31 October 2021 | Münster

Teaching students international and interdisciplinary skills - the goal of "Moving the Cities". Now the Entrepreneurship Week retook place - with many good ideas.

Health, education and climate are three global goals for sustainable development of the United Nations. Now 145 students from six countries dedicated themselves intensively to these goals: at the Entrepreneurship Week "Moving the Cities", they developed solutions for the world's problems. The format was digital. Only the kick-off event in Brazil was hybrid. Students from Münster University of Applied Sciences were connected online, while Carsten Schröder, Vice President for Cooperation, Innovation and Marketing, moderated live in São Leopoldo with Prof. Dr Tatiana Rocha from Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos (UNISINOS) and UAS7 coordinator for South America. The winner was the team with the number seven and their idea "Wasteless": A database should help private individuals, hospitals and municipalities to donate medicines that have not yet expired but are no longer needed - so that others can benefit from them.

"We are thrilled with how hard the students have worked on their ideas. The quality is really impressive," says Schröder, co-initiator of Moving the Cities. The participants had just under a week to prepare, and in the end, they had to convince an international jury in just three minutes. "What the students have delivered in such a short time is really something to be proud of," says Rolf Laakmann, the responsible project manager from TAFH Münster GmbH. In addition to creativity and commitment, flexibility was also required - after all, they had to work together on a project across six time zones. Because it worked so well, it is best not to let the many good ideas disappear in a drawer. "We are now writing to all the teams and encouraging them to pursue their projects. Start-up advisors at the participating universities can help," says Laakmann.

The executive Federal Minister for the Environment, Svenja Schulze, did not miss the opportunity to join us on 20 October to open "Moving the Cities" via video message. "Our cities can show how the transformation to a climate-neutral economy and society works, and this requires strong networks and international exchange, and my ministry supports this exchange," she emphasised. Over 160 spectators followed this kick-off event, and over 130 were present at the closing event on Sunday evening (31 October) German time. "The feedback from the students and in the social media was enormous," reports Pia Töns, from the Science-to-Business Marketing Research Centre (S2BMRC). It was nice to observe the learning effect of the students, adds Prof. Dr Thorsten Kliewe Managing Director of the Science-to-Business Marketing Research Centre (S2BMRC). "After all, we are not only concerned with solving problems. Our goal is also to teach the students international and interdisciplinary skills. And we want to strengthen entrepreneurial thinking and action!" Digital formats like this make a lot of sense for international cooperation, says Schröder. "In 2020, 'Moving the Cities' had to be completely digital. We have now been able to increase the success from last year. So, we are on a very good path to involving talent at universities around the world that might otherwise remain undiscovered because they can't travel halfway around the world for financial reasons."

Besides Münster University of Applied Sciences, various universities from Brazil, Colombia, Chile, the USA, Germany and England were involved: Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Universidad de Santiago de Chile, INACAP, Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, University of Minnesota, Northeastern University, Coventry University and Hochschule Bremen. Moving the Cities" was supported by TAFH Münster GmbH, UAS7, Pacto Alegre, SAP, Tecnosinos, Tecnopuc, especially DWIH São Paulo and many more.

"Moving the Cites" is an initiative conceived by Unisinos in cooperation with UAS7 and Münster University of Applied Sciences to promote the development of solutions through international and intercultural collaboration between science, entrepreneurship, innovation, technology and society. The project is embedded in the global initiative "xRegions", which was awarded by the Stifterverband in 2020 as one of Germany's 30 best ideas for education, science and innovation.

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