Here, you can read about the four Dream Teams that VU is assembling for the 2021-2022 academic year, the assignment each team will receive and which VU ambassadors will assist the teams:
Dreamteam 1: VU ProFit! for customised lifestyle advice
This team is linked to profile theme Human Health and Life Sciences.
Not everyone lives a healthy lifestyle and COVID-19 has deteriorated healthy life styles even more. Dream team VU ProFIT! develops a novel approach to improve the lifestyle of VU staff and students. The team employs innovative measurements and methods with regard to nutrition, movement, sleep and psychosocial factors (for instance stress and motivation) and translates the collected information into made-to-measure recommendations using optimal communication techniques and practical applications. Measurements are performed in the labs of the departments of Human Movement Sciences, Health Sciences and Psychology to test the new approach and to monitor and quantify the lifestyle improvement of VU staff and students. If successful, the developed approach can be expanded to target groups outside VU.
Read more background information regarding this challenge.
The VU ambassadors of this dreamteam are prof. dr. Hein Daanen and prof. dr. ir Marjolein Visser
|Prof. dr. Hein Daanen
Hein is human movement scientist and professor in Exercise Physiology of the Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences. His research focuses on human adaptations to heat and cold. The last five years he was involved in the management of three dream teams of TU Delft and VU: Human Power Team (fastest cyclist of the world), Wasub (fastest human powered device under water) and Pulse-Racing (fastest cyclist using muscle electrostimulation in spinal cord injured athletes).
Dreamteam 2: Newcomer Entrepreneurship
|Prof. dr. ir. Marjolein Visser|
Marjolein is nutritional scientist, epidemiologist and professor in Healthy Aging at the department of Health Sciences of the Faculty of Science. Her research focuses on lifestyle in relation to healthy aging and more particular the role of nutrition, human movement, sedentary behavior and under- and overweight. She prefers to work with other disciplines to enrich her research and is challenged to improve the lifestyle of VU staff and students in joint effort with the Dream Team ProFIT!
This team is linked to profile theme Governance for Society
As part of this Dream Team you will explore the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Netherlands to see where your ideas can contribute the most and co-create solutions with newcomer entrepreneurs with a refugee background. You will learn about social entrepreneurship, intercultural work, and the process of ideation and implementation to contribute to interdisciplinary societal challenges. The entrepreneurial ecosystem presents unique challenges for newcomer entrepreneurs, such as difficulties accessing finance and legal expertise, discrimination and exclusionary practices. This may inhibit the development of startups by newcomers and affect the psychological wellbeing of people from refugee communities in general. This Dream Team will work on developing innovative ideas to address this complex social problem by collaborating with a leading incubator in the field and with newcomer entrepreneurs who aim to address these challenges.
The VU ambassador of this dreamteam is Asma Naimi, PhD in social entrepreneurship.
|Phd Social Entrepreneurship Asma Naimi |
Asma's research focuses on the role of social entrepreneurship in tackling large scale societal challenges that span borders, such as migration, poverty, inequality, and injustice. She studies the direct actions of social entrepreneurs to create impact and their communication practices to create awareness and mobilize support. She also works as an advisor in the field of international development, social entrepreneurship, and corporate social responsibility. She will be your key contact at VU throughout the year.
Dreamteam 3: Empathic robot / The Iron Man
This team is linked to the profile theme Connected World.
In a world in which robots and people live together, robots need to be able to ‘read’ people. This reading consists of:
- recognising emotions through facial expressions, gestures, voice and content
- understanding and explaining emotions in a given situation
- showing empathy and understanding
This team is charged with teaching a robot these communicative aspects for various people with different backgrounds, cultures and social groups. In this way, the empathic robot can become everyone’s friend.
Currently, a small group of students is engaged in preparatory activities that will last through the summer of 2021, upon which the new team can build from September 2021 onwards.
The VU ambassador of this Dream Team is prof. dr. Piek Vossen
|Prof. dr. Piek Vossen
Piek is a linguist and professor of Computational Lexicology. "I’m interested in how language works, how empathy works and how bonding occurs. The interpersonal communication between people is highly personal and extremely fascinating. That is the ultimate challenge for a robot and therefore also for this Dream Team.”
Dreamteam 4: Planet-friendly food for a sustainable future
This team is linked to the profile theme Science for Sustainability
The Dream Team Planet-friendly food has the task of developing a toolkit tailored to the wishes and needs of young people from all walks of life. This toolkit will make young people more aware of the impact of their eating behaviour on the environment and social climate and enable them to make choices that will make the world a little bit better, one step at a time. The team will collect data from various groups of young people to identify their wishes and needs. Based on this data, the team will develop and test the tools and materials for the toolkit. The next step will be to determine whether the toolkit actually leads to more planet-friendly eating among the selected target groups. This requires a baseline measurement. If the toolkit is successful, it can be further refined and used more widely among the general public.
Read more background information regarding this challenge.
The VU ambassadors of this Dream Team are dr. ir. Margreet Olthof and prof. dr. ir. Ingeborg Brouwer
|Dr. ir. Margreet Olthof|
Margreet works at the Department of Health Sciences, is a nutritional scientist and is programme director of the Master's programme in Health Sciences. She conducts research in the field of nutrition and human health, including nutrition in specific phases of life (young & old), the health effects of what we eat and drink (such as coffee), and sustainable, healthy food for people and the planet. She is happy to work with the Dream Team and take up the challenge of making concrete and creative plans that will help people in the Netherlands make healthier and more sustainable food choices, as part of the big mission ‘planet-friendly food’.
|Prof. dr. ir. Ingeborg Brouwer|
Ingeborg is a nutrition scientist and professor of Nutrition for Healthy Living at the Department of Health Sciences. Her research focuses on the effects of food on health and sustainability. She looks at how different foods and diets impact health and well-being outcomes and how much pressure they put on the environment, for example, when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions or land use. Ingeborg is looking forward to working with the students to make the Netherlands a little better.