Students design for change



‘Design for Change’ is the world’s largest school project. It started in India in 2009 and has since spread to schools in all parts of the world. In October 2013, three Danish students presented their project ‘CrowdBins’ at a global ‘Design for Change’ conference in India.

Design for Change has gained international recognition winning an Index Award and The Rockefeller Award. In 2011, the project reached out to more than 300,000 schools in 33 countries and inspired millions of children, their teachers and parents to make a contribution to a better world and to celebrate the fact that it is possible also for children to take responsibility for our environment and make a difference.

Give children an opportunity to express their own ideas for a better world, to develop these ideas and to put them into action. That is the basic idea of the Design for Change project. The children are invited to get involved in their own community – to observe problems in the world around them, big or small, and then invent and test solutions for them. Their challenge is simply to identify a problem which is based on their own experience – and then develop a solution to it.

With the Design for Change challenge, children and adults get to understand that the motto ‘I Can’ represents the two most important and powerful words that a person can believe in. Through Design for Change’s four easy steps of Feel, Imagine, Do and Share, the children are dreaming up brilliant ideas all over the world, and turning them into reality.

 

Design for Change in Denmark

In Denmark, many schools participated in the Design for Change competition in 2013. Højer Design Boarding School was one of the participating schools. Three students from their innovation class ended up winning the national competition among the Danish participants, and the winning team then was invited to present their project ‘CrowdBins’ at a global conference in India in October 2013.


Online bins

The participating students from Højer Design Boarding School identified a wide range of problems and solutions for the Design for Change challenge in areas that varied from distorted ideals of beauty to unhealthy lunch packets. But especially one problem concerned many of the students, and that was garbage floating in the cities and countryside – a problem that also concerned the winning team, who found that more litter bins are needed in nature, on trails, near benches, and so on.

“We are aware that it is too expensive for the government to maintain and empty the bins. Therefore, our idea is to enable individuals and businesses to buy ‘crowdbins’ and even to empty them,” the Crowdbin group told CocreateNow.

Each bin is given a big QR code – a kind of bar code that you can scan with your smartphone, and above the code is a text that says: “If the bin is full, scan the code.”

“If you scan the code, you are directed to a website where you in a very simple way can report that the bin is full. Those responsible for the bins will receive the message that it is full, and they move out can empty it,” explained Andreas Rübner-Petersen from the CrowdBin project.

“The point is that together, citizens can accomplish this task in a way that the government never was able to. It is a way to ensure that bins are maintained in places where there is a need for it, but where it didn’t happen, because regular maintenance was too costly.


Simple and beneficial

The judges of Design for Change made the following statement on why they found this particular idea should be rewarded:

“The idea is good because it is simple and to the benefit of many people. It is easy to implement. The locals who use the outdoor areas can arrange to be notified about emptying the bins. They are doing something active for the community that is also beneficial for them – here’s motivation to ‘participate’ in the project.”


Danish-Indian co-creation

Højer Design Boarding School is very proud to have participated and won the Danish part of Design for Change, and they intend to participate again in 2014. Furthermore, the Principal of Højer Design Boarding School has established good contact to a number of Indian schools through Design for Change and has arranged for the school’s innovation class to visit these schools in India in 2014. The Danish students will meet the Indian culture and together the Danish and Indian students will co-create and develop innovative solutions to the challenges that some of the Indian schools are facing.

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» Photos: Dialoogle – Sponsor of Design for Change

» More information about Design for Change:
www.dfcworld.com

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Video on youtube.com with the Danish winner-team.


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Video about CrowdBin, posted on youtube.com on 5 November 2013.


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» Facebook page with photos from the 2013-conference ‘Be the change’ in Ahmedabad, India, which started co-operation and co-creation between Design for Change global partners from 17 countries around the world.


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