SMART and SHARED Cities minor successfully concluded for this study year

This month, students of the BOLD Cities minor SMART and SHARED Cities, presented their project results after several weeks of hard work. Although the meeting was online, the project groups were able to show their exciting presentations with a lot of enthusiasm.

The presentations covered a wide spectrum of innovations in an urban environment, including diverse topics such as drones, delivery robots, e-scooters, smart roofs, inclusive building projects, augmented reality in a public environment, health policies and technological pilots in cities. Although this may seem to be a collection of technological projects, in fact the emphasis in the projects was on exploring acceptance among and inclusion of various stakeholders, but also on the logic of legitimization during innovation processes, for example. In fact, this last module of the minor focuses on the combination of technological innovations, with social, institutional, business model and ecosystem innovations. It is this mix that ultimately determines the success of innovation efforts.

Centre for BOLD Cities academic director, Prof. dr. Liesbet van Zoonen, opened the presentation meeting. For each of the projects, commissioners were available and that, together with active participation of students from other groups, provided a lively debate after each of the presentations. Below is a quote from one of the commissioners:

During the minor SMART and SHARED Cities our company, www.techtics.team, was the commissioner of two projects. We wanted to explore the willingness of the general public to help an outdoor robot, like our beach litter robot (www.project.bb). The other project focused on what would be socially accepted around the gathering of data while using Augmented Reality glasses. TechTics is interested in gaining diverse perspectives on these topics to challenge our approach. The student teams of this LDE minor are characterized by a multi-disciplinary approach, which truly helped us to reflect on the complexities that arise when humans interact with technology. We will take their recommendations into account during our journey of responsible innovation."  - Edwin Bos, Co-founder TechTics

The feedback on the concept report, handed in just before the presentations, will allow students to create a good final report for the minor. The module guided students through their projects: it started with ideas on how to set the focus and formulate a problem statement during a first talk with a commissioner. It continued with discussing various stakeholders and their conflicting perspectives. After a few traditional lectures the modules gradually evolved into a project workshop. It is remarkable how the community of Bold Cities is able to bring so many exciting projects and commissioners into contact with our students. That is a great experience both for students and faculty members involved!

Article by Dr. Roland Ortt