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ENGAGE.EU Expedition Week in Vienna: Solving Societal Challenges

The ENGAGE.EU Expedition Week is a unique initiative that brings together students, experts, and mentors to tackle real-life issues and find solutions, which create value for society. It is a collaborative program, which embraces the principles of inno-preneurship and aims to foster societal transformation. The Expedition Week is a successful output of ENGAGE.EU European University Alliance, which has been organised since November 2020. It is a one-week intensive program, where selected students from alliance member universities, work together in multidisciplinary teams to create knowledge-based and mission-oriented solutions by using design-thinking methods.

Fourth Edition of ENGAGE.EU Expedition Week on Inequalities

The Expedition Week in Vienna was the fourth edition of ENGAGE.EU Expedition Weeks, which took place on 22-26 May 2023 on the general theme of inequalities. Two ENGAGE.EU associated partners, Caritas and the City of Vienna (Stadt Wien), were invited to be the challenge sponsors for the program. Stadt Wien presented the social housing system in Vienna, existing projects and current issues, while Caritas presented issues of poverty and stigmatization in Vienna. Two field trips to selected project sites (Wolfganggase Wohnungen and Caritas Tageszentrum am Hbf) were organised together with the institutions for a better overview of the situation on the ground. The academic framework of the program was provided by the head of the WU Institute Economics of Inequality Prof. Wilfried Altzinger and two researchers from his team Prof. Karin Heitzmann and Dr. Stefan Angel, who introduced the topic from a scientific perspective. The program was also enriched with introduction sessions on the Design-thinking process, a pitch training and keynote speeches by two social entrepreneurs.

The Winning Team

Friday, 26th of May, marked the end of the program with the handing over of certificates to all students and the announcement of the winning team of the Vienna Expedition Week. The winning team worked on the challenge presented by Stadt Wien and proposed an innovative solution on reducing water consumption in apartments in Vienna by creating awareness, acceptance, and engagement towards sustainable housing practices.

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