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ECIU University Creathon 2024: Building Digital Cities of the Future


June 28, 2024

ECIU University Creathon 2024: Building Digital Cities of the Future


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Future digital cities and municipalities face several challenges. How can they deliver socially beneficial information when digital development is faster than ever, and the audience is overrun with a continuous, constant flow of information?

Additionally, younger people consume information through various digital platforms and social media, have shorter attention spans, and prefer information presented in ways they can listen to and watch.

This was the focus of the ECIU University Creathon over three days in mid-May 2024.

About 45 eager European students from the 13 ECIU University member institutions participated in the event that took place at Linköping University (LiU).

The municipalities of Linköping and Enschede in the Netherlands had jointly identified two different challenges for the students to focus on, offering suggestions on how they could be resolved or improved. Both challenges revolved around how municipalities can effectively communicate community and crisis information to their residents, a growing problem observed by both Linköping and Enschede.

Collaborating to develop solutions

Students formed various working groups of about five people, with many coming from different backgrounds and studying different higher education programs. They chose which challenge to concentrate on and over three days developed a proposal they presented to a jury. They also had the opportunity to attend various lectures on topics such as pitch training, starting a business, a solution-oriented model called NABC, and participated in several social activities in the evenings.

Paul Khalifeh, a student from the University of Trento in Italy, shared that what he appreciated about this Creathon was tackling a challenge without knowing too much beforehand.

‘It was challenging to work with people from different backgrounds, but when you start to develop a solution, it’s like a reward.’

Susanne Fuentes Bongenaar, a student from the University of Twente in the Netherlands, said it was educational to experience a new university that offers ideas on how to develop your city and use innovations that currently don't exist.

‘You compare a lot when you come to another university, and the innovations in Linköping are original and interesting. There's a lot of inspiration I can use now when I return to my university and the projects I'm involved in.’

New opportunities for students

ECIU University offers students the opportunity to experience a new way of thinking and learning through challenge-based learning. They can choose from various challenges or micro-modules which take place digitally, on-site, or are a combination of both.  

You can explore these opportunities through the engage platform.

Author: Karolina Hunter. Photo: David Brohede.

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ECIU is the leading international consortium of research intensive universities, with collective emphasis on innovation, creativity and societal impact, driving the development of a knowledge-based economy.