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How Otis’s Global Student Challenge is Creating Greener Urban Futures

The global student challenge for 2023-24 included more than 240 students across 15 countries and territories. With the guidance of Otis volunteer mentors, students used design thinking to develop mobility solutions that would use cutting-edge technologies to help increase access to parks.
The global student challenge for 2023-24 included more than 240 students across 15 countries and territories. With the guidance of Otis volunteer mentors, students used design thinking to develop mobility solutions that would use cutting-edge technologies to help increase access to parks.

Innovation and dedication are what make the difference. Four student teams worldwide have emerged as regional winners of Otis’s Made to Move Communities Challenge. This prestigious annual competition, now in its fourth year, encourages students to devise mobility solutions that make urban green spaces more accessible, enhancing the well-being of city dwellers.

Otis, a global leader in the manufacture, installation, and service of elevators and escalators, has facilitated this competition. The 2023-24 challenge saw participation from over 240 students across 15 countries and territories. Guided by Otis’s mentors, these young visionaries employed design thinking and cutting-edge technologies to craft solutions that improve access to parks and focus on inclusivity for individuals living with disabilities and those from underserved urban areas.

This year’s entries were particularly innovative. From Chile, the team from Liceo Polivalente Rigoberto Fontt Izquierdo proposed a redevelopment plan for a neglected area outside Santiago, combining reforestation with enhanced public transport links. Meanwhile, China Jiliang University in Hangzhou introduced a groundbreaking concept for a ‘smart green elevator,’ designed to simulate the sensory experience of outdoor spaces, thus bringing nature closer to those who might not readily access it.

In Athens, the students from Lykeio Irakleiou Attikis created a smart cane that provides sensory feedback to help visually impaired individuals navigate parks more easily. Not to be outdone, Taipei Municipal Zhongshan Girls High School developed smart eyewear that alerts users to nearby obstacles, making visits to green areas safer and more enjoyable.

Randi Tanguay, Otis’ Chief Communications Officer, emphasized the critical role of green spaces in today’s fast-paced world, highlighting them as essential for relaxation and social interaction. She praised the ingenuity of the young engineers and innovators whose efforts address the mobility challenges within their communities, expressing pride in Otis’ support for creative thinking and future-forward solutions.

These winning solutions spotlight the talent and potential of the next generation of engineers and align with Otis’ commitment to advancing STEM education. The company has set ambitious goals, including impacting 15,000 students globally through STEM and vocational training, directing half of its charitable giving to STEM initiatives, and dedicating 500,000 volunteer hours by 2030.

For more information on the “Made to Move Communities” challenge and how Otis fosters innovation among young minds, visit their website at www.otis.com/mtmc

This initiative enriches students’ educational journeys and paves the way for more sustainable and inclusive urban development.

Thank you, OTIS, for supporting the communities and young students!