UMN students take the prize at Moving the Cities 2021
This year, IonE supported several University of Minnesota students who participated in Moving the Cities 2021, an international, team-based competition that took place this past October. The event brings together industry experts, and universities to address regional sustainability challenges through an international perspective. Our theory of change includes leadership development opportunities for members of the IonE community and inspiring people to create novel insights by identifying, characterizing, and achieving shared sustainability activities within interdisciplinary teams.
The 2021 event focused on three United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in health, education or climate action and gave students the opportunity to develop innovative ideas while exploring a multicultural problem-solving environment and strengthening their entrepreneurial and interdisciplinary skills.Three UMN students were part of the first and second place teams (Dalila Hussein, Bill Tate, and Avni Tripathi) and one UMN student won the semi-finals for her category, and competed in the finals (Sundus Mohamoud Hussein).
Dalila Hussein, a graduate student in the Master of Development Practice program, and her team’s hard work on their project WasteLess, a medication donation program, earned them the first place prize. “Our assigned area of focus was health and well-being (SDG 3). I was interested to work on it in light of the new global health challenges and the recurrent need for innovative solutions in the healthcare sector,” says Hussein. For many participants, Moving the Cities 2021 was an inspiring experience.
Hussein said, “I recognized how passionate I am about creative solutions and working in a cross-cultural setup. I aspire to work in social entrepreneurship, and this experience resonated with my aspirations and boosted my ambition.”
Avni Tripathi, an undergraduate student in the Carlson School of Management, and her team were assigned the topic of health and decided to focus on mental health specifically. “We wanted to empower people and support them in taking charge of their mental health,” says Tripathi. The team developed an adult coloring book meant to spread positivity and relieve stress through coloring pages with positive and motivational messages, journal prompts, positive word crosswords, QR codes to relevant podcasts and music, and various other activities. The team’s passion and dedication earned them the second place prize and lasting memories.
“The whole experience of the competition was so memorable. My teammates were so supportive and I was surprised to see how close we all became just after knowing each other for a week! We are currently also trying to pursue our idea and still are in touch with each other!”
Moving the Cities is an annual competition where international and interdisciplinary teams of students develop and present an innovative solution to a challenge that cities face. You can learn more about the event from the German Universities of Applied Sciences.
Grace Abifarin is a student communications assistant at the Institute on the Environment.