Entrepreneurship Week "Moving the Cities" at Münster UAS
Münster University of Applied Sciences is setting an example for global peace in the anniversary year of the Peace of Westphalia: 64 students from six countries developed solutions for the world's challenges during the international entrepreneurship week "Moving the Cities". Their project work was dedicated to Westphalian Peace and the 17th UN Sustainable Development Goal, "Partnerships to Achieve the Goals."
For example, one team developed ideas to reduce food waste. Another considered together how to save water. And still other students designed an approach to overcome language barriers. Strengthening entrepreneurial thinking and action was as much a focus as teaching international and interdisciplinary skills. "International cooperation is more important than ever," says Carsten Schröder, UAS vice president for cooperation, innovation and marketing. "As a university, we see it as our responsibility to strengthen this." "Moving the Cities" is an ideal opportunity for this, he says.
"All the participants were fired up, it was really great to see," says project coordinator Sarah Lassek. "And we're creating global friendships here!" In small groups, the students from Germany, Austria, England, USA, Brazil and Chile developed their ideas, which they presented to a jury at the final event - each in just three minutes. "The entire concept thrives on the fact that the participants bring different perspectives to the table, and that's precisely how they find meaningful solutions to primarily regional problems," says co-organizer Prof. Dr. Tatiana Rocha from the Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos (UNISINOS). She is also the contact person for South America at UAS7, an alliance of seven research-oriented German universities of applied sciences with a representative office in Brazil.
An intercultural training session, conducted by the university's International Office, created a lot of group dynamics - and then things got started: Every day, the students were given the so-called "Challenge of the Day", i.e. the topic they were to focus on in the following hours. "Really good approaches emerged very quickly," says network manager Rolf Laakmann from TAFH Münster GmbH. Some of them are even being pursued now - "so that we don't just get people excited about start-ups, but real entrepreneurs develop here," says Laakmann.
"Moving the Cities" is an initiative conceived by UNISINOS and Münster UAS in collaboration with UAS7 to promote the development of solutions through international and intercultural collaboration between science, entrepreneurship, innovation, technology and society. The project is embedded in the international initiative "xRegions", which was awarded by the Stifterverband in 2020 as one of Germany's 30 best ideas for education, science and innovation. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
In previous years, "Moving the cities" has already taken place twice in Brazil and twice - due to the pandemic - online.