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Multidisciplinary collaboration to solve practical societal issues


Challenges for Emerging Cities: Open Lab Multidisciplinary Project Course

15 credits

Autumn / Spring



This Master’s course is offered as part of OpenLab. This is a multidisciplinary collaboration between higher education institutions in Stockholm and public authorities, which aims to create sustainable solutions to societal challenges. Projects use design thinking to work on real-world problems in areas such as urban development and healthcare.

Information for exchange students

This course is also open for exchange students. Application information for exchange students.

Want to know why you should study at Södertörn University? Find out here.

Versatile problem-solving skills The OpenLab approach focuses on working with real life challenges, making it an excellent addition to your CV. The method known as design thinking is becoming a global standard for problem solving in many industries, and will equip you for dealing with complex challenges through insight-driven innovation. It can be used in a wide range of fields and will be beneficial in whatever profession you choose to pursue. Read about research in this subject
Project-based collaboration on the production of new and innovative solutions This 15-credit course is run as a collaboration between multiple higher education institutions and public sector clients in the Stockholm area. You will work on a project basis, designing and organising innovation partnerships across different fields of knowledge with the aim of solving practical societal issues. During the course you will learn to relate scientific perspectives to different practices and to develop, plan and evaluate new and innovative ideas. You will apply interactive and creative work and design methodology, and visualise innovation projects through sketches, models and prototypes. This includes identifying and analysing complex phenomena, as well as introducing ideas that can be developed and realised to provide lasting benefit and value for a specific target group. You will also communicate your work on the innovation project, and its results, to clients, selected target groups and the general public. Course design The course is based on compulsory lectures and workshops as part of the selected development project, and is assessed through your attendance, your written and oral presentation of the innovation project and an individual reflection report.
Innovation through user-centred methods and solutions OpenLab was founded by seven partners in the Stockholm region: students and faculty from Karolinska Institutet, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm University and Södertörn University and clients from the City of Stockholm, Stockholm County Council and the County Administrative Board of Stockholm. It is now a community of professionals and students with expertise in transformative innovation that is intended for use in the public sector, providing radical solutions to societal challenges, with a particular focus on sustainable urban development, the ageing population, health and education.