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Innovative ideas for the University in the City

CIVIS, a European Civic University, is committed to addressing the greatest societal challenges of our time. But to meet these challenges, we need innovative, feasible and inspiring solutions.

This is why CIVIS organised a Creathon for students, academics and staff across the CIVIS Alliance on 25 and 26 November 2021! It was a  perfect opportunity to meet fellow members from the ten CIVIS universities, be a creative force, share expertise and bring innovative ideas to life.

Around 40 participants were selected and gathered in Brussels, Belgium, at Université libre de Bruxelles.

Among the participants, there were:

  • Students (BA and MA) - across all academic disciplines 
  • PhD candidates - across all academic disciplines 
  • Post-docs - across all academic disciplines 
  • Academic staff - across all academic disciplines 
  • Researchers - across all academic disciplines 
  • Administrative staff

7 teams 

Participants, organised into 7 teams, worked tirelessly to find innovative ways to build the CIVIS University campus of tomorrow and competed for first place on the podium. Discover the different teams below! 

The mind meanders


TOGETHER, we win!

Mens sana in corpore sano


The Synapses 


1 winning team

The winning team was The Synapses! They stood out to the jury with their proposal of a CIVIS social media platform, streamlining CIVIS internal information flows. Each member of the team won a mobility in the context of a CIVIS course of their choice.

The Synapses - Winning team of the Creathon 2021

The CIVIS Creathon organising team

Discover other photos of the Global CIVIS Days 2021

Teams & Topics

Based on the topics selection, participants were asked to come up with a challenge (i.e. a research question) they will find innovative ways to tackle throughout the two-day-long Creathon. 

Topics included: 



Campus life

  • In the city​
  • Between campuses​
  • Between Universities​
  • Student support​
  • Courses / programs​
  • Resources​ (and access to resources)
  • Libraries
  • Restaurants ​
  • Sports ​
  • Culture ​
  • Housing ​
  • Health and well-being ​
  • Inclusion and welfare​
  • Parties and recreational life​

Let the Creathon game started! 

During the two days, all teams will be working together through a boardgame specifically conceived for the CIVIS Creathon. Each team had two days to brainstorm, decide, design, prototype and pitch their project! 

Mid-project, experts from CIVIS's Hub 4 "Cities, Mobility, and Territories" spent some time with our "Creators" and provided them with priceless tips! This was
 a fantastic opportunity for all participants to test out their hypotheses, assess the feasibility of their project, and maybe broaden their horizons and discover untapped potentials. 

It's pitch time!

At the end of the Creaton, all teams had three minutes to present their innovative responses and projects to a Jury of field experts and CIVIS University members. Judges bore in mind the following criteria when assessing the teams' presentations:

  • Relevance: does the solution address the problem and fall within the scope of the CIVIS hackathon challenge category described in the brief?
  • Innovation: how innovative is the solution/approach to solve the problem described in the brief? Are there other solutions available and if so, how does this differentiate from them? 
  • Feasibility: How feasible is the solution to put into practice? Does the solution make sense financially? Will the solution be sustainable over the long term?
  • Replicability/ability to scale up: can the solution be replicated or scaled to other CIVIS member Universities?
  • Quality of presentation: does the presentation of the project follow a logical and structured sequence without spelling mistakes and with quality arguments?

Creathon winners were awarded one mobility voucher for each of its members to visit the CIVIS University of their choice. 

The jury comprised academic authorities from the co-organising universities: 

  • Prof. Nadia Fernández, UAM, Rector’s Delegate for CIVIS Affairs
  • Prof. Lorna Hughes, UofG, Dean for Global Engagement in Europe 
  • Prof. Charline Urbain, ULB, Vice-Rector for Sustainable Development 

Team Greensleeves

Download their presentation

Team TOGETHER, we win!

Download their presentation

Team Mens Sana in Corpore Sano

Download their presentation

Team Synapses (winning team)

Download their presentation

Team The Mind Menders

Download their presentation

Team Nomós

Download their presentation

Team Euroverse

Presentation coming soon