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13 - 29 November 2020 | Brazil, Chile, Germany, Colombia, England and the USA

Solving regional challenges of cities with an international perspective - that was the aim of "Moving the Cities 2020". 135 students from six countries worked together digitally for a week.

Picture from Pedro Barbosa, Tecnosinos

How can we maintain the quality of life into old age?

How can we improve the attractiveness of inner cities?

What do we have to do to strengthen the innovative strength of business and science?

Cities around the world face very similar challenges. To approach these with a global and entrepreneurial perspective - that was the aim of this year's first fully digital entrepreneurship week "Moving the Cities". 135 students from six countries worked in international teams on social business ideas. Now they presented their solutions.

We were really impressed by the creativity and high level of commitment shown by the students," summarizes Carsten Schröder, Vice President for Transfer, Cooperation and Innovation at Münster University of Applied Sciences, co-initiator of "Moving the Cities".

28 international mixed teams with participants from Brazil, Chile, Germany, Colombia, England and the USA had entered the final in order to convince the international jury of their idea in only three minutes.

50 coaches and mentors from all over the world accompanied them on the way to this moment and supported them in developing the idea on the shared virtual work platform.

"There was hardly a moment in the last ten days in which at least one video conference or chat was not active somewhere," reports the project manager Rolf Laakmann from TAFH Münster GmbH, "across a total of four time zones." "This was made possible by a completely digital and new accelerator in which the business idea can be "accelerated" in a short time from the sketch to the first prototype, "adds Pia Töns from the Science-to-Business Marketing Research Centre.

The victory went to "be my hero": the digital platform distributes donated computers and IT equipment to students and could thus facilitate access to education, especially in developing and emerging countries. Second and third place went to "RecomCity", an app for individually tailored recommendations in a city, and "gen2gen", a portal that brings students into contact with retired experts.

Over 1,000 viewers followed the closing event on Sunday evening German time in the stream.

In addition to specific business ideas, "Moving the Cities" was of course also about the learning effect of the students: "We want to impart international and interdisciplinary skills to them and strengthen their entrepreneurial thinking and acting," emphasizes Prof. Dr. Thorsten Kliewe from the Science-to-Business Marketing Research Centre and member of the international didactics team.

"Moving the Cities" will take place again next year - presumably as a hybrid format. "We are firmly convinced that the digital formats that have been successfully tested this year can complement the international cooperation in a very useful way," Schröder is certain, "because this way we also get the talents at our universities involved, which are due to financial and social aspects may not be able to travel halfway around the world that easily. " 

"Moving the Cities" is embedded in the international "xRegions" initiative, which was recently recognized by the Stifterverband as one of Germany's 100 best ideas for education, science and innovation.

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