Young Researchers Workshop

Young Researchers Workshop

Idea-development Workshop & Hackathon


The 2013 Young Researchers’ Idea-development Workshop & Hackathon will explore how technology and social innovation can be used to support elderly in maintaining a meaningful occupation after their retirement, and to help elderly engage, communicate and develop new social contacts and networks.

The event is based on two tracks: (1) an idea-development workshop where participating researchers will work in multi-disciplinary teams that address the issues of supporting meaningful occupation for elderly, and (2) a hackathon where a select group of talented hackers will address the same issues from their point-of-view. Interactions between the tracks will be encouraged and facilitated.

As a young researcher you’ll be able to develop an idea or take a brief concept idea one step further. Through a very condensed concept development and prototyping process you’ll end up with:
•    A clear and qualified concept.
•    One video prototype of the concept.
•    A presentation kit to future presentations for investors, partners or other relevant resources for the projects realisation.
•    New contacts for further project development.
•    And! If your idea is original, realisable or innovative you might end up with a prize at the Prize ceremony Thursday evening.

Idea-development workshop:
The workshop is similar to a pre-incubator process. This means that the participants ideas for new services, products and solutions can be turned into realisable concepts. The ideas will be developed through a mixed development process with phases of concept development, user engagement and prototyping. The process will approach the projects from four perspectives: idea development, prototyping, user-engagement and some business-development.

The outcome is a qualification of the concepts, and an output material, which potentially can be taken to an extended prototyping phase with external partners.

Future perspectives: Each project might be able to rise funding for further development, or hook up with a partner for further prototyping. Medea might be ready to collaborate with one or two of the concepts, which is found potential for a researched based prototyping and proof of concept process.

Hackathon Track:
A group of computer science master students will join the programme and develop new ideas based on their programming skills.

Kick off – day:
The approaches get framed by the researchers, whom will elaborate on topics like service design, user engagement processes, prototyping and media concepts. Various prototyping methods will be introduces.


Facilitate researchers and young scientists to develop new ideas and solutions in a multi-disciplinary field, where ideas from young researchers and hackers get mixed.

  • To develop new ideas and solutions within the theme “Occupation in Life”.
  • To enable diverse professions to learn about and explore rapid prototyping techniques.
  • To present a laboratory environment, where ideas get born, discussed, challenged and prototyped.



The Young Researchers track arises from the theme of Call no. 6 of the AAL conference program “Occupation in Life”. Occupation is crucial for a meaningful life and, for many elderly, the “loss of purpose” in their lives catalyses a downward spiral in both quality of life, mental, physical, social and spiritual well-being. This is manifested as both healthcare- and social care challenges, not to mention the challenges posed on families and careers. Keeping up self-esteem and a sense of purpose become increasingly difficult when getting older, with or without mental and/or cognitive impairment.

This year’s Young Researchers workshop has its point-of-departure in the questions:

How can technology and social innovation be used:

  • to support a rich social life for elderly people and help them to engage, communicate and develop new social contacts and networks?
  • to support elderly in maintaining a meaningful occupation after their retirement that builds on their lifelong skills and experiences?


Target group

Young researchers who investigate technical solutions for elderly are encouraged to participate. Their training are in academic disciplines including, but not limited to, geriatrics, engineering, architecture, informatics, psychology, sociology, nursing sciences, and economics. Admission will be granted to those with bachelor’s degrees up to PhDs and junior Postdocs.

For participants of this Young Researchers’ workshop, the registration for the AAL Forum will be free. Travel expenses and accommodation costs will not be reimbursed.
Hackathon: Programmers within the digital field.

Idea workshop and Hackathon

By running an idea-workshop for young researchers at the AAL conference 2013 in Norrköping, we want to investigate and use the inner dynamics of the hackathon concept presented by workshop format with two tracks:

1.Young Researchers Track
Participating researchers will be working in multi-disciplinary teams and will be asked to come up with ideas for solutions within the Ambient Assisted Living field; solutions that are driven by digital connected systems, tools, and devices. Participants will be provided with tools for idea development in multi-disciplinary teams, and the methods and tools Medea uses in the Connectivity Lab and the Living Lab the Neighbourhood. Fast, vertical, and horizontal prototyping will be fundamental elements during the workshop as well as development with users and usertests will be facilitated.

2. Hacker track
While the researcher teams are developing ideas, a team of hackers will start a hackathon process. They are challenged by the same questions as the researcher teams, and will be provided with the relevant set of available codes to create new digital solutions for products and services. The hackers will be invited by an open call in the hacker society.

Interaction between the tracks
To support the dynamic, creative, but also serious atmosphere, we will put up a set of guidelines for the teams; guidelines that are meant to challenge, compete and inspire each other’s results.

The research centre Medea uses participatory design research methods, which emphasize that all relevant stakeholders engaged in the design process can influence what is to be designed. The participatory design tradition sees design as a collaborative learning process between “communities of practice” that challenge each other through open-ended processes of negotiation. Thus, the “user” is not merely the receiver of a design, but an active contributor.

To frame the workshop and make an interesting kick off we present approaches by designers and researchers from:
Linköping University – Interaction & Service Design Research
Malmö University – Computer Science
Medea – Living Lab the neighbourhood
Design University DK: Co-design Research Cluster

Experts from the different institutions will be present during the workshop to guide and challenge the processes.

The result of the workshop will be a catalogue of ideas comprised of conceptual prototypes of new products or services that address the needs of elderly. And an appendix – describing the work of the hackers.

The young researchers Program will run between September 24th -26th , (during the conference.)
Detailed programme follows in September.

The program is divided into two parts:
Part one: a kick-off day 24th Sept.
Part two: a development marathon of 36 hours 25th and 26th September.

Part One:
Kick-off day. The kick-off day will run like a mini seminar with a variation of inspiration talks and hands-on tasks that prepare the concept owners for the next 1,5 day of development.
The kick-off day divides into two sessions: TALKS and WALKS

TALKS: The participants get talks from:
•    Stefan Holmlid – on service design
•    Asta Wellejus – on transmedia and connected devices

•    Prototyping – various approaches, Medea, Linköping (Torbjörn)
•    User perspective and user engagement methods. Andrea Otterstrøm (co-design research Cluster DKDS).
•    Business Development/interaction and userexperience  – (Daniel Spikol)

Based on the TALKS sessions, the task given to the participants will be to define a scope document that measures e.g. values, social benefits, emotional benefits, customer journey, blueprint of customer etc. The participants write the scope document on their concept-idea during the day.

24th Sept. is an open kick-off day that invites students and Young Researchers from various universities and departments to take part of a shared inspiration day in the name of concept-development. We want to provide the participants of the kick-off day with a departure package for further development of a concept – a call to action – that the participants have described themselves.

Young researchers get a new perspective on their concept idea and are encouraged to end this session by writing a concept description.

During the evening the WALK sessions follow:
This session presents different approaches, methods and tools for prototyping.
During the WALK session participants will collect their toolbox for the next day.
The WALK session ends with a Quick ‘n Dirty prototyping exercise. Use whatever surrounds you: props, persons, furniture, a space, to describe your concept.

This part of the workshop becomes a kind of Master class. During the next 36 hours the chosen projects, gets an intensive pre-incubator process.

The goal is to adjust each concept in dialogue with users, coach the concept by transmedia mentors, run them through initial business development and finally help them prototype their ideas by video prototyping tools.

Young researchers invited are from academic disciplines including, but not limited to, geriatrics, engineering, architecture, informatics, psychology, sociology, nursing sciences, and economics.

Admission will be granted to those with bachelor’s degree up to PhDs and junior Postdocs.

Requirements for submission:

  1. Add a paper or project on a topic related to the headline ”Occupation of life”
  2. Write a short motivation for attending the idea-workshop (5-10 lines).
  3. The application should be send to (both contacts): &

Deadline for submission is Friday 13th September

For participants of this young researchers’ workshop the registration for the AAL Forum will be free.

Since the workshop will run during the conference, the program holds different intervals to join the conference program. Additional the participants gets a special preview on AAL JP Call 7, which gets published November 2013.

Travel expenses and accommodation costs cannot be reimbursed from the Norrköping congress organisation.

Accomodation has been prebooked for the participants of the YR-workshop – please contact the organisers for a favorable offer.

The official Call-text can be downloaded here.


About Medea

Medea is a design led research centre for collaborative media at Malmö University. Medea’s basic premise is to set up and run projects and labs where academia, companies, organisations, and public institutions team up with citizens in order to experiment and create new products, services and knowledge in real-life environments.

Medea has a strong tradition of engaging direct with society through prototypes and research projects. Our solutions aim to solve direct problems and needs by the use of connected media or devices.

Medea consists of four labs: Connectivity Lab, Living Lab the Neighbourhood, Living Lab the Stage, and Living Lab Fabriken. This workshop will be developed across Connectivity Lab and Living Lab the Neighbourhood, which will cross the connected prototype approach with a strong engagement in social innovation from the Living Lab Neighbourhood.

Medea’s role is to facilitate the workshop, the idea process, and the prototyping workshops.


Eva Wendelboe Kuczynski
Projectleader at Medea
+45 2622 9712

Anders CarlssonProjektledare/Project manager
Hälsans nya verktyg/New Tools for Health
Chairman of the AAL Forum 2013 Programme Committee
+46-705-38 89 08