Smart Living Challenge is global platform for the promotion of smarter living and concepts of sustainable development in urban areas.
Smart Living Challenge – A global search for sustainable innovation is an open international innovation competition designed to generate business opportunities and ideas that foster a sustainable lifestyle in urban environments. This could be products, services and solutions that will make it easier for individuals to live smarter and more sustainable lives.
This platform for the promotion of smarter living and concepts of sustainable development in urban areas that has been introduced in 2014, through a program of workshops held in 27 countries, including Serbia where in the framework of educational program of Nova Iskra one of the 14 winning ideas was developed. Program initiators – Swedish institute and the Swedish Association of Incubators and Science Parks – have prepared the continuation of the cooperation in 2015, focusing on three countries in which SLC gave the most interesting results – Brazil, Zambia and Serbia.
WHY [What problem is solved]
Today, a growing majority of the global population lives in cities. This trend is bringing new challenges in terms of housing, transport and food supply. New knowledge, creativity and rapid technological advance offer a means of finding and developing tomorrow’s smart solutions. The idea is to use the technology, innovative drive and competence at our disposal to encourage the development of urban lifestyles in which sustainable solutions are both attractive and profitable.
For this reason, Smart Living Challenge is divided into three separate categories: MOVE – dedicated to transportation, LIVE – dealing with the aspects of our habitats, and EAT – concerning the food issues. The theme of the Serbian program In 2015 was LIVE, through which ideas for smarter consumption and sustainable systems in urban environments were explored, whether through housing, public spaces or more responsible attitude towards resources.
How (we did this project)
In 2014 there were two competitive categories, one for those with new ideas and one for existing innovations. Ideas with a business potential were preferred but ideas from all other fields are welcome, including ICT, robotics, design, re-use, behavior etc. The 15 selected authors won a trip to Sweden, where they have visited the cutting-edge locations of smart urban living. In addition, there was a certain number of workshops in local communities, with the participation of local experts and selected facilitators from Sweden. These workshops were held in 10 countries, while there first presentation outside of Sweden was held right here in Serbia, in cooperation with Anders Wikstrom, who has been facilitating the workshops through a combination of different approaches of design thinking, as well as visual thinking and narrative development, in order to gain new knowledge and insights.
In 2015, the SLC organizing committee was joined by the prestigious Swedish consulting, scientific and educational organization Hyper Island, which has educational centers in Stockholm, Manchester, Singapore, Sao Paulo, London, New York and Karlskrona. Their representative Alex Neuman was the main mentor of the multidisciplinary team whose project was realized in Serbia, and which was formed based on an open call and worked on a joint project in the period of three months. The team members have cooperated with numerous experts from Serbia and Sweden, as well as exchanged information with the other two SLC teams – in Rio de Janeiro and Lusaka. The three projects that resulted from the program were presented during the COP21 conference in Paris in December 2015, at the UN’s forum for sustainable innovation and climate change.
The Serbian SLC team, consisted of seven members of various backgrounds, was focused on the theme LIVE through a multidisciplinary approach and collaborative work. Their proposal included creating a new physical space – Center for Garbage Studies– a platform for the involvement of various stakeholders, sectors, professionals and citizens who would deal with this topic as part of the Center.
What is the next step
The second program cycle of SLC was fully realized in 2015, and based on those experiences the Swedish Institute has kickstarted many new initiatives in the domain of sustainable development, and continued to collaborate with Nova Iskra.