From March 19 to June 25 2020, Leyden Academy organised the Honours Class Innovating Health and Well-being through Entrepreneurship in close collaboration with Leiden University and PLNT Innovation Centre in Leiden. The Honours Class is part of the Master Honours Classes, extracurricular courses for talented master students that tackle complex scientific and social issues in an interdisciplinary manner.
Given the special time we are in, these challenges are related to the corona crisis. In ten weeks time, fifty bachelor and master students of Leiden University were engaged in a virtual learning experience to tackle complex issues such as:
- How do we keep in touch with elderly people living independently who do not have digital resources?
- How do we explain the measures taken due to the corona virus to children, young people, people who are illiterate or people with intellectual disabilities?
- How do we keep (the limited number of) care providers healthy, while they care for vulnerable people and have a family at home?
- How can we deal with loneliness among students, youth, and seniors today?
- How should we deal with social distancing in the last phase of a person’s life?
The curriculum started with defining and analyzing the problem, followed by design thinking processes (creativity and innovation), better understanding of the end user and testing with MVPs (minimum viable product or service), and concluding with testing whether the solution is viable, through business modeling and value proposition. We hope that innovations will ultimately make a positive contribution to the issues we are facing in this unreal time.