A photo contest to increase diversity and inclusion in higher education
Stockholm Science City and Kista Science City initiated an annual photo contest on Instagram which was open during 2018 and 2019. The aim was to promote and raise awareness of the talent, curiosity and creativity in neighborhoods with great potential to contribute to Sweden's future. Our hope was that the initiative would contribute to increase interest in technology and science among youths from families with low educational background and thereby increase diversity in higher education. The contest was open for residents in the Järvafältet area in Stockholm i.e the city districts Akalla, Husby, Kista, Hjulsta, Tensta, and Rinkeby.

Diversity and cross-disciplinary collaborations become increasingly important in the development of knowledge and solutions that benefits society and individuals. The demand for well educated people is increasing and to strengthen Sweden’s competitiveness it is important to make use of all of Sweden’s talents. However, twice as many students with college educated parents continue to higher education compared to students with parents without a collage education. Since the educational level in several areas of Sweden is substantially lower compared to the country as a whole, there exist a great potential in these parts to strengthen Sweden’s competitiveness and make the diversity in society to be reflected in higher education.

Themes for the contest 2018 was creativity and curiosity och the themes for 2019 were equality, diversity, climate and environment. Through the competition, we wanted the participants to explore and portray their surroundings in a playful way. The aim was to increase interest in technology and science among youths from families with low educational background, and also to contribute to nuance and challenge the often-negative image of the Järva area. 

Partners in the initiative were Karolinska Institutet, KTH, Stockholms universitet, Vetenskapens Hus (the House of Science), The Global Village, My Dream Now, Canon, Samsung and Fryshuset Husby. A number of photos from the competition are found on the Instagram account @MinaKvarter.