Why take openlab’s Master course?

Our Master’s course Innovations for Societal Challenges (15 or 7,5 Credits) is an interdisciplinary project course based on challenge driven innovation. You will learn and apply Design Thinking in order to develop solutions and innovations to a given societal challenge, on behalf of an external public sector client. You will work in teams with students from different universities, disciplines and backgrounds.

The course is provided by Openlab’s four partner universities Stockholm University, Karolinska Institutet, Södertörn University and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, in collaboration, with challenges from the City of Stockholm and Region Stockholm. Openlab’s master’s course also goes by the name “Challenges for emerging cities”.

“This is the most useful course I have taken in my 5 years of studies. The creativity, innovations and solution-oriented approach is something I will keep as a core approach to my work going forward. Highly recommended!”

Former Master’s Course student

We provide a hands-on course that teaches design methods, project management and teamwork skills that will be valuable for your future work or academic studies. All this while you create solutions with the potential drive societal development in the fields of sustainable urban development, health, education and the ageing population.

Openlab Master Course

Learning goals:

  • Learn and apply design methods and tools (Design Thinking) to create innovative solutions to societal challenges
  • Learn and apply project management methods and tools (SCRUM) to an innovation project
  • Solve challenges on behalf of an external public sector client
  • Analyse complex societal challenges from an interdisciplinary and needs-based perspective
  • Develop skills for working in interdisciplinary, international teams
  • Develop skills for presenting an innovation or concept, verbally, visually and in text, such as sketches, prototypes, pitches, presentations and reports
  • Develop a creative, visual, problem-solving mindset towards approaching challenges
  • Develop and evaluate ideas for innovations with the potential to create lasting benefits and value or a specific target group

Working with real life challenges

The challenges in the course are submitted by the City of Stockholm and Region Stockholm and origins from the four main areas: sustainable urban development, future healthcare, education and the ageing population.

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Sustainable urban development

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Ageing population

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Submit your application to one the the participating universities: KTH, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm University or Södertörn University (see application details). For general questions about the course contact Mats Danielson.


Course days: Tuesdays and Thursdays
Important dates, spring semester 2024:

  • Course start, January 16th
  • Challenge presentations, January 25th
  • Halftime presentations, March 14th
  • Final presentations, May 23rd

The final presentations of autumn semester 2023: January 11th 2024

Course details

Start period: Period 1
Level: Master
Study pace: 50 %
Daytime: Tuesdays and Thursdays
Language: English
Qualifications: 180 credits
Location: Openlab, Stockholm (Valhallavägen 79, 3rd floor)

Karolinska institutet

Karolinska Institutet

Course names: Innovations for Emerging Cities: Openlab Course Package (15 credits)
Innovations for Emerging Cities: Openlab Multidisciplinary Project Course (7,5 credits)
More information and course syllabus
Contact: Sofia Vikström, sofia.vikstrom@ki.se
Available as 7,5 credits (period 1 or 2) or 15 credits (both periods 1 and 2, course package)

KI – Apply here

Södertörns högskola

Södertörn University

Course name: Challenges for Emerging Cities: Openlab Multidisciplinary Project Course
More information
Contact:  Martin Jonsson, martin.jonsson@sh.se
Available as 15 credits.

SH – Apply here

KTH Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan


Course names:
MF2065 Innovations for the Emerging City, Openlab Multidisciplinary Project Course 15.0 credits
MF2080 Challenges for the Emerging City, Interdiciplinary Project Course A:1 (OpenLab Project Course) 7.5 credits

Contact: Jens Hemphälä, hemphala@kth.se
Available as 7,5 or 15 credits.

KTH – Register via your study advisor

Stockholms universitet


Course name: Innovations for Societal Challenges: Multidisciplinary Project Course
Course syllabus
SU study counsellors: Centrallocal
Contact: Mats Danielson, mats.danielson@su.se
Available as 15 credits.

SU – Apply here

Previous Student projects

  • Projektet Hand in Hand Söder

    Hand in Hand Söder


  • Energize Skarpnäck - Creating a place with, not for, people!

    Open Square


  • Illustration for the project OpenLän and the solution AR-board.



  • XClimate desktop view

    A green and fossil-free city


  • A board for Citizens matter

    Citizen matters


  • Hands with Skapa tillsammans project

    Skapa Tillsammans: A Co-Creation Hub