Master's course

Challenges for Emerging Cities teaches design methods for challenge-driven innovation. Accelerate social change and put an edge to your CV.


Why take Openlab’s Master’s Course?

Our Master’s course Challenges for Emerging Cities (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.

“I think 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.

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


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


Submit your application to one the the participating universities: KTH, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholms University or Södertörn University, through For general questions about the course contact Course Director Liv Gingnell.


Course start, autumn 2019: September 3rd, 9.00 – 17.00, Valhallavägen 79
Course days: Tuesdays and Thursdays
(The detailed Schedule will be available from ca. mid August)



Course details

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

Previous student projects

Illustration of components in documentation system the student project Life Storybook

Life Storybook

Process-board with pot-its and scetches for the student project Fungi the Mushroom

Fungi the Mushroom

Prototype of the concept BUSS. Smiling elderly people at an activity center.

BUSS – Brommas UtflyktsSugna Seniorer

Images from video prototype of the concept L(a)unch with us

L(a)unch with us


SpiderWoman 2.0


Smart square


See more