Innovation for Sustainable Development (ISD) is a multidisciplinary module developed by Botho University in conjunction with KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. KTH Royal Institute of Technology’s Global Development Hub (GDH) developed what is called Challenge Driven Education (CDE), with the aim of training students from partner universities in Africa on CDE projects on an exchange basis with students from the KTH. In addition to CDE training, students are educated to be mindful of and apply the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their quest to find innovative and sustainable solutions in their different projects.
ISD is a project-based module where multidisciplinary student teams contribute solutions to societal problems that are trans-disciplinary, challenge driven and require skills beyond the knowledge of a single discipline.
By engaging in such projects, ISD empowers students to imbibe the Botho Graduate Profile attributes, namely, Collaborative, Articulate, Critical Thinking, Innovative and Entrepreneurial and apply them in the “design thinking process” that forms the backbone of the ISD problem solving process. Solutions resulting from such projects are expected to have an impact / change in the society.
The process of addressing these problems involves stakeholders, presenting challenges to the students and the students are the innovative problem solvers. Since its inception, ISD has collaborated with stakeholders, including, Local Enterprise Authority (LEA), Water Utilities Corporation (WUC), Climate Exploration Hub and Stepping Stone International. Ongoing projects include Wastewater Management and Sludge analyses and possible utilization.
The ISD module has recently been expanded and further developed with the collaboration of staff from the KTH, University of Strathmore in Kenya and the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. A pilot initiative is ongoing whereby students from Strathmore University, University of Dar es Salaam and Botho University are trained remotely to work on identifying projects and come up with innovative solutions that can find applications in host countries.
The ISD training is carried out by eight staff members who have undergone the CDE training facilitated by experts from KTH Royal Institute of Technology.