The Summer Winds Brought New Knowledge and Opportunities for Solariders

The summer is almost over and autumn is rushing in. That means we are in prime time to tell you about our adventures in July and August.

So many eyes have been laid on our solar car in the past two months. In July, Rally Estonia took place. Everyone participating was able to see how Estonian students have built the very first solar car in the Baltics and how it drives.

Our Head of Marketing and PR, Asso, put it this way:

“On Saturday, we were able to drive our car up to town square and show it off on the main stage. Unfortunately, heavy rain decided to show up right at that time, keeping most of the crowds indoors instead. However, I believe the few dozen folks learned some new things about this unique vehicle. The unexpected weather also helped us test our car out in novel conditions. Turns out, it’s not the best, but it also doesn’t break it.”

Rally Estonia enabled our engineering team to participate in a workshop led by FIA and Estonian Autosport Union. The VP of FIA sport, Robert Reid; CEO of Estonian Autosport Union, Janis Kaal; and FIA Rally Director, Andrew Wheatley, shared about key technology including hybrid power sources and sustainable fuel???. Workshop participants were able to meet the ambassadors of the racing teams, and shared more about hybrid technologies and the principle of zero fossil fuels. You can read more about the workshop from FIA website.

Engineers taking a closer look at the cars © Photo: FIA

July 19th, Elina Ojastu schooled our team leaders about Q12. Q12 is a questionnaire of 12 questions, which is used to assess employee satisfaction. All solariders took the questionnaire. The course covered how to unpack the results with each individual via one on one interviews, and how to lead in a way that produces the best results.

We took a deeper look at how to use our Q12 results in the big picture. Our biggest takeaway was understanding our members in their role by letting them elaborate on their answers in whatever way made sense for them. The neat part about those conversations is that one doesn’t have to stick with the submitted questions. Instead, they can let the conversation flow and ask for additional insights that can help them get as deep as possible. It is important for the interviewer to hold back any opinions, advice or comments so the interviewee can control the conversation freely.

21-23rd of July was dedicated to some team bonding. We met in Läänemaa County, Uuskalda Sports and Holiday Village for our Solaride Summer Retreat. The days were packed with activities and conversations between our current solariders, alumni and our partners. We were so excited to have everyone join and mingle.

Good music, company, and fun activities made days fly by, and laid a new foundation for fresh traditions and comradery. Feedback showed that people really enjoyed the overall vibes and the program. Moreover, participants were so excited to see each other again face to face (since our everyday work happens mostly remotely)

Summer Retreat gave us a chance to actually hang out © Photo: Solaride

In August, we buckled our working belts once more. In the beginning of August, our leaders went through some intensive training. Mats Soomre, our dear mentor, was teaching us about the development stages of an organization. We were comforted to hear that not every organization will have a smooth ride, and that challenging and conflicting periods are normal. Although it may sound scary, these phases actually build growth, pushing the teams to the next level. Our team leads also shared updates about their teams so we could map out our recruiting needs.

On day two, Sven Raba, our member and OKR expert, had the floor. He used the concept of Extended Leadership for helping us shape our strategy, and team leads were able to put it to practice by sharing their goals for the next quartile and the OKRs they will measure them by. Finally, we took time to understand our weaknesses as well as what has been going well.

The end of August brought another chance for fans to see our solar car at sTARTUp Day. We were so happy to see so many folks turned up and we were able to share with them why our mission matters. After all, we weren’t there just to show off our car. Indeed, our CEO Kristel Leif got to step out of her comfort zone straight onto the main stage of sTARTUp day! She told the audience all about what makes Solaride unique, what is our goal, and why others should join us for the journey.

Kristel Leif took the stage at sTARTUp Day © Photo: Solaride 

Estonian Research Council facilitated a speed dating activity for participants, creating a fun way to network and find new partners that can help your ideas really take off. Novella Uiga and Marten Vainult represented us so well.  

That’s it for now! We’ll check in with you again in Fall to tell you all about our upcoming adventures ;) 

This story was written by our marketing team member Victoria Maripuu.

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SolarCar Estonia MTÜ

+372 5117241 
Narva mnt 18,
Tartu 51009 Eesti
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