On July 31st, 2018, the After iGEM team, along with VP of iGEM Meagan Lizarazo, were happy to host the first official After iGEM site-wide Campfire. Discussions were had about the overlap between synthetic biology and computer engineering, and After iGEM community members discussed the common ways in which iGEM drove them in their current professional and academic directions.

During the inaugural chat brainstorming sessions, a question was posed about the kind of hopes and goals the community envisions for the After iGEM platform and two main suggestions were proposed by the community members. The first was a formalization of academic accomplishments by community members on the After iGEM platform, in order to facilitate potential collaborator searches. The recommended approach is to integrate publication records on After iGEM profiles, through tie-ins with either the ResearchGate or ORCID user profiles. The After iGEM platform now reflects this as a new potential with fields included for users to input their ResearchGate and ORCID User IDs under their profiles. The potential for auto-population of the publication history of users from these external services is currently being investigated.

The second suggestion was for the After iGEM platform to leverage the professional networks of alumni in order to encourage industrial and entrepreneurial collaborations, funding, and problem-solving. The suggestion stemmed from the realization of the broad potential iGEM Alumni possess through their collective networks of colleagues, contacts, and friends, and the hope is that a structurally supportive platform within After iGEM could help alumni further their professional goals as a collective. The current suggested course of action is for After iGEM to potentially host a pitch competition after the 2018 Giant Jamboree, and to promote sharing of entrepreneurial How-To’s and communication initiatives on the platform.

If you have any input, suggestions or additional ideas, feel free to join the Campfire Slack workspace as it is open month-round for further input. Additionally, if you or someone you know would like to join the next Campfire, the date and time have already been announced here.

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