The Student Service Design Challenge celebrated its first edition this year with the participation of student teams from 15 European schools and universities. 35 teams were selected, 20 made it into the final of which 19 teams managed to submit their concepts by May 22: a full-fledged product or service solution that complied with the challenge's evaluation criteria: people centric, society oriented, technology enabled, circular & sustainable and business viable.
The effort and solutions of all the teams made this inaugural edition an absolute success. The students' main takeaways include the acquisition of new tools and methodologies, co-creation and collaboration within multidisciplinary teams, and the guidance and feedback obtained from the exhaustive mentoring sessions. But above all, they learned to empathise with a real and genuinely urgent issue, namely inclusive access to care. Still, many people are underserved, misunderstood, neglected, and marginalised.
Through their research, understanding their situation, finding and addressing gaps, identifying their needs, and the deficiencies in the system, the teams discovered the seriousness and depth of the problems their target users face. This made their solutions insightful and relevant and should serve as an inspiration to take action in eradicating discrimination in global access to care.
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Dedication and perseverance
All students considered it a valuable add-on to their study curriculum. They are grateful for the opportunity and recommend the experience as unique and enriching: showing the talents, applying their skills, getting expert support, and challenging themselves to solve real, critical social issues.
Frank Kolkman, their tireless and dedicated mentor, witnessed their progress and growth. Even during the hardest days of recent global pandemic events, he admired their dedication and perseverance: "I would like to thank all the teams for their dedication and effort. All of them have succeeded in delivering exciting work that has relevance and potential to be further developed."
Frank also found it a real pleasure to be able to monitor the progress of the teams and witness their research and ideas take shape through inspiring meetings and the end of round deliverables.
Now, we are putting together the next edition of this Challenge, more convinced than ever, that the unbiased, playful and uninhibited approach of students can lead to new, disruptive ideas, increasing the chance to deliver on the promise of value-based care: providing the right care to the people who need it, at the right time, in a convenient, and accessible way.
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