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Young Researchers Workshop: AAL Forum Norrköping, Sep, 2013

September 24-26, Medea took part in the Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) Forum 2013 in Norrköping, Sweden. Medea had been invited to run this year’s Young Researchers Workshop, which is a traditional sidetrack during the conference.

Young Researchers Workshop 2013 – CC:BY Medea
Young Researchers Work at the AAL Forum 2013. More pictures in this Flickr set.

Under the theme “Occupation of life”, a group of young researchers from all over Europe explored how technology and social innovation can be used to support elderly in maintaining a meaningful occupation after their retirement – and how digital solutions can help elderly engage, communicate, and develop new social contacts and networks.

Idea-development workshop
The workshop was a mix of idea development and a pre-incubator process. Participants were asked to bring briefly described concepts, which were then taken through a so-called qualification process. Within two-and-a-half days, 6 concepts for new services, products and solutions were thus taken closer to a viable concept. During the process, the participating projects were introduced to service design methods, prototyping and user-engagement techniques. They worked iteratively with methods such as quick-n’-dirty prototyping, video prototyping, but also business development. Finally, concepts were presented in an exhibition format to a huge number of interested delegates at the end of the conference.

The workshop was developed in collaboration with Stefan Holmlid, service design (Linköping University), Torbjörn Andersson, industrial design, Linköping University, and Andrea Otterstrøm Nørgaard, representing the co-design cluster at The Royal Academy of Art, Design and Architecture.


Mentoring Me
The aim of this project is to reduce the unemployment rate of young people taking advantage of the talent and knowledge that our seniors have after their retirement. Outcome: Web platform

The Stories We Share
This concept is about sharing everyday experiences for people affected by Alzheimer/dementia, both people with the diagnos and their relatives. When you are diagnosed with Alzheimer at a hospital, it can be difficult to grasp the consequences the diagnose entails. Outcome: Web diary that can be printed.

People with a short-term memory loss and disorientation in time and place need technologies, which to support them. There are a lot of new technologies, which can help, but very often they are very complex and look unfamiliar. So why can’t we use the TV to support them instead of confront them with new products?! Outcome: A digital platform for TV.

Walking Mate
As people get older, exercising becomes important for maintaining good health. Nordic pole walking is a form of exercise twice as effective as normal walking. To practice Nordic pole walking properly, the user needs to know the correct walking techniques, which can be confusing as there are many. Outcome: An attachable digital grip for Nordic Walking Poles.

“The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.” (Robert Frost, poet) People grow old; it is one of the facts of life and one of its beauties. But unfortunately, it can come with a list of problems to blur that beauty. Stress, memory loss, heart problems or lack of physical activity, are just a few common issues seniors have to face. This concept aims to soften that transition, and act as your assistant, your guardian angel and friend. It helps you help yourself. Outcome: A watch, a planner/reminder, a caretaker customized for you.

The Wisdom Network
An online meeting point where retired experts share wisdom with young start-ups. Any retiree can join and contribute their knowledge to the community. On the other hand, the start-ups will also have a place for asking the experts the questions they have about how to run their businesses. This transfer of knowledge will be flexible, for those retirees with plenty of free time and for those that have busy days. Outcome: An online community.

Workshop team
Asta Wellejus: Mentor (interaction/experience)
Daniel Spikol: Mentor (business development, technology, conceptdevelopment)
Andrea Otterstrøm Nørgaard: Co-design expert
Eva Wendelboe Kuczynski: Developer and project leader

Read more about AAL Forum 2013 and the original Young Researchers Workshop description. Photos from the Young Researchers Workshop are found in this Flickr set.