From August 28th to September 01st, 20 students of this year´s EPIC Missions met in Poznan at the Adam-Mickiewicz-University to kick off their six-month journey. Their mission? Tackle real-world challenges on behalf of external stakeholders from the various EPICUR regions.
EPIC Missions are group projects in which interdisciplinary teams of students from across Europe join forces to solve real-world problems for real-world stakeholders with the academic support of their mission guides (click here for more information on the EPIC Missions from the last two years). The format combines short-term physical mobility with long-term virtual mobility and online collaboration. The final results of the missions will then be presented to the stakeholders in January 2024.
An exciting start to an interesting journey ahead
The Kick-off week in Poznan started with a welcome dinner on Monday night, where the participants met in person for the first time and had a chance to get a first glimpse of the beautiful city of Poznan. On Tuesday, after a first welcome and introduction session, participants of the five different missions got the chance to get to know their mission crews, prepare for the first meeting with their stakeholders that day, and worked on defining and understanding their respective challenges.
After a joint morning energiser on Wednesday, each mission crew had the chance to do individual research on their challenge and prepare a presentation for the problem analysis. Thursday turned out to be a very important day for many participants, as the capstone students – students who participated in last year´s EPIC Missions, visited the group in Poznan and shared their experiences and lessons learned with the current participants. This input was received as very valuable and helpful! Some mission crews also took the chance to meet up with their stakeholders in person and learn about their work in the city of Poznan. After a guided city tour in the evening, everyone came together for a farewell party. Friday, the last day, was mainly reserved for feedback and evaluation before everybody travelled back home.
EPIC Missions, a collaborative project
Supported by Mission Guides, academic staff members who advise the five student teams throughout the process, the EPIC Missions will now go into space – and the students will continue their collaboration online over the next 5 months. The results are due in January and will be presented to the stakeholders. “Working in a team is essential for the success of the EPIC Missions”, as the capstone students pointed out, and also one of the challenges participants face during the project: working in international, interdisciplinary teams for a real-world client can be very challenging and exhausting, but also enriching and empowering. For this year´s EPIC Missions we are especially happy to have students from our associated partner Eucor – The European Campus participating.
This year’s challenges are:
- Developing Cooperation Between NGOs and Universities (PISOP Center for Promotion and Development of Civil Initiatives, Poznan)
- New Methods of Promoting Intercultural Dialogue (Key4Tomorrow, Poznan)
- Bringing Sustainability and Diversity Together (WeTell GmbH, Freiburg)
- Creating a network of Citizens to Include Newcomers to the City (SINGA, Strasbourg)
- Evidence-based pathways towards more sustainable action (Eucor/University of Basel)
To be continued …
Stay tuned for more updates about how the current EPIC Missions are evolving, about milestone events and the first results from the different teams.
Article by: Katharina Kiefel