After a semester of preparation and 3 days of hard work on the solution for the case given by the city of Mannheim: “Design an intervention to promote positive mental health and social well-being that improves the opportunities for citizens in urban neighborhoods characterized by challenging socio-economic conditions”, the final pitches of 12 interdisciplinary and international teams took place last Sunday, 12 December.
The winning team was composed of Katharina (Geography, Heidelberg), Miriam (Interdisciplinary Medical Science, Milano), and Julia (Language and Society, Warsaw). Their approach brings back the Garage Generation, to build trust and help citizens to gain perspective in life in a collective manner. The team thus proposes to use garages as public work and meeting spaces for many different purposes, and to connect neighbors through these activities.
“ConnAct”, and app connecting people to activities in their local community, encouraging them to act, received the second price. The app would be developed in cooperation with the municipality, and through a creator account, local institutions and associations post their events and activities. ConnAct entails a gaming aspect so that when users attend events, they obtain points and will be granted coupons to diverse shops in Mannheim. The team that proposed this project consisted of Aandrea-Maria (Economics & Sociology, Heidelberg; Farah (Global Health, Uppsala), Guglielmo (Management of Healthcare, Milano), Valentine Sophia (Anthropology & Psychology, Copenhagen), and Sanni (Linguistics, Warsaw).
The third price was won by “Green therapy on the streets”, a project that will give people the opportunity to express themselves while painting on the walls in the district, changing them into a green jungle, which simultaneously cleans the air and calms the inhabitants. This painting ritual would also be a social event, strengthening the community, claims the team, consisting of Anna (Sociology, Warsaw), Emilia (Anthropozoology, Warsaw), Sabína (Social Epidemiology, Prague), and Teresa (Geography, Heidelberg)
A special price for the most creative solution was awarded to the team that proposed Mood Boxes, a re-use of phone boxes to connect either to random neighbours or to mental health professionals. Members of this team were Nina (Geography, Heidelberg), Michelle (Management of Healthcare, Milano) Kateřina (Psychology, Prague) and Ewa (Applied Sociology, Warsaw)
It has to be said that all teams did a very good job, and the Jury had a hard time defining the winners. So, congratulations to all teams for their hard work and very inspiring pitches!