RETHINK CREATIVE MARATHON: Rethinking how the city works and lives

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THE CHALLENGE

We live in the era of digitalization and technology. They are present everywhere around us. The concept of Smart Cities is present in the developed countries and it is one of the trends of the future. To tackle this trend, we need to bring new innovative solutions to improve the way the city of Skopje works and lives. Our goal was to inspire young people and crowdsource ideas on how the life of the citizens of Skopje might be enhanced by technology. We wanted to motivate young people to take initiative and come up with innovative and creative solutions, how we can change the ways people live and work in Skopje.


GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

1. Improve the way the city works and lives.
2. Raise awareness about the concept of Smart City.
3. Boost boost the entrepreneurial spirit among the young people.

 


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PROCESS AND INSIGHTS

In order to come up with more creative solutions we reached out to young talented students and individuals who were willing to explore, learn and bring fresh ideas how to improve the way the city works and lives. Solveo organized a three day creative marathon called “Rethink” - Rethinking how the city works and lives”. The main goal was to motivate young people to take more action and be innovative. Ninety ambitious young people divided in 18 teams participated in the creative marathon.  All the teams came up with ideas that would make Skopje a smart city.

The event started with a conference where successful Macedonian entrepreneurs motivated and inspired the participants by shared their knowledge and experience on six topics: Online payment and user experience, concepting idea for a smart city,  marketing communications of smart city projects, rethinking how the government runs the cities of the future, youth e-participation as a pillar for sustainable society and how smart buildings are changing today's workplace.

After the conference the participants had a task to come up with as many innovative ideas as possible. All the teams came up with more than 1000 ideas. All the ideas were interesting and each team had to pick just one idea and work on it. During the creative marathon a lot of companies and experts from different fields were working together with the teams in order to come up with the most realistic and effective ideas. After three days full of energy, motivation and creativity we saw a lot of fresh and creative ideas and we choose the best three solutions, which are taken to implementation phase.

 


 
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SOLUTIONS

The winning team created a solution that has the biggest likelihood of being implemented, their idea was to set up platforms on the ground that will produce electric power from the human step. Each platform is connected to three generators, which produces 5 to 8 W from only one human step, the generated energy is stored in batteries and then is used for providing street lightning.  The platforms would be step up at locations across Skopje where there is the largest flow of people. The main purpose of these solution is to produce energy in a efficient way and save finances.

 

The second best team presented an innovative solution, utilizing residential roofs by developing urban agriculture using the aquaponics system. The Aquaponics system is a mini ecosystem that maintains itself. The cultivation of the fish and the nutrients they create enables fast and high-quality growth of fruits and vegetables without the need of fertile land and toxic substances. The cultivation uses 10 times less water than traditional agriculture and allows the production of vegetables and fruits at any time of the year.

 

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The team which won the third place made a solution for innovative and smart selecting waste. They introduced the platform “Skopje is Recycling” where you can find out about the new process of recycling and selecting the waste. The recycling process that they introduced is simple and easy to use, there are smart bins in the municipalities which are able to recognize what material goes inside and how full they are. Their main goal is to change the habit of the citizens for selecting waste through a tailored communication strategy integrated into the platform itself.

 
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RESULTS

1. Raised awareness about the concept of Smart Cities.
2. Sixteen business ideas that have the potential to become Startups.
3. Ninety motivated and satisfied young people.