Global Health Case Challenge – University of Copenhagen

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Global Health Case Challenge 2018 - Synergies in Urban Development

The University of Copenhagen, Gehl - Making Cities for People, EIT Climate-KIC and EIT Health provided the case on Synergies in Urban Development for the Global Health Case Challenge 2018. The Case Challenge took place in Maersk Tower, Copenhagen on 23-24 November 2018 as part of the EIT Health Innovation Day. The event was arranged by the University of Copenhagen.

Prorector Bente Merete Stallknecht opened the 2018 Global Health Case Challenge and 15 teams began 24 hours of hard work to find and present the most innovative and cross-disciplinary solution to the case: “How can planning of urban public space contribute to climate change mitigation goals and benefit mental well-being among vulnerable populations?”

Prorector Bente Merete Stallknecht opened the 2018 Global Health Case Challenge and 15 teams began 24 hours of hard work to find and present the most innovative and cross-disciplinary solution to the case: “How can planning of urban public space contribute to climate change mitigation goals and benefit mental well-being among vulnerable populations?”

The University of Copenhagen hosted 15 teams of 72 students in total. The students represented 16 universities, 34 different study programmes and 29 different nationalities - a truly diverse and interdisciplinary group. The majority found their teams on our Matchmaking Group on Facebook and met for the first time in real life on the first day of the case challenge.

‘When you ask students from different fields of study and cultural backgrounds to work together, you get exponentially different perspectives on a problem. The ideas will be diverse, facilitating a completely different level of creative suggested solutions. At the same time, the aim of the School of Global Health is to strengthen the students’ job readiness and chances of networking across countries and fields of study, and here the case challenge format represents a unique opportunity", Professor and Director of School of Global Health Flemming Konradsen.

What is a case challenge? 
In a case challenge student teams strive to develop the best solution to a real-world issue presented by a business or organization within 24 hours. Each team presents their solution both in writing and as a short oral pitch (10 minutes) to a jury. All teams will receive pitch-coaching training throughout the two days to prepare them for the final presentation.

This year’s case
In the 2018 case challenge, Gehl and the University of Copenhagen invited students to spend 24 hours to develop solutions to create synergy in urban development. The case question was How can planning of urban public space contribute to climate change mitigation goals and benefit mental well-being among vulnerable populations?

The winning team

Ilinca, Anne Kirstine, Shaun Ian and Emma are the winning team with the solution: Diversitree 2023

All teams pitched their ideas to a jury consisting of representatives from Gehl Architects, School of Global Health, Uppsala University, HOFOR and the Liverpool based organization Prosocial Place. The teams had 5 minutes for pitching and 5 minutes for questions. The jury voted for 1 hour and after a lot of deliberation and debate, they settled on the winning team – Diversitree by Team 3. The winning team consists of 4 Master of Science in Global Health students from the University of Copenhagen. They come from different study backgrounds and nationalities, and they combined their interdisciplinary mindsets to create their solution.

Winners recount

 Our solution stimulates ownership and responsibility and fosters socialization and collaboration among the residents ..

Ilinca Radu, winning team

Our proposed solution not only mitigates the effects of climate change in line with the COP21 Paris Agreement, it also improves the mental wellbeing of community residents. We scouted streets with low traffic flows to ease traffic diversion and transform them into dynamic, multi-functional green spaces. We aimed to introduce vertical green belts and roof gardens, underground elevator car parks, rainwater collection and storage systems, light-emitting diodes, an urban forestry and dynamic community performance and activity spaces. Our solution stimulates ownership and responsibility and fosters socialization and collaboration among the residents through initiatives such as intergenerational activities among schoolchildren, and the elderly and an urban forestry strategy incentivizing residents to adopt trees, track their growth and carbon offset and share this data through social media networks. Further, we involve residents, key stakeholders and innovators in the scoping, planning and building of the project to ensure that they truly leave their mark on the street park. In a nutshell, this is the project that we ultimately created, DIVERSITREE 2023. With it, we strive to plant the seeds of urban health by 2023.

Further information

Find more information on the event pages from each year, our Facebook page or by signing up for our newsletter. The 2017 challenge was provided by the UNFPA, in 2016 the two cases were provided by WHO Europe and Red Cross and Red Crescent respectively.

2017: Case Challenge on Migrating Women's Sexual and Reproductive Health w/ UNFPA
2016: Case Challenge on Antibiotic Resistance w/ WHO Europe
2016: Case Challenge on Refugees in Europe w/ Red Cross and Crescent

Are you a business/organization with a global presence and a Global Health Challenge then do not hesitate to contact us about next years potential Case Challenge and the collaborative development of this - latest in the month of March of the year that the event is to be held).