About the Young Innovators

Engage, inspire, collaborate and make a difference

Do you want to get more out of your study? Utrecht University offers the Young Innovators programme to creative and ambitious students who are keen to put their academic skills to work for the common good.

The programme is a selective 15 EC honours course at the graduate level, to be taken on top of any Master's programme.

The Young Innovators programme embodies a community of learning, where the focus is on creating positive impact through social innovation and personal leadership. As such, the programme focuses on learning to research, design and deliver innovative and sustainable solutions to real-life societal challenges. Supported by leading researchers the programme allows you to immerse yourself in both theory and practice of innovation across corporate, public and community sectors.

During this program you will be stimulated to collaborate, produce and learn in multidisciplinary international teams. In this, you are challenged to take ownership of both your own and collective learning processes and thereby invited to co-create the program design.

Erik-Jan van Kesteren (Young Innovator 2015-2016): "The easy way is not the way you learn. You learn by making mistakes and that is what you are allowed to do here."

At the beginning of the year, you will group into teams and begin to explore the wickedness of current societal challenges, for which your team will seek to actively create a positive impact. This demands the joint efforts of experts from the sciences and humanities alike. They require knowledge of energy, climate dynamics, food, technology, and health. However, insights into the dynamics of societies, law and economics, languages and cultures or history and philosophy are just as essential.

The issues transcend national and cultural borders. Therefore, the programme aims at a substantial participation of international students and is taught in English.

Thanh Nguyeng Kim (Young Innovator 2015-2016):” “It totally changed me! Everytime I joined the evening class with all the people I feel totally different from my normal daily life."

Are you up for the challenge? Being part of this learning community, you:

  • are part of an inspiring and experiential learning environment that may further enhance the basis for your professional network;
  • work in an interdisciplinary team on a real-life societal challenge;
  • present your team’s work-in-progress at several plenary conferences;
  • attend supportive meetings to acquire the knowledge, skills and inspiration needed for social innovation;
  • learn to take ownership of your own learning processes and the program design;
  • create a strong community where ideas and discussions are welcome;
  • learn more about what drives you and takes you up to new heights.

Wimme Klaver (Young Innovator 2014-2015): ““Apart from all the theories you learn from university, here you learn how to DO it, HOW to innovate.”