.
Claudiu summed up his trip by saying: “The special awards are a great incentive for any jovoto creative, and we hope to achieve more recognition like this in the future. Awards that incorporate travel are the most valuable kind – more so than any other prize. Visiting new places helps you reflect, discover different perspectives – sometimes even more efficient responses. We are really grateful to jovoto for honoring us with this opportunity.”
So what have Claudiu and Ion learned from their experience on jovoto so far? “Be prepared to do your very best for any project you enter into. This motto motivates us and drives our creativity when we work on projects on jovoto or elsewhere,” commented Ion.
They also recommend finding strong collaboration partners and working with different people from diverse backgrounds to improve your offering – especially those who share similar values and goals.
Claudiu and Ion’s approach is to read a brief and start brainstorming ideas immediately using a mood board. It takes a day or two to refine the idea, alongside some draft sketches. Once they both reach a place they are happy with, they craft the final layout for submission.
Feel inspired? Want to follow in Claudiu and Ion’s footsteps? – join jovoto today and get access to career-enhancing experiences and opportunities!
All images provided by Claudiu Pantiru and Ion Ciobanu.