Aalto University Summer School

Digital Design Challenge: 36 questions for sustainability

Can 36 questions spark action? Aalto University, Nordic Rebels and Howspace collaborate to open up a challenge-based learning platform in the month leading up to Beijing Design Week. The event is open for everyone to join!
A group of four Aalto students sitting outside Väre discussing about group work

Aalto University, Nordic Rebels and Howspace collaborate to open up a challenge-based learning platform in the month leading up to Beijing Design Week. The collaboration is part of the City of Helsinki being the Guest City of Beijing Design Week 2021. These solutions will be compiled into a digital exhibition as part of the Beijing Design Week program. The platform is provided by Howspace, an AI-powered digital collaboration tool focusing on bringing social learning to the forefront. The platform invites students and participants from around the world to collaborate with partnering companies in solving digital challenges.

The two-week event titled “Digital Design Challenge: 36 questions for sustainability” is open from 20 September – 1 October 2021. The event allows the learner to understand how to frame sustainability-related challenges and opportunities through reflective inquiry as well as how design methods and approaches can create pathways for desirable futures. At the same time, the learner will experience how the future of higher education might look like and work in multicultural teams across time zones. The event concept is provided by Nordic Rebels, who offer transformative courses and micro models with a focus on challenge-based and online learning.

Nordic Rebels

The Challenge

The learning event is open for everyone.

In essence, during this two-week event you will: 

  • learn how to frame sustainability-related challenges and opportunities through reflective inquiry 
  • work in multicultural teams across time zones  
  • understand how design methods and approaches can create pathways for desirable futures  
  • experience how the future of higher education might look like
  • work in the Howspace learning platform

Duration: 20 September – 1 October 2021 

Workload: 30 hours

Format: online, mostly asynchronous

Application deadline: 20 September 2021 

Participation fee: free

Nordic Rebels

Who are we?

Nordic Rebels, an award-winning movement that was established in 2018 in Aalto University and Station (Copenhagen, Denmark), has created this event specifically for the Beijing Design Week 2021.  

We believe the foundations of socially, culturally, and economically just futures to be built on meaningful connections. Drawing on Aron et al.’s (1997) landmark study on interpersonal closeness, the focus of this challenge-based event is twofold.  

First, to come up with 36 questions that might lead to positive action in companies, and second, to use these questions to engage Finnish design-driven companies in a conversation about their opportunities to create positive action. Based on the conversation, you will then conceptualize design-driven solutions for them to address sustainability matters.  

These solutions will be compiled into a digital exhibition as part of the Beijing Design Week program. 

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