Rat Relay is a three-day design thinking hackathon organized by the Design Factory Global Network. Each Design Factory brings a sponsored challenge that is rotated around the world before returning back home – just like in our interconnected world today, tasks are shared and split between teams working together near and far. The challenges are tackled in six 6-hour slots following the design thinking process: emphatizing, (re)defining, ideating, prototyping, testing and pitching solutions. The Rat Relay is open to everyone (although advance registration is required), and participants choose how many slots they wish to take part in. If you are an Aalto University student, you can receive 1 study credit through the “MEC-E3999 Product Development Course with Varying Content V” if you take part in at least 4 slots.

Join us in the next Rat Relay 3.-6.5.2019!

This time around, we’re piloting a new format. On Friday, we’ll work for three hours on design briefs tied to the UN sustainability goals to create out local insights to challenges in Bogota, Colombia and Shanghai, China using service design tools.

Then on Monday, we will be working on a challenge provided by UNTIL, the United Nations Technology Innovation Labs. In particular, we are targeting how we might motivate young dropout Syrian refugees in Jordan to become more excited about online learning. We’ll learn how to translate stakeholder insights gathered at Cali, Colombia and Seoul, Korea, into solutions ideas that work here in Finland. Along the way, we’ll learns some tools for reframing and ideation – staple parts of design thinking projects.

In a Rat Relay you get first-hand experience of

collaborating locally in a multidisciplinary team – how do you work effectively with people from different backgrounds?

collaborating internationally – how do you get onboard a project that started somewhere else in the world, and how do you communicate onward what you’ve done in your slot?

the design thinking process and some of the practices used at each stage – for example, how do you identify service touchpoints, what should you take into account when defining your project, and how do you make quick-n-dirty prototypes in less than 15 minutes?

having fun while addressing meaningful issues faced by real people around the world – what kind of leverage can we co-create to improve our communities and habitats?


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Tua BjörklundRat Relay for Global Good