• Deutsche Telekom: Designing Smart Solutions for Smarter Cities

  • BBA Strategic Design and Management students used data and design to bring innovation to the work of telecommunications leader Deutsche Telekom.

    Strategic Design and Management (BBA)


    Taking advantage of its location in one of Europe’s — and the world’s — premier cities, students in the Parsons Paris BBA Strategic Design and Management program were able to use their city as a living laboratory to explore ways to make cities smarter and more sustainable, efficient, inclusive, and livable.

    Leading the class was an alumnus of Parsons’ Global Executive Strategic Design and Management MS program, Maurits Montañez, a media executive who founded and manages Manuvo, a global content development firm based in Paris. Montañez asked students to design creative, functional, and practical solutions that address current issues facing today’s urban centers and improve the quality of life for city dwellers. They researched best practices from Singapore to Barcelona, exploring topics such as energy use, telecommunications, education, and inclusive infrastructure. Working in pairs, they used design thinking and data analytics to develop their own innovative concepts and strategic plans to help cities function better and smarter.

    The project benefitted from having Deutsche Telekom as a strategic partner through the company’s global Smart Cities initiative. Headquartered in Bonn, Germany, Deutsche Telekom is one of the world’s top telecommunications companies and a global leader in exploring state-of-the-art solutions to improve the well-being of citizens around the world. The company served as a real-world client for which students could demonstrate how diverse smart city innovations can be across different industries.

    Students presented their final proposals to the entire school in an open studio format at Parsons Paris. Among the ideas were an app that helps pet owners navigate city pet facilities and resources, a system for citizens to create their own energy at home, and a tool to reduce drunk driving and traffic accidents. This project enabled students to better understand fields like communications and transportation as systems that are connected and affect populations differently, depending on the local setting. As they helped a real-world client address business challenges, they honed their entrepreneurial and analytical skills. Students who participated described it as a “thought-provoking” and “exciting” project that greatly enhanced their educational experience.

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