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Act! Sustainable Design Jam
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Time to register for the Act! Sustainable Design Jam 2020!

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This year's edition of Act! Sustainable Design Jam goes online! All students at the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers are welcome to register for the event - there are no prerequisites. The online version also made it possible to invite students from several of our Erasmus partner universities.

Birgit Penzenstadler, Francisco Gomes and Jennifer Horkoff are the ones organizing this year's event. Here they tell us about their plans and also about their experiences from the previous year.

Hello Birgit, Francisco and Jennifer!
What are your plans for the design jam this year?

Birgit: 

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Birgit Penzenstadler
Birgit Penzenstadler

We are planning to have an online event with students from all across Chalmers and University of Gothenburg, plus a range of Erasmus partner universities. We have a stakeholder from the International Office, Lisa Broadwell, who will put out the design challenge after I give a little intro on how IT systems can help in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.

Francisco:

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Francisco Gomes
Francisco Gomes

– Particularly for this year, our theme is to make student mobility more sustainable when going in exchange programs like Erasmus+. Besides exercising their creativity and problem-solving skills, we want to make students aware of the mobility opportunities available to students. We believe that encouraging student mobility while making it more sustainable really fits the idea of a design jam because both activities vastly benefit from a collaborative network and knowledge sharing.

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Jennifer Horkoff
Jennifer Horkoff

Jennifer: 

– We plan to start with some brief talks, explain the problem and the sustainable development goals, then move into group work.  The students will have about three hours to work together on a design.  They'll present their design via video in the last session, answering questions.  We'll have a panel of expert judges to pick a number of teams who presented particularly interesting designs.  More information on the event can be found here: Act! Sustainable Wednesday


The students – how do they take part?

Birgit: 

– For the jam, the students sign up individually ahead of time and we put them into teams for the event – that way they get to meet new people and everyone starts on a blank page. In our experience, they have great ideas when given open space to express themselves and a couple of easy tools to get them started.

Francisco:

– We will also have Lisa Broadwell spending some time with the teams to discuss the different ideas that may come up and she can offer some helpful advice to support teams in not straying too far from the theme.  Teams will then need to create a short video presentation following some guidelines that we will offer. So, the only requirement to participate in the Design Jam is wanting to exercise your creativity. Also, students get to exercise their teamwork and communication skills by presenting their solutions to our judges.

Jennifer:

– I think it's important to emphasize that students do not need a background in programming or design to participate. We are looking for interested students with all types of backgrounds. This is the first time we are holding an online Design Jam, so we are very excited to see how things go. Although it may offer some new challenges, we think it will also offer a wider opportunity for participation.

What are your experiences from last year’s event?

Birgit:

– Last year was great fun with a lot of really cool ideas getting presented. Students who didn't feel that confident before felt like they were able to contribute something meaningful to solving sustainability challenges. This empowerment is one of the central objectives for us to run this event.

Francisco:

– Yes, it is surprising to see how much students can achieve when provided with an encouraging and safe environment to share their ideas and knowledge. Specially given the diversity of students that attend, from first-year bachelor students to last-year master students with experience in the topic.

Jennifer:

– Last year we had a mix of both the design jam and a research showcase. This went very well, but this year we are focusing only on the jam. This means teams will have even more time to work together to create something cool, and the event is a bit more focused. Having it online really opens it up, and, as Francisco says, we hope to see a wide range of student participants!

 

Facts on Act! Sustainable Design Jam

Online event this year

Date: Nov 18th 2020, all day

Registration: Open between October 5 and November 11. Registration link will be found via Act! Sustainable Wednesday

Prerequisites: all GU and Chalmers students are welcome!