Research

Sustainable Design, MSc in Engineering

"Helping businesses tackle the greatest challenges that our planet faces"

Simon studied Sustainable Design and now works as an Innovation Strategist at Acacia.

Which programme did you study?

Bachelor: Bæredygtigt Design

Master: Sustainable Design

WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT JOB SITUATION AND WHAT DOES IT ENTAIL?

I’m an Innovation Strategist at Acacia – a sustainable innovation hub. Like the acacia tree, we are pioneers at heart. Conceived as a catalyst for sustainable transformation, we are an innovation hub, helping businesses tackle the greatest challenges that our planet faces. On a general basis, I use my experimental mindset to design and plan innovation journeys for various SME’s across industries and sectors. I have worked on various projects such as developing new sustainable initiatives together with 70 different actor-groups within the restaurant industry, or forming a youth panel with the purpose of creating a vision for the future society of Denmark.

Currently, I am very much in-depth with investigating how technology such as Additive Manufacturing or 3D-print can assist in solving sustainability challenges. Here, I facilitate workshops where, in co-creation, with companies, we deep-dive into their value- or supply chain to understand their needs and pains. Later on, in the journey I assist in discovering breakthrough ideas utilising 3D-print, turning them into prototypes and new sustainable business models.

WHICH SKILLS FROM YOUR EDUCATION CAN YOU USE IN YOUR current JOB?

A skill that I have required from my education, that I use across projects are the competencies of during project management. How to go from A to Z, and plan which phases a certain project has to go through. This particular skill is very useful, despite the area of work, where you might end up. Another skill is the design and facilitation of workshops. Contributing to the knowledge of creating new methodologies such as design games or other boundary objects, to bring the engagement in a workshop to a new level. Lastly, stakeholder analysis and the art of being able to draw an actor-network, to understand which actors to enrol into a certain process, is a skill from my education that I am very fond of and use quite often.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE your study programme?

I have always been very technically minded and to some extent a bit nerdy in terms of developing new items. Rather is build something from imagination out of LEGO or in my dad’s woodshop. So I knew that I had to choose an education that worked with design and innovation. I believe that adding the aspect of sustainability on top of this makes so much sense. In general, we see an increasing demand for sustainable solutions from companies, organization, governance etc. So, choosing a study programme that aims at creating solutions for the future that is sustainable, adds tremendous value - especially when being on the job market

HOW DID YOU EXPERIENCE YOUR STUDY TIME AT AALBORG UNIVERSITY?

I had a very good experience. I have realised that Aalborg University’s model called PBL (Problem Based Learning) is unique compared to other universities. It emphasises on bringing the students closer to the needs in society by providing hands-on experience. Continuously having a semester project where you work closely with a company, NGO, municipality etc. entails the students to try out theory in practice. Not only does this mean, that the entire study programme becomes more exciting and “life-like”, it also provides the students with the hands-on experience they can utilize once they are on the job market.