European Creathons, a cooperation between Lille Metropole and its neighboring countries, Belgium and the Netherlands
Creathons are yearly organized events bringing together talented students and young professionals from Lille Metropole, Belgium and the Netherlands in order to bring out innovative projects.
Creathons are « creative marathons » that bring together talented students and young professionals. Participating in a creathon is an opportunity for them to expand their professional network as well as an opportunity to think outside the box on specified themes. Participants from the creathon have to form international groups and to come up with a realistic project proposal that they will present in front of a jury of experts, possibly resulting in the winning of a prize.
From the 30th of August to the 1st of September, Lille Metropole welcomed 15 young talents and creathonians to have some exchanges with professionals from different sectors – circular economy, sport, health and design – and to visit structures and research centers related to themes that have been discussed in the previous events. Lille Metropole, together with French and Dutch embassies, and NUFFIC organized a Conference in 2020 and a Creathon in 2021 on circular economy, and sport, health and design. This visit has been organized by the Economic Development and Employment direction of Lille Metropole, in the follow-up of the 2021 Creathon.
The Creathon 2021 isn’t the first event jointly organized between Lille Metropole, Belgium and the Netherlands. Indeed, since 2017 yearly creathons have been organized to strengthen the cooperation between French, Belgian and Dutch students and talents. These neighboring countries have everything to gain to exchange ideas and engage in activities made to stir up their creativity.
The first creathon was held during the European Week of 2017, when 30 French and Dutch students, doctorates and young entrepreneurs gathered to exchange around the theme “How to ‘reset’ an European territory”. This encounter had the goal to promote cultural and student life, innovation, and history that unites Flanders territory.
In 2018, the theme for the creathon was design, as Lille had been announced as the 2020 World Capital Design. Therefore, 28 French, Belgian, and Dutch young talents had 3 days to suggest an innovative project on textile design.
For the third consecutive year, Lille welcomed young Europeans from different field of studies or career paths, to participate to the “Food and Well-being” creathon in March 2019. A few start-ups were also there to contribute to the knowledge and experiences exchange with the participants.
Finally, the creathon 2020, on Sport, Health and Design as Lille was designated World Capital Design for this year, took place in April 2021 due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
These creathons are rather new ways of strengthening the cooperation between France, Belgium and the Netherlands and make innovative project and ideas emerge within their students and young entrepreneurs.