Kylar participated in the IE University - UNSSC Summer Research Program, looking at how the UN Innovation Toolkit impacted an SDGs-related competition developed and completed by the UN World Tourism Organization.
The Summer Research Program is a joint initiative launched by IE University in partnership with the UN System Staff College (UNSSC).
Innovation was a central part of his research. He incorporated the UN Innovation Toolkit into his interview questions and final report and engaged with people in different timezones. He also learned to adapt by carrying out meetings with the competition coordinator while on the go—for example, in the car on a family road trip.
“Working with the UNWTO gave me the opportunity to see the behind-the-scenes of a UN agency initiative.”
During the project, Kylar got a behind-the-scenes perspective of a UN agency initiative. He and his partner worked closely alongside the competition coordinator, a UNWTO worker, who was very helpful in guiding their research. Kylar found it an interesting experience to work remotely. It gave him freedom outside of a set schedule, allowing him and his partner to meet either in the morning or at night. However, Kylar was also challenged in the program, learning something new every day. A difficult aspect was synthesizing information from interviews and the UN Innovation Toolkit; comments from his advisor, the UNSSC, and the UNWTO; and his and his partner’s own opinions.
“Being a researcher in a program related to populism in my first year at IE University prepared me for the UNSSC-IE Summer Research Program.”
To future students wanting to participate in the program, Kylar recommends that they take initiative when it comes to interacting with their assigned student-researcher, their client, other stakeholders and their academic advisor. In his prior IE University experience, Kylar had been a researcher in a program related to populism in his first year, which prepared him for the UNSSC-IE Summer Research Program. He gained experience working with another student-researcher and they had met virtually with each other and another professor.
“It was great to create a final report to be shared with the Secretariat of the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination.”
Overall, Kylar is very grateful to have participated in the program. It was a great opportunity to create a final report to be shared with the Secretariat of the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination.