You could feel the nerves as the RMIT students prepared to deliver their ‘D.I.V.E’ program presentation for the ‘Upskillers Program’ at the Melbourne Town Hall. DIVE is their hypothetical solution to the significant problems of social isolation, loneliness and employability and involves LAN gaming attached to an app to win points that can be redeemed for discounts on food, activities etc. (for those like me who didn’t know what that means, LAN gaming is where you are in the same room gaming, rather than virtually on-line).

While their solution has A LOT of work that needs to happen before it could become a reality, it really got me thinking about how we can use technology to help start the interactions and connections that we as humans all crave.

As the former shyest person in the world, I understand the debilitating fear of turning up to anything… and the millions of points along the way that can be too overwhelming to keep moving forward, so you end up back in your room… shoe lace breaks – don’t go… bad hair day – don’t go… favourite t-shirt in the wash – don’t go… tram is late – don’t go…. you get it.

So the idea that these students came up with mostly targets those that could be seen as the most likely to struggle with ‘real’ social interaction – The Gamers. The Black T-Shirt Brigade. The Geeks. (don’t get me wrong – I love the Geeks – they rule the world!)

They could see that by having to actually turn up to a venue to do what they love (rather than it being online) is a ‘sneaky’ way of creating interaction, making friends with a shared passion. I LOVE that!  Sneaky rocks!

I’ve taken the same ‘sneaky’ approach in creating an Advanced Job Readiness Skills Certificate, by sharing tools that will help with employability – and life at Uni and in life in general.  Things like making friends fast (aka Networking for Success), managing conflict and understanding self and others better so that you can make more confident decisions.  The ‘soft skills’ that uni’s don’t teach.

Sneaky for a purpose.

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