Skip to main content

25 October 2023

Connecting & Innovating: Change our City Challenge 2023

35 students from across King's collaborate in diverse teams to solve some of London's biggest problems.

Students at Change our City Challenge 2023.

Delivered in partnership with Enactus KCL, the first ever Change our City Challenge saw students from different subject areas and year groups come together to develop innovative solutions in just 48 hours.

Depending on their area of interest, students were asked to choose from one of five challenges:

1. Community - London is our diverse and vibrant capital but many people in our communities can often feel isolated and disconnected. How can we promote community cohesion across the city?

2. Hunger - Nearly a quarter of a million children in London are living in food insecurity. With food prices rising in 2023, this figure is expected to be even more. How can we support those living in food poverty?

3. Homelessness - 45% of people experiencing homelessness have been diagnosed with mental health problems. This rises to 8 out of 10 people who are sleeping rough. How can we support those experiencing poor mental health and homelessness in London?

4. Environment - Despite a dramatic plunge in London air pollution since 2016, 99% of London remains above the WHO’s recommended limits. How can we continue to address the issue of pollution in our city?

5. Accessibility - There are 1.2 million disabled people living in London, over 15% of the city's population. They are often excluded and disadvantaged due to inaccessible design, poor management and inadequate information. What can be done to make London accessible to all?

Alongside time in the EI space to work on their ideas, seven multi-disciplinary teams were supported with workshops on ideation and disruptive thinking, pitching, and presentation tips. Teams also had time with mentors, who provided further advice and support:

  • Ian Davies, AIG Chief Underwriting Officer for SME Commercial & Head of SME Package & Commercial
  • Danielle Stephens, Founder, RecycleLab
  • Jeanne Begon-Lours, Founder, UNV 

The challenge ended with a pitch event, where each team presented their solution to a judging panel featuring experts aligned to the challenge themes:

The Change our City Challenge gave me the chance to challenge myself with public speaking through pitching, meeting new people and getting to know other students. I now also have a project that I can talk about to potential employers!

Student and Change our City Challenge participant 2023 (Anonymous)

Three winners were selected based on how well the idea met the judging criteria and how well teams were able to effectively communicate the problem, their solution, next steps and potential impact. Congratulations to: 

1. Food2Good

Tackling hunger in London by providing an alternative to food banks and aiming to alleviate pressure placed on existing systems.

  • Aman Sahi, Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine
  • Karle Pittsinger, Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy
  • Lulu Aguiar, Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy
  • Salim Duman, King's Business School
  • Tiankai Ren, Faculty of Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Sciences
  • Hinako Nakamura, Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy 

 2. Haven

A certified award scheme aiming to tackle self-esteem issues and suicidal ideation within the homeless by providing them with a new purpose. ​

  • Abiufo Dan-Abia, The Dickson Poon School of Law
  • Jahan Hussain, Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine
  • Tomohiko Sugimura, King's Business School
  • Regina Parra Cantu, Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy
  • Thanis Murugathas, Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine
  • Sahil Mukherjee, Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine

 3. London Bridges

A Community Exchange Programme aiming to foster long-lasting connections between KCL students and the wider community.

  • Demir Timuray, King's Business School
  • Ella Asnin, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience
  • Nancy Lui, Faculty of Arts & Humanities
  • Dhawi Almajnouni, Faculty of Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Sciences 

The winning teams now have the opportunity to take their ideas forward with support from the Entrepreneurship Institute and will be invited to become an official Enactus KCL Society Project with funding and mentorship. 

The event gave me more insight into entrepreneurship, and has strengthened my resolve to want to explore entrepreneurship in the future!

Student and Change our City Challenge 2023 participant (Anonymous)