Interdisciplinary teamwork, real world challenges and creative problem solving were the main components of the Challenge Accepted program at the Student Project House of ETH Zurich. Teampact was happy to support this program with one of our coaches to guide through the program and give valuable feedback along the whole process.

In this 6-weeks extracurricular program students from various levels and backgrounds worked together to find creative solutions in an interactive and dynamic environment. By following the design thinking innovation approach the participants worked on two challenges in sustainability. One challenge tackled the problem of sustainable packaging and was provided by Ricolab. The second challenge faced the medical treatment of dialysis and was figuring out, how to make this more sustainable. This challenge was provided by Kantonsspital Aarau and Fresenius Medical Care AG.

In a first phase the participants were supported to immerse themselves in their problem fields by talking to experts and excursions to the hospital or an incineration site in order to learn more about the problem context in the real-world environment.

After understanding the problem, the students started to find solutions by the help of creativity methods. The first ideas were translated into paper prototypes and later developed to higher fidelity prototypes. In the sense of agile working, the experts provided feedback in the mid of the project and the participants could further develop their ideas. At the final event, prototypes and concepts were presented in short pitches to the challenge providers and a general audience.

As coaches, it was great to see the highly motivated students working in this innovative environment on new solutions for real-world challenges. In addition, it was exciting and challenging to adequately support the different teams with their individual ideas and approaches since the teams worked at rather different ideas and paces. In conclusion, for teampact it was an interesting coaching task and an effective collaboration with the student project house. We are looking forward to more challenges!