The Challenges

‘Twentse Belofte’ Challenge

In 2002 a national campaign started to reduce the number of school leavers from 80.000 at the time to 20.000 in 2021. Schools and local governments work together by initiating different projects to change the system. Progress has been made, last year the amount of dropouts went down to 25.000, but there is still work to be done.

The initiative of the region of Twente is known as ‘Twentse Belofte’, The Promise of Twente programme. It’s main focus is to support youngsters (especially those in a vulnerable position) in order to continue their basic education, or guide them in finding a job if they drop out of school. This is a necessity because the range of opportunities in life drastically declines without basic education.

The municipalities of Twente need you!

We have put together a big dataset with all kinds of attributes. With your help we hope to find surprising patterns and correlations within the data which could lead to identifying groups of students in a vulnerable position as well as finding positive indicators that can stimulate youngsters and their social environment to take certain actions. In addition visualisations should be created  to communicate the problems and ideas to professionals in the field. You’ll have the opportunity to think and propose preventative measures that tackle the problem!

With the above aspects in mind we’re formulating multidisciplinary teams; this challenge is more than just data science.

All the data-sets and their description will be provided in English.

More information
You can find extra information (in Dutch) on the subject here:

City of Stavanger: Improved services for young families

Municipalities in principle deliver services to their inhabitants. That’s what we pay taxes for and that’s what we, as citizens, expect to be organized. True?

But what are the services that should be delivered, in which way, and for whom? Decision makers in municipalities and other public services are struggling with answering these questions on a daily basis.

Digitisation changes the dynamics of decision making in a drastic way: supply and demand can be coupled more intensely, thus possibilities open for new services, increased flexibility, and improved quality. Municipalities can easier support their citizens and at the same time reduce the environmental footprint, enhance a healthy climate in town and all this under an affordable price. But how can we do it?

The municipality of Stavanger (Norway) is looking for your input to improve their services to young families, with specific focus on the subject of Kindergarten functionality. Based on a broad set of open data, both local and national, you can get deeper understanding of the typical Stavanger situation. The question is to develop new tailor made services for the support of young families, in a scalable way, so that future requests can be accommodated. Would they be interesting and useful for other cities around the world as well?

For this challenge mixed teams will be formed with students from the city of Stavanger as the most of the open data are in Norwegian.

More Information
Kindergarten facts (In Norwegian):

Civic engagement in the safe living environment in Brabant Cities

In the Netherlands, Safety Regions are goal-directed organisational networks in which police, fire services and medical assistance are organised under a single management board. This creates clear operational responsibilities in disaster- and crisis – management.

Recently safety regions proposed to include “citizens” as partners in safety management to protect their neighborhoods against risks of disaster and crisis. But how could we make this work? How would a volunteering scheme work and how can the interaction and coordination between citizens and professionals be organised? Digitisation of (public) services, seems to offer an opportunity to enable this process, but what is the price and how can we benefit from it? How can we deal with the dark side of digitisation? Think about: increased feeling of loneliness despite the perception of being active on “social” media, safety with regard to personal data, vulnerable groups of citizens and their wellbeing.

A couple of interesting issues arise. Firstly, how can we reach, motivate, and retain citizens active in voluntary activities which in some cases even can be dangerous for their own lives. For instance, put yourself in a situation of a wildfire in the region.  Would you be willing to volunteer and help people in need? Secondly, up to which extent and how can we employ digital means to provide tailor made services for individuals and groups of citizens in need, when disaster or crisis situations occur? Do we need to differentiate here between groups of people, i.e., volunteers from 18-to-30 versus 55+ year olds?

And finally, if we decide to involve citizens in actual operations of safety regions, for what purpose and under which particular circumstances do we want to do that, and how do we guarantee (digital) safety for all of us?

The province of Brabant, pays extra attention to these issues of mobilising citizens. How can we actively engage them in smart public safety in their neighborhoods by using digital data and (public) services? To what extent do you see citizens being part of crisis and emergency management and actively engage them in for instance the evacuation of elderly people around their workplace or neighborhood?

Mobility As A Service in the City of Linköping

In Sweden, the national government strongly supports the development of MAAS: Mobility as a Service. The program supports cross-functional collaboration between various stakeholders aiming at designing the next generation mobility system for people and goods, based on electrified, connected, automated and shared vehicles.

The municipality of Linkoping has particular interest in this initiative, especially because of the development of the new Vallastaden area that offers experimental possibilities for living, working and leisure aiming to develop the city of the future. The question that comes up is then how can we stimulate, develop and organize mobility as a service for the citizens of Vallastaden, while improving livability and reducing the environmental footprint at an affordable price.

More Information
Presentation about MaaS strategies and activities in Sweden:

Vallastaden: A diverse, bottom-up housing development:

Hamburg Innovation Fellows

Hamburg, traditionally known as one of the world’s great transport hubs, has the aspiration to be recognized as one of Europe’s leading cities for innovation, building on its international connections and claim to be Germany’s Gateway to the World. While Hamburg is a modern well-functioning city, the challenge is to establish a profile of the city as an Innovation Capital.

In this context, Marketing Hamburg GmbH and the City of Hamburg developed a proposal “the FUTURE HAMBURG – Connect, collaborate and create: Hamburg’s approach to responsible innovation”, as a basis for recognition as European Innovation Capital 2018 .

Leaps in innovation come from seeing how everyday needs can be met differently. But seeing the opportunity does not mean that results will be realised. The road to success is paved with yes-but’s, tried-earlier’s and too-busy to also do that’s, often buried in mindset, pre-occupations and fearful expectations of things to come.

The City of Hamburg seeks solutions to such barriers of change and innovation by imbedding a scheme of Innovation Fellows. These people (young professionals?) are expected to identify opportunities and means to enable societal actors (researchers, citizens, policy makers, business, third sector organizations, etc.) to work together and in particular to address:

  • How Hamburg can address innovation in the context of attainment of the European 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
  • How Hamburg can link up with other urban hubs in Europe and worldwide for meaningful exchange and shared development of solutions addressing 2030 Agenda priorities

The requested solution should contribute to solving identified challenges of the City of Hamburg and related stakeholders, should be articulated in terms of objectives, resources, financing and governance and should in principle be scalable to other innovation hubs, after a pilot period in Hamburg in the next 6-12 months.

More information:
Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

UN-Agenda 2030: Hamburgs Fahrplan

Alternative (Mobility) Futures in the city of Aalborg

The region of North Denmark comprises two larger areas, Vendsyssel in the North and Himmerland in the south, which are separated by the Limfjord. The region’s only major city is Aalborg that has two main road crossings connecting it with its sister town of Nørresundby on the opposite side of the fjord. In Nørresundby, the region of North Denmark has an airport with modest international connections in NW Europe and holiday flights to several mediterranean locations. By train, the region is well connected to the rest of Denmark and Germany.

In recent decades Aalborg and the surrounding area developed into a major administrative and economic centre, with activities in building & construction, telecom & IT and last but not least harbor related enterprises, bringing the region to flourish and grow.

Supporting growth, innovation and development for the future has been a societal and political issue since the late 70-ies. Much attention has been focused on how to increase capacity for (car) traffic across the Limfjord. Supporters and opponents of various scenarios argue on the one side that the (economic) development of the region is at high risk and therefore a 3rd bridge across Limfjord should be build asap, while others focus on more sustainable options by developing other types of mobility and investing in innovative concepts and infrastructure for public transport, autonomous vehicles (cars, busses, and ferries), mobility as a service (e.g. sharing schemes, and app-based developments to connect modes) etc.

The challenge is to find better, more sustainable solutions (that have not been proposed yet), that can be realized within a timeframe of say 10 years, not requiring unrealistic financial means or other resources of the society of North Denmark

Think about:

  • What if investments in mobility as a service, rail improvements, water buses upgrades, freight  by rail / water enhancement etc. could produce similar results to a 3rd bridge crossing?
  • What if we could enhance inner-city traffic flow by providing alternative mobility solutions for individuals?
  • How possible would be to free up road capacity and for how long given the current status of mobility and transportation demands?
  • Where should we start (now!) and how – if at all – could we scale these solutions to provide an alternative (mobility) future?

Take into account the current developments and trajectories, include new ones planned or proposed, look to future climate (one or several scenarios) and its impact on spatial planning in the region and in Aalborg!

More information:
14 good reasons for the construction of the new bridge (Danish):

OpenData sources for Denmark/Region/Aalborg:

Other sources of data should also be explored…


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