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Nordic Rebels movement of the IDBM master’s degree programme finalist for the Danish Design Award 2019

IDBM’s innovative development of teaching has also been recognised in Austin, Texas.
Miikka, Varadarajan ja Chew Texasissa Austinissa
Adithya Varadarajan (Education Designer), Miikka J. Lehtonen and JiaYing Chew (Design Strategist) in SXSW-EDU

The IDBM (International Design Business Management) master’s degree programme focuses on design from the point of view of methodology, ideas and competitive advantage. The programme courses include business modelling, product and service design, technology and innovation management. IDBM is a joint programme across all Aalto University's schools, and the School of Business is responsible for its coordination.

The IDBM Programme has recently received two very significant international recognitions. In February, IDBM was recognised as one of the finalists for the ‘Better Learning’ category of the prestigious Danish Design Award 2019. The award criteria emphasise that support for the development of higher education should be visible, and the jury has noticed that the Finnish-Danish cooperation of Nordic Rebels responds to this challenge. Another great honour is that Nordic Rebels was selected for the SXSW EDU festival programme in Austin, Texas.

New openings and in-depth learning experience as goals

Held in September last year, a total of 65 Finnish and Danish students attended the three-week IDBM Challenge course, from which 14 multidisciplinary teams were formed. The Danish universities represented on the course are all located in Copenhagen. The course assignment was to think about how the UN's current challenges on sustainable development could be solved and what impact these solutions could have in five years. Acknowledging the students’ home towns, the cities of Helsinki and Copenhagen were selected for the case studies.

‘We will show how technological advances and the fact that boundaries between different subjects are faded, allow for students to reflect. This makes students take more responsibility for their own learning. The IDBM Challenge course is a kind of ‘extended design sprint’ in which we bring together multidisciplinary team work, design workshops, as well as remote and multisensory learning’, says IDBM's Visiting Assistant Professor Miikka J. Lehtonen.

‘IDBM’s implementation method is open to everyone. I mean that everyone is free to create their own courses in accordance with our teaching philosophy. We have also received a lot of positive feedback from students on our interactive teaching where e-learning is a key factor,’ he continues.

Invitation to SXSW EDU is a strong indicator of global respect

In addition to the Danish Design Award 2019, another great honour is that Nordic Rebels was selected for the SXSW EDU programme. The South by Southwest media festival (SXSW) is a large and well-known event arranged annually in Austin. The media festival is a conference combining film, music and creative IT technology, and offering an interesting overview of the most interesting media releases of the year. SXSW awards annual prizes that are internationally acclaimed in the film industry. SXSW EDU is a part of the SXSW festival related to the development of learning.

‘We are very happy to share our experiences and best practices. We have a unique way of teaching and installing learning that may not work in all contexts, but we see this as continuous learning. IDBM’s inclusion in the SXSW EDU programme is one of the most fantastic presentation experiences in my career so far’, Miikka J. Lehtonen says.

IDBM competence is sought in demanding design jobs, and students usually become employed as consultants, in product and service development, or as entrepreneurs.

Nordic Rebels as part of SXSW EDU’s programme:
http://www.nordicrebels.com
https://schedule.sxswedu.com/2019/events/PP84180

Get to know the IDBM Challenge course and view its episodes:
Nordic Rebels: IDBM Challenge S01E03
IDBM Challenge 2018 Behind the Scenes

More information about IDBM:
https://www.idbm.fi

Text: Terhi Ollikainen

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