Last week, my Core Course – New Media and Changing Communities (Section B) – participated in conversations regarding developing technologies and different forms of social media being used across a wide range of professional fields and industries to implement change. These conversations were complemented by practical applications and the chance to gain further insight on how communities can be supported, uplifted, and sometimes threatened via new media and new technology. We also learned bit more about the history and culture of Scandinavia communities like Malmo, where we stayed for the first three days.
So much content to cover so as a result, this blog post will be split into two parts. Part 1: Malmo; Part 2: Denmark.
After doing some research into the organisations listed in the itinerary for the core course week, I was excited to see what I would learn over the course of the week ahead. I was also really happy to get to see another European country, not too far from my current one. My class and I would be spending, Monday, Tuesday, and part of Wednesday in the city of Malmo, Sweden- which is about an hour outside of Copenhagen.
Media Evolution City is a workspace in Malmo that serves as a breeding ground for collaboration and innovation for small to medium sized businesses. This was the first stop of the week.The only comparison that could come to mind is WeWork but on a larger scale, as Media Evolution provided the space but also professional resources such as seminars and workshops for the occupants of both of their buildings. As a result, they have been able to create and maintain a solid community of people who are goal oriented, whilst creating solutions or ideas that are interdisciplinary. Furthermore, the very aesthetically pleasing premises promotes a positive work environment and culture simultaneously.
After Media Evolution City, my classmates, professors, and I, started our bike tour. Even though I am a semester bike student, I have yet to officially use my bike to commute in Denmark. This was definitely due to nerves and as the bike ride began those nerves started to kick in again. I was shaking and thought maybe I had forgotten how to ride a bike. With some encouragement from some of my friends in class, after the first five minutes the nerves had subsided. We took this bike tour to see modern parts of Malmo as well as more historical areas. For instance we biked past the Turning Torso, which is Scandinavia’s tallest landmark and is a residential neo-futurist skyscraper- and it’s only 51 floors! (Fun fact: Its designed by Santiago Calatrava who is also the architect behind the World Trade Center Hub, which was a pretty cool connection for me.)
And of course it wouldn’t be Scandinavia without some wind and rain occurring during our bike tour, so we were content with getting warm and resting a little before our dinner plans. We went to a taqueria for dinner and had time to get to know each other better outside of the traditional classroom setting- which was one of the most important and formative parts of the week, as we will be spending time together in Belgium during travel week 2.
On Tuesday, we visited Lund University’s Project Blue Health in Lund, Sweden where we heard about and got to test out some of the immersive simulations used for research with elderly people who may not be mobile or able to travel outdoors or to destinations of their preference. This academic visit was arguably one of my favourites, if not my favourite, as the speaker was very passionate about virtual reality usage within target communities and was very impressed with our questions and thoughts on the subject matter. Due to the weather, we cancelled our planned nature hike, and spent extra time on lunch and exploring Lund. We had a fika break ,which is like a Swedish version hygge, with more focus on coffee and pastries. That evening, I played bocce ball for the first time with my Core Course, and honestly competition really does bring out the best in some of us! We ate dinner, then we played and through that further connected with each other through the visa of sport which was unexpected but appreciated.
On Wednesday, we loaded our belongings back on to the bus in the morning and returned to Media Evolution City where we watched a presentation with the Head of Projects at Altinget, a political-neutral news platform based out of Denmark. With 22 newspapers total and 700-3000 subscribers per newspaper, they provide coverage on every political sector and are finding ways to encourage and maintain user-generated conversations and engagement while also incorporating robot journalism for data and statistics. Considering ways artificial intelligence could challenge the longevity of print news and ultimately affect the personable aspect of news reporting was extremely thought provoking.
Check out some snaps from Malmo below!