‘Name something that is not the capital of France.’ Five bachelor students who were among the first to join the new honours programme Da Vinci Project, laugh looking back at their response to this ‘design thinking exercise’. Laura Knops: “We started to name cities and countries. But the answer could have also been ‘banana’ or ‘red’. It really showed us how much we tend to think inside the box.” Sabien van der Sluis: “One thing we learned is that there is no such thing as the right answer and that every answer can potentially be right.”
In 2019 Bert Weckhuysen, Distinguished Professor in Catalysis, Energy and Sustainability, received a Comenius programme Teaching Fellow grant. He used the funding to start an innovative interdisciplinary bachelor programme, together with his colleagues Appy Sluijs and Brianne McGonigle: The Da Vinci Project. Within this programme students of various scientific backgrounds work together on a sustainability related challenge provided by an external partner.