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Province of Groningen seeks fresh perspectives from fresh minds of RUG-students

Photo: Kick off SMiLES Interdisciplinary Group Assignment: Shared Mobility of Rural Groningen @Provincie Groningen

Kickoff of the SMiLES Interdisciplinary Group Assignment Shared Mobility in Rural Groningen

Last Wednesday was the kickoff of the SMiLES Interdisciplinary Group Assignment Shared Mobility in Rural Groningen. Students of the faculties of LAW, Spatial Sciences, Behavioural and Social Sciences, Economics and Business, and Campus Fryslan were present at the provincial house to learn more about the challenges that Province of Groningen is facing concerning transport and the accessibility of rural areas in the province.

Challenges for Province of Groningen
Chris Nobel (Senior Advisor Smart & Green Transport Strategy) took them along in the responsibilities of the province, and even did a quiz about shared mobility. He challenged the students to come up with creative ideas and solutions to make shared mobility initiatives successful in rural areas. He invited them to think about how to integrate shared mobility initiatives in public mobility and what the tole of the Province should be in organizing this. He seeks fresh perspectives from fresh minds.

Working in interdisciplinary teams
Then Wilko Huyink (who has ample experience of working in projects, is the former director of Groningen Bereikbaar societal partner in SMiLES and is now environmental manager Lelylijn) took over to focus on working together in interdisciplinary teams. It is important to get the client’s question clear and to think of the elements WE (collaboration), THEM (environment), ME (leadership) and IT (structure). Who is involved, how are we going to work together, and what am I going to do? With these questions in mind the students started to exchange their thoughts and discussed how to best collaborate in this project.

Advisory report and final presentation
The students have to work on this challenge independently in teams. There are 4 more joint sessions organized to look at questions from different perspectives on each of the main disciplinary themes coordinated by lecturers from the participating faculties. The end product is an advisory report to the Province on how the students think they should design shared mobility in rural areas.  Students will present their ideas at the Province of Groningen on 11 April 2024.

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