In a previous blog article from March 2023, we reported on a trajectory in which students of the Digital Experience Design (see QR code below) program were challenged to come up with innovative concepts around an overall problem-driven theme: Digital Society. Divided into several use cases (work, sustainability, cybersecurity, mobility, etc.), the students investigated how increasing digitization will affect various societal dimensions.
During this process, the students also explore their ‘future-proofness’: how can they already learn, interact and anticipate developments which will be taken for granted throughout their later professional lives? As a result, students do not only acquire competences ‘for the job’ as digital experience designers (like coding, design, business development, etc.) but also transversal competences ‘for the world’ in which they can take a position as a future participant of society working towards solutions for challenges in a changing world.
Let us explore some examples:
Jobbby is an online platform where companies can post “microjobs” that students can take up based on their field of study, purely on interest or to test their work competences. “GenZ” students sometimes have problems finding work that fits their studies & schedule. This gives students the opportunity to gain work experience and improve their CV while still being able to complete their studies. A project by Jaro Brichau and Zegher Baerts.
Resee is an app that tries to tackle the problem of paper waste, providing a digital alternative to replace the huge amounts of receipts, tickets, slips, etc. that we all ‘produce’ while doing our shopping, buying a drink at the bar, at the bakery, etc. 90% of these receipts are almost immediately thrown away. When users checkout in store, they can select an option (barcode scan or mobile payment) to save their receipt digitally. The app manages the purchases. It enables retailers to reduce paper costs while providing a better user experience to customers. A project by Klaudia Matwiej and Jenna Van De Vyver.
Sensor Sprout and Xito
Sensor Sprout and Xito are examples of applications where amateur horticulturists but also professional agriculturalists can use technology to engage in smart farming. Sensor Sprout places sensors with amateur gardeners to track various data such as light incidence, soil moisture, temperature etc. The app then gives AI-generated feedback to the user on what to do to improve. Xito is an app that provides data to control pollination, identify diseases, mold formation and increase the yield of crops by monitoring maturity for tomato growers. This reduces the intensive and resource-wasting crop maintenance. Sensor Sprout is a project by Quintt Adam and Tibo Mertens, Xito is a project by William Hazevoets and Arne Samson.
Conneco is a platform where skills are ‘harvested’ that employees of a company have in addition to their ‘for the job’ competences. The platform unifies insights for employees and employers regarding job crafting, a means of describing the ways in which employees utilize opportunities to customize their jobs by actively changing their tasks and interactions with others at work. The approach of this platform offers interesting comparisons in conceptualizing methods to let employees of organizations up-an-reskill into other job profiles, like the Green Transition Facilitator, the persona around which EntreComp4Transition conducts research and creates solutions. Conneco is a project by Zahra Janssens.
There may be a follow-up to these blog posts about Digital Society, when some of these students may choose to further develop their concepts into real products in a subsequent academic year, whether or not developed within their own startup.
We’ll keep you posted!