There are 40,000 students in Lund - and many companies and organizations who would like to benefit from their knowledge and creative power. During this year, Future by Lund has worked to establish contact in two projects to enable this exchange to take place. Through the EU project CCSC, Lund students were introduced to the cultural ecosystem, and as part of Sten K Johansson's interdisciplinary course they were able to work in project form, with challenges from both the business sector in Lund and Future by Lund.
As part of the large pan-European project CCSC, Cultural and Creative Spaces and Cities, students from the Digital Cultures program at Lund University, under the supervision of Mikael Askander, were given the opportunity to work with real challenges from Mejeriet in their projects. The students have a project course during their first semester where they receive a challenge, and this time it was from Future by Lund. The students in the Digital Cultures program worked in groups with solutions for Stenkrossen and Mejeriet.
– The students' presentations depicted the challenge of identifying better areas for meetings, both digitally and in real life, and for various departments in the region, says Mikael Askander, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Cultural Sciences. One group came up with the idea of an app that would show a map for all cultural institutions in Lund, and another group had an idea to create a café in collaboration with Mejeriet, which would include some specialties that could also be digital.
Why is it important to work with organizations outside of the university?
– It is important to have a partnership like this for the students. The most important thing, for the often quite young students, is the experience they gain by working with difficult issues and solving them. It is valuable for their future professional work. They also develop relationships for their own network of important contacts.
In January 2020, the Sten K Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship completed its second course in interdisciplinary project development. Four groups of students solved challenges that are present in the city. The challenge presented by Future by Lund was how a municipality could collect anonymized mobility data from citizens to deliver an improved service to them. Other challenges dealt with sensors to help visually impaired to orient themselves (a challenge from Acconeer), how to use digital tools to reduce administration time for teachers, and what methods could be used to utilize patients' ideas and feedback to improve healthcare and aids (a challenge from Innovation Skåne). Future by Lund contributed with a challenge in the course the year before. The task was then to understand how to work with a makerspace.
The work with interdisciplinary project development continues and on October 30, a new group started with new challenges that will be presented in January 2021.
– To us at Future by Lund and for the companies and organizations that contribute with a challenge, this is a huge opportunity, says Katarina Scott, project developer at Future by Lund. It gives us insight into our challenges from several perspectives coupled with the commitment that students bring. It is always just as exciting to follow their reasoning and conclusions.
Previous articles (most of them in Swedish)
Translation: Ben Dohrmann