Every year the local High School in the Netherlands, Fontys, organizes an international gathering of students from other European countries. During a week they are challenged to work together on certain topics. These students came from the background of IT and Business Studies. Fontys was already charmed by the regional measurement network for air quality in the region. It therefore contacted AiREAS with the question if we would like to participate and present a case? We accepted of course, with gratitud. In view of the diversity of the background of the students, I decided to bring our challenge to the level of Healthy City development. During my opening presentation I took the students to the mindset of Sustainocracy, the one of shared responsibility for our core values, including our health and a healthy envirionment.
Since there were also students in Business Studies I also took them into the thinking of 4 x WIN. They were grouped in multidisciplianry teams to work on their own healthy city contributions. As usual there was a touch base moment to see where they stood in the middle of the week. All were motivated and already had basic ideas of what they would present at the end of the week.
Also the local government and our technological institute, TNO, did some related inspiration sessions, showing the local cohesion around health and health based city design.
Initially there were four groups of about 10 students. We expected 4 poster presentations but finally were presented with 6. Some groups had split up because of outbursts of ideas that wanted to see the light too.
The students were enthousiastic about the learning environment in a real life case of city development. Our institute at home does not work this way, they said. This was an eye opener for us, a new world of awareness that we would like to pursue further.