Cross-disciplinary and international teams create the future city of Matosinhos, Portugal
June 24, 2018
As part of the Tomorrow’s Land project, the final intellectual output was delivered as a Social Innova-tion Bootcamp, an international blended learning activity where people from all over Europe and different educational backgrounds came together to work on current and urgent social challenges. The Bootcamp took place in Matosinhos, Portugal between the 11th and 15th of June 2018 and was organised and facilitated by Advancis and the rest of Tomorrow’s Land partnership. The event was held in the premises of CEiiA, Matosinhos’ centre of engineering and product development, and as a matter of priority reserved to participants from the collaborating partners in the UK, Germany, Por-tugal, Denmark, Italy and Latvia. Yet, it was likewise openly advertised on Facebook and free for eve-ryone who was interested to join. This led to a very international and cross-disciplinary group with around 24 participants. Science-to-Business Marketing Research Centre was represented by Balzhan Orazbayeva (FH Münster Tomorrow’s Land Project Manager) as well as Anja Mensing and Luiza Leorato de Araujo (FH Münster Bootcamp participants).
As a preparation for the Bootcamp, the participants were expected to enrol for Tomorrow’s Land MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). Through a combination of theory, inspiration, practice, self-reflection and discussion, this course provided insights into the five different profiles of a social inno-vator. The Bootcamp built on the gained knowledge of the participants by confronting them with six current social challenges, all under the theme of “The Future City of Matosinhos”. Central key stake-holders were CEiiA, the city hall and Advancis.
The Bootcamp began with a warm welcome by the organisers, some introductory games and the presentation of the challenges by the clients themselves. They can be summarised as follows:
1. Creating a map of sensations for the city of Matosinhos.
2. Transforming Matosinhos’ central market hall into an intellectual and cultural hub for the people to connect and communicate.
3. Bringing back to life the central commercial street “Brito Capelo” which suffers from a lack of interest by the population and therefore does not create sufficient economic impact.
4. Making the city of Matosinhos attractive for the thousands of pilgrims who, on their journey, pass by the city, but do not spend time and money there because they aim to go to Porto.
5. Creating a concept for the opening of a public pedagogic restaurant at Arco Maior, an educa-tional project which makes it possible for disadvantaged children and adolescents, excluded from formal educational systems, to go to school, to graduate and to take part in the daily routine again.
6. Developing an action plan how to arouse interest for the work executed by Scholé, a school in Matosinhos for children between 3-12 which bases its pedagogy on project-based learning and the triple-H approach: hands, head and heart. Currently, they teach 70 children, but the project still misses support and recognition by the city and important stakeholders.
Figure 1: Brainstorming activity - What is Social Innovation for you?
The working activities
On Tuesday morning, the project teams started working on their challenges and were supported by Martin D. Hansen from Bespoke who presented to the participants the “Futures Canvas”, a tool to develop step by step creative, innovative and realistic solutions for current challenges. These master classes took place on Tuesday and Wednesday morning and allowed the participants to work inde-pendently on their ideas and solutions during the rest of the time. Active exchanges between the pro-ject teams and the clients made sure that the groups went into the right direction and were fulfilling the purpose of their challenge. The final presentations took place on Friday in the presence of the clients and some additional guests.
Figure 2: Master classes with Martin
Luiza Leorato de Araujo and Anja Mensing, two students currently enrolled at the Münster University of Applied Sciences and employed at the Science-to-Business Marketing Research Centre as student assistants, were taking part in the Bootcamp and worked, in two separate teams, on the first two chal-lenges.
Anja Mensing was involved in the creation of a map of sensations, a challenged presented by CEiiA. Her team was especially confronted with the following questions:
1. What are sensations?
2. How can they be measured?
3. Which tools are needed?
4. How can the community get involved?
Thanks to the insights they gathered, the team came up with the innovative solution of “Sencity”, a digital platform aiming to measure emotions as an indicator of sensations. This platform focuses on the six basic emotions by Paul Ekman, which are anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise, and visualises them by using popular emoticons. By employing a GPS-based system, users can rate a location they experienced in the city by choosing an emotion and indicating the reasons for their choice. The ratings are transformed into a real-time map of emotions, representing each emotion with one specific colour. The platform is completed by filter functions for displaying additional in-formation (e.g. restaurants, sports activities) or one specific emotion, a possibility to create an ac-count and therefore be able to participate in the incentive system which consists in receiving cou-pons or vouchers for commercial stores when having contributed 10 times. In order to make this platform available for all sections of the population, it should be accessible through an application for smartphones and tablets, a website, Muppis and an interactive tablet desk in the city. If successful-ly implemented, this map can support the local government in improving the city by engaging their citizens, making it a better place to live and thus giving it an identity.
Figure 3: Creative working phases
Luiza Leorato was involved in the second challenge which dealt with the market hall. Matosinhos Market Hall is well known by its fresh fish and vegetables. Seven year ago, there was already an investment from part of the municipality to achieve better infrastructure to the market and attract new stakeholders. In that way, the market became a paradox: on the one hand the traditional food market, but on the other a creative hub with affordable prices for startups and young professionals. The group also recognised other paradoxes coherent to the global contemporary lifestyle development, such as the food industry, connectivity and digitalisation, the change of shopping habits and gender roles, but also the local backlash from generation and aesthetic gap. Bringing all those insights together, the group suggested a vision for 2023, where the market became a “Food Mecca”: a place where people go to connect with local food and culture; to learn about food and simultaneously engage with the community in a creative way.
All clients were very satisfied with the presented solutions. Particularly the head of Human Resources of CEiiA stood in regular exchange with his team during the week and was taken with the solution. Now, it is up to the city of Matosinhos to use these discovered potentials in a sustainable way.
Within Tomorrow’s Land project, co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, 6 partners across Europe including Regenerus (UK), FH Münster (Germany), Advancis (Portugal), Bespoke (Denmark), POLIMI (Italy), SIC (Latvia) aim at fostering the creation of the next generation of social innovators who will influence and develop a more inclusive society. Throughout the project, consortium will create resources to support educators who are training young social innovators, the people working to develop practical new solu-tions to social challenges.