‘Global Ingenuity Challenge 2016’ Inspires Student Creativity To New Heights

21 April 2016
‘Global Ingenuity Challenge 2016’ Inspires Student Creativity To New Heights

The growth in the Universitas 21 Global Ingenuity Challenge since its launch last year reflects another step forward in the recognition of student creativity and problem solving. The doubling of the number of entrants from a broader span of countries generated some superb and novel solutions to the issue of sustainable housing. Teams of students from Korea University and the University of Connecticut were jointly awarded the top prize.

Professor Eva Wiberg, Executive Director of Universitas 21, commented that “the quality of the all students’ work was excellent and it was a difficult task for the judges to come to a final decision; it has been an exceptional result that two winners have been selected, we do not expect this to happen again in the future.”

University of Connecticut students approached the problem of urban decay in the U.S. by the novel use of microfinance models more commonly associated with the developing world. The Mixed America initiative is a call to action to create business opportunities: through renovating store fronts, providing microcredits to low income people with commercial ideas and a food truck mall which would develop into permanent restaurants over time.

Korea University students wanted to address the isolation and disadvantage of single person households in a fast growing economy. They proposed using the latest technology to enable real, practical initiatives that will build a wider more supportive community including energy level comparisons and group purchasing.

The submissions by Lund University, Fudan University and The University of Nottingham were highly commended by the judging panel. All of these provided innovative solutions to real problems: refugee housing and integration, reducing energy waste by students and affordable flexible accommodation for job seekers.

Participating students also recognised the quality of the work of their peers, voting for their favourite solution. Seven different teams received votes reflecting both the diversity and quality of the entries. The result of the Peer's Choice was another tie, this time between Korea and Lund Universities.

Universitas 21 is the longest standing global network of research intensive universities. Sixteen teams from twelve universities, based in seven different countries, participated in this second U21 Global Ingenuity Challenge. The imagination and resources of students from around the world can be fully appreciated in their proposed solutions. Their videos showcase the talent that exists within the U21 student body.

The challenge is facilitated through the Ingenuity Online, creative problem solving tool developed by academics at Nottingham University Business School’s Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. In this case Ingenuity Online has supported the thought processes of students, enabling them to experiment with their ideas and find creative yet practical ways to approach the challenge of sustainable housing.

Professor Frank Coton, Vice Principal (Academic & Educational Innovation) at the University of Glasgow and academic lead for the Student Experience Cluster of Universitas 21 said “The Global Ingenuity Challenge is only in its second year but is already becoming a firm feature of the U21 calendar. The number of participating teams increased significantly this year and we hope this trend continues. I would personally like to congratulate all of the teams who took part for the creativity they brought to the challenge and for the quality of their work throughout.”

Check out all the entries here: