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Warwick Employability Challenge: Co-Creation Approach to Critically Engaging with Employability

This project aimed to start a cross institutional dialogue about employability through a co-creation Warwick Employability Challenge. Warwick Innovation Fellows delivered a series of design thinking workshops during Warwick Enterprise Summer Innovation Programme 2021, inviting teams from across the University to challenge themselves and existing representations of employability.

The Warwick Employability Challenge has now been completed with 12 teams participating over 2 weeks, and 70+ students and staff from all areas of the University coming together to re-imagine employability. We are delighted to announce the three winners and team commendations!


  • 1st place - Chemistry (£400)

  • 2nd place - WMS & Law (£200)

  • 3rd place - Education Studies (£100)


  • Development & Alumni - Most aspirational
  • Economics - Most stylish and visual
  • Psychology - Most academically rigorous
  • School of Life Sciences - Strongest student voice
  • WBS - Best storytelling
  • Wild Card 1 - Most neatly captured
  • Wild Card 2 - Best use of DT techniques
  • Wild Card 3 - The most agile and reflective team
  • WMG - Most refreshing

You are welcome to view all team submissions on this Challenge Submission page

    Project Team

    Project Co-Lead

    Emily Róisín Reid (WMS)

    Project Co-Lead

    Dr. Bo Kelestyn (Chemistry)

    Project Team:

    Giacomo Bottoli (WBS Student); Charlie Cunningham (SO/WMS); Rachel Davis (WE); Dr Martin Mik (SLS); David Molyneux (SO/SLS); Luke Netherclift (GSD Student); Celine Nithila-George (Liberal Arts Student), Johannes Pittgens (WBS Student), Laura Yetton (SLS)

    Project Impact

    • The main outputs form this project were:
      • The learning from the workshops and critical engagement with this area, with deep collaboration between staff and students
      • The impact of the work undertaken by the project teams and their subsequent engagement within their departments
      • The shared learning from the dissemination event which we will be able to make widely available
    • Through engagement in these workshops, the project raised the profile of the importance of employability and co-creation as important areas of student focus and engagement.

    What You Need to Know

    Project Background

    Please visit this Project Background page to find out more about the project and what the key dates were.

    Judging Criteria

    There were 4 criteria that informed the final panel decision: Desirable, Feasible, Innovative, Ethical. Find out more here.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Please visit this page for FAQs or get in touch with the Project Leads for further information, or if you have any questions. We also welcome any feedback.

    Project Aims

    • Engaged around 120 staff and students who directly participated in the workshops, and through the competition initiative
    • Generated a developing and enhancing a sense of community, and increased interest and participation in other institutional decision making and innovation projects
    • Brought staff and students together from academic departments and professional services, to encourage deeper co-creation than perhaps exists through channels such as SSLCs and other initiatives. The WSC enabled the surfacing of fresh ideas and for the student voice to sit centrally in new thinking around employability, creativity and innovation.

    If you would like more information on this project, please contact project leads:

    Dr Bo Kelestyn (

    Emily Róisín Reid (