Call for applications: Blue Links Crossed Creathon Marseille-Rotterdam

This call for applications has been exceptionnaly extended until August 2 only for applicants from Marseille/Aix/Provence. It is no longer possible to apply for candidates from Rotterdam/The Hague. 

Participate in a unique Franco-Dutch creative learning event uniting both nations’ major port cities on the topic of « Urban metabolism and flows: evolution and innovation within the metropolis »

*The Creathon will only take place with the full implementation of the coronavirus guidelines issued by our partners and the Dutch and French healthcare authorities. As a result, the programme remains subject to modification due to the evolution of the pandemic.

Are you a Bachelor/Master/PhD student or a young professional from the Rotterdam-The Hague metropolitan area or the city regions of Marseille/Aix-en-Provence/Avignon and are you passionate about innovative ideas and processes of social transformation? Do you have a creative and/or entrepreneurial spirit? Apply before August 3, 2020 for the crossed Creathon Marseille-Rotterdam on « Urban metabolism and flows: evolution(s) and innovation within the metropolis ». All events will be held in English and all costs related to participation (travel between France and the Netherlands / public transport on-site, meals and lodging) will be covered by the organisers. The Creathon is organised by the French Institute of the Netherlands, the French-Dutch Network for research and higher education, and Nuffic which is the Dutch organisation for internationalisation of education.

What is a Creathon?

Creathons can be described as ‘creative marathons’ or interactive workshops that bring together talented artists, creatives, young professionals and students from France and the Netherlands and from different backgrounds and fields of study. The participants of the Creathon work together to deliver innovative solutions, projects or prototypes, related to a pre-formulated topic. Click here for more information about our crossed Creathons. Last year’s crossed Creathon united Amsterdam and Paris in a zero-waste expedition highlighting several great ideas on how to reduce waste in cultural institutions. The crossed Creathons play a significant role in Franco-Dutch city diplomacy and actively focus on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as intercultural dialogue.  Parallel to the workshops between students and Young Professionals, our crossed creathons aim to strengthen the cultural and scientific ties between a Dutch and a French city at an institutional level. The current edition links cultural hotspots as the Mucem (Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations) in Marseille to the Maritime Museum in Rotterdam.

The crossed Creathon Marseille-Rotterdam: context, challenge and opportunities

This year, a bilateral crossed Creathon explores and rethinks the connection between two prime European port cities: Marseille and Rotterdam. Coached by two experts, the participants will work in small groups on topics related to the role of the port and water and the link between city and port, to meet the challenges of sustainable development in both metropolises: blue economy, social inclusion, attractiveness.

The underlying theme of the Creathon is ‘urban metabolism’ and ‘flows’. Urban metabolism refers to the description and analysis of flows within urban agglomerations, including human flows (migration, tourism) as well as flows of trade and goods (economic activities, particularly the port industry). The open approach regards both tangible and intangible flows: information, energy, cultural signs and symbols.

Virtual and physical meet-ups*

The Creathon is divided into two stages, the first being the preparation stage on September 2, 3 and 4, is organized as an online meet-up that takes place in a completely virtual environment. The second stage or final event will be held physically in Rotterdam with all participants on October 7, 8 and 9. All 20 selected participants will attend both stages. Participation in the full programme is mandatory.

Participants kick off the new academic year with the first part of the Creathon that takes place as a Summer School. During the preparation stage, you are asked to form small groups and to work collectively on new concepts inspired by the challenges that will be formulated by the organisers, the coaches and their partners: cities, ports, universities, and others. Two experts (Adrien Ravon and Alessandro Gallicchio) will coach you during the work sessions to help you improve your achievements. Each team will be composed of four participants, including at least one participant from France and one from the Netherlands. At the end of the first stage, the participants will give a pitch to present their project proposals to the other teams, the coaches, the organisers and to local partners to collect valuable feedback.

One month later, in Rotterdam, the focus will lie on prototyping and fine-tuning your projects based on the received feedback. At the end of the programme in Rotterdam, all groups will give a pitch to present their final works in front of a jury at the Maritime Museum. The winning project will be exhibited at the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven (October 17 – 25, 2020) and the costs related to participation in this Dutch event will be covered by the organisers. The final event in Rotterdam will be round off with a networking event at the Maritime Museum with local partners and businesses.

*Under the current circumstances, it is difficult to foresee if any physical event uniting both French and Dutch students can take place in October. In line with national and university guidelines (such as travel restrictions for students from Marseille), the nature of the second stage and the participation of the winning team in the Dutch Design Week remain subject to modification.

Further information

During two intensive three-day workshops, the Creathonians will question the reconfiguration and evolution of the variety of flows within these metropolises and their impact on the urban metabolism: what place can be envisioned for water and the port in these processes while also addressing the water-related UN Sustainable Development Goals? What are the implications for urban and metropolitan policies and planning? What kind of institutional and grassroots collaboration between stakeholders of both metropolises can be contemplated?

During the Creathon, participants will reflect on the future of cities. By putting into perspective two European port cities, they will learn from their similarities and specificities. Following a methodology driven by scenario-based design, participants will propose a myriad of ideas for future evolutions and innovations within the metropolis. Together, they will produce a trans-disciplinary catalogue of future scenarios. Each group will deliver a small booklet, a poster or in consultation with the coaches, another form of visual support that will be part of this catalogue. The scenarios will be inspired by teamwork mixing different expertise, and a cross-reading between Marseille and Rotterdam.

Participants will be introduced to a series of specific tools, formats and pedagogical assets, allowing for a systematic representation and evaluation of their proposals by experienced coaches. This approach will lead to the development of a collective toolbox for the fabrication of the city.

The crossed Creathon is organised with different local and international partners and constitutes a unique opportunity for the 20 selected participants to meet fellow students from different countries and field of studies and to improve their skills while expanding their professional network.

Organisation and conditions

Participation. Full participation to both stages, the virtual preparation stage on September 2, 3 and 4 and the final event in Rotterdam on October 7, 8 and 9 are mandatory for all participants. Any unjustified failure (absenteeism, inappropriate behaviour) will lead to exclusion from further participation in the Creathon.

For whom. Bachelor/Master/PhD students (also internationals) or young professionals currently working or studying in the Rotterdam/The Hague metropolitan area or the city regions of Marseille/Aix-en-Provence/Avignon.

Costs. The organisers will cover the costs of transportation (travel between France and the Netherlands + public transport on-site), accommodation (three nights in a hotel in Rotterdam for non-Rotterdam residents) and meals (lunch and dinner at the physical stage of the programme in Rotterdam). The participants must bear the costs for any other expenses themselves.

Jury. The organisers choose a panel with members from different professional backgrounds (higher education and research, business and the cultural field). The jury is sovereign in its deliberations and designates the winning team. The panel meets on October 9, 2020, in the afternoon, to assess the presentations. The groups will present their respective projects in the form of a ‘pitch’ of 5 to 10 minutes in front of a jury and the attendees.

Projects will be evaluated on the following criteria and topics:

* Relevance                * Originality-creativity

* Impact                     * Clearness

* Feasibility                * Tangibility

* Scalability                * Team spirit

The names and affiliations of the laureates (winning team) will publicly be announced at the end of the jury’s deliberations. An online recap article will present the various projects and will be illustrated with photos taken during the various working sessions and the final ceremony in Rotterdam.

Prize. The organisers engage with public platforms in both cities/countries, such as the Biennale Manifesta 13 Marseille (to be confirmed) and the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven (October 17 – 25, 2020) to showcase the winning project. More info will follow shortly.

The projects resulting from their work remain the property of the participants. If a company becomes interested in the design of the winning project, the organisers and the winning team will mutually establish a framework for its realisation which could come to fruition by relying on existing institutions whose objective is to enhance the ideas imagined during the crossed Creathon 2020.

Interested? Please send the application form to and before August 3.

                                                                                                                                 Preliminary programme

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