In 2022, the DC Living Lab took take place online from July 6-9, with a . It was organised by the MFG Baden-Württemberg, with an optional second leg held physically from 19-22 July in the city of Stuttgart (Germany).

An enthusiastic group of international students worked in teams on innovation challenges such as ‘How might we enable people to volunteer more?’ or ‘How might we enable people to repair more items instead of throwing them away?’. While doing so, they learned a lot about design thinking, cooperating in an international team and cutting-edge innovation methods.

Yousra Andaloussi, a participating student from the Flemish region (Belgium), wrote the following report on her experiences during the DCLivingLab.

“It all started with a bunch of mails and a links. We all joined a zoom meeting that started with an introduction and after that we were assigned to different groups. Later on they presented us our challenges.

I was part of the one world, one community group. We first met and presented ourselves and then got started with a quick lesson on design thinking. After that they presented us our challenge. Our challenge was: ’How might we enable people to make new friendships around the globe without needing to travel?’

It was a difficult challenge but our coaches guided us through the whole process. We were all really excited and couldn’t wait to see how we were going to resolve our challenge. It was really exciting. We all got the chance to share our opinions on the topic and talk about the challenge. After that we were introduced to our challenge owner. We had the chance to talk to them and they explained their problem to us. They were looking for a new way of connecting their musicians without traveling.

The whole process was so cool. We talked to different musicians. We were able to learn different things. Like how to make a target group, a prototype, … At the end we were able to make a prototype of our idea and present it to our challenge owner. It was so exciting and we were able to make something that we were really proud of.

The last part of our online journey was preparing for our presentation in Stuttgart with a pitch doctor. There were also a few games that we played in order to learn more about each others cultures. We were also asked to share typical snacks from our countries, places that we would recommend in our districts, … It was an amazing intercultural experience.

The second part took place in Stuttgart. Our schedule was filled with city trips, presentations and museums. It was a beautiful experience and I was not only able to meet a lot of amazing people but I also learned a lot about smart cities, artificial intelligence, video games, sustainability and so much more. I made a lot of beautiful memories in Stuttgart. It was an unforgettable experience and I’m extremely grateful that I was able to take part in it.”