1st day – Take off your mind

By Adrien Born July 12, 2016 Edition CHIC 2015-2016Discover Okeep project

Monday morning, the alarm rings (like the onions) , let’s pack and meet everybody at 9 am sharp in BC 410. Well… not so sharp, it’s 9:15 and many people are missing, Marc takes it with philosophy; « it’s a pretty good start, as Churchill said, it’s better to be late than forgetting your laptop charger »


The morning session first starts with an explanation of the whole program, it sounds freaking awesome ! Then, we are supposed to talk about our projects but in fact, everyone is downloading a VPN or checking-in to get seats next to each other. Some are even pretending to be an ancestral tribe around an imaginary fire pit.


Then Benedict a coach from the CTI gives us a talk about pitching, some golden rules are:

  • SUCCES: simple unexpected concrete emotion story
  • make the audience remember you and willing to contact you again…
  • pauses are great
  • use gesture, body language, voice (warmed up before), the stage
  • get familiar to the room of your pitch before
  • be prepared, make a short version of your presentation, keep it on a USB key
  • keep the last word for you

12:45 It is now time for lunch, OKeep chooses to go for a burrito !


Back in BC 410 Marc gives us a « China 101 session » meaning an introduction course about the economy, politics, technology and social aspect in general. We were so impressed realizing Marc’s drawing skills…!

Challenge n°1:


This drawing represents:

  1. a draft of Google new prototype of connected nail polisher
  2. Chinese noodles
  3. a map of China
  4. the digestive system

After a small break we quickly move on culture differences and aiming at a global mindsets…

When it comes learning what is better than playing a game !? With cards and teams of four we start reading rules and practicing a kind of simplified « tarrot game ». Winners move to another table a play against the other one. Simple ? Well not so much ! The thing is; we are not allowed to talk, and what if we do not get on well with the rules…? 😉

Key take away:

  • Do not assume you are right and your interlocutor is not
  • Observe and adapt
  • Laugh rather than getting angry…
  • Find tricks to make you understand !

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5:40 pm « All right guys in 5 minutes we will be going downstairs to catch the bus » said Marc. I was very surprised, time went so fast, this take off day was amazing !

In the bus some of us fall asleep, as if the day was already intense for our neurons.


We finally arrive at the airport, do the normal « airporting », waiting in the lines, walking, going on escalators…


waiting seated and waiting standing up…

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It is finally time to get on the plane, people are excited !

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some more waiting in the plane


However these excitements will soon be calmed down by some infortune… While waiting a little bit more Damien tries to spent time reading last news.


Great opportunity for me to interview him, who is Damien ?

  • Damien you have been a pillar of CHIC, CHIP, CHIZ and many others… but who are you in fact ?
  • Well you know I’m just a guy who likes eating my dessert before salad.
  • Thank you Damien we will learn more about you along the trip !

After an hour waiting in Sauna Air China time seems to go slowly.

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Fortunately the crew reassure us quickly « ladies and gentleman, sorry for the delay and thank you for your patience, we will give you more information when we will have more information » true story.

But finally, just after another hour the plane dares to take off, although Damien whispered me he was not  so sure about one screw he fixed earlier on the wheel. The real take off can occur and it marks an end to this homonyme day Marc remarkably prepared.

While getting a book out from his bag, my neighbor Mic admits: « I only read in the plane, it has been a year since I’m reading it. »

Soon we will be confronting the Chinese market but we all remember « Before the battle starts, make peace and drink a beer » Confucius, 82 after or before J-C.


The chef cooked us chicken or beef with salami as a starter, a true delight for vegetarian ! For the dessert we had the chance to taste chocolate mousse with choco-crispies not really crisping…

Lucky we are, we can now sleep under a warm and air conditioned roof with a full stomach.

We just have one final choice to make today, the seat position:

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After some sleep, for the lucky ones, we landed in Beijing. Just the time to run a bit, get rid of our lighters and extra batteries, and we’re again in a plane. 3 hours later we finally arrive at our destination, Hong-Kong. The nice red t-shirt and red glasses man is here to welcome the whole crew and he drives us to the university. Last meeting to prepare the pitch for tomorrow’s meeting at the HKUST, a junk food meal and we finally can have some well deserved sleep.

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