Festival of Learning 2015: The final day

The Festival of Learning 2015 finished with a bang, with a whole host of different free activities and workshops on the last day.

These ranged from the chance to try out velodrome cycling to a day of events looking at living well with cancer, and an exhibition of work by final year BU Digital Media Design students.

At Bring the Love Back! Emotional Branding and the hybrid consumer, attendees learnt how emotional attachment to brands and companies can influence consumer choices.

Social media consultant Lizzi Shaw was one of those at the event. She said: “It’s a really fascinating subject for me, particularly because I’m in the vegan world, which is very much with brands about the emotional connection rather than necessarily the functional properties of the product that they are selling, in terms of connecting with their consumers.

“It was great – really interesting, and I attended another event yesterday which was all about appreciative inquiry and both of them I’ve found brilliant, really useful and I can’t believe it’s for free.”

Other events looked at media literacy in secondary schools, and the Living Well With and Beyond Cancer showcase – a day of events organised in conjunction with Macmillan Cancer Support, Sport England and Active Dorset  – explored how health, fitness and wellbeing can benefit people living with cancer.

Students who have just finished the Digital Media Design degree at BU showcased their final year projects to the public and industry during the Festival – with everything from card games to an interactive website for expectant parents and an app to stop people missing their train station stops on display.

Oliver Efesopolos was exhibiting his project Vlepo, designed to help guide blind people.

“It detects obstacles using proximity sensors and then on the back of your neck are little, almost pressure pads, to tell you where an obstacle is and the angle it comes from,” he said.

“It’s an amazing opportunity to connect with people in the industry – if you’re not sure what you want to do, people will encourage you to pursue what you’ve made or your passion; it’s really good for building contacts and job opportunities.”

Fitness fans were also able to give a couple of unusual sports a whirl – with wheelchair basketball and velodrome cycling sessions.

John Cain, from Canford Cliffs, was one of those trying out velodrome cycling for the very first time.

“I’m quite sporty and I’m really enjoying it – it’s well organised, the guy who’s running it is excellent and it’s an experience to be remembered,” he said.

“A friend told me about the Festival and I’ve been to several events – so far everything’s been absolutely fantastic.”

The Festival of Learning featured over 150 events over the course of the week, with thousands of people attending activities on and off campus.

Rebecca Edwards, Knowledge Exchange and Impact Manager for BU, said: “We are delighted that the Festival of Learning in 2015 has been a huge success.

“Never before have we seen such diversity of fantastic events and engagement from our audiences. From the opening day with hundreds of young people getting stuck into science, Chris Packham’s amazing talks through to the huge range of workshops to develop skills and a mind boggling array of sports events to achieve, there has been so much to see and enjoy.

“I can only thank everyone who has worked so hard to make is a fabulous Festival and our brilliant attendees who bring the events to life!”