Akureyri, Iceland

VAKEN Sprint Week 3


VAKEN is a two-year project which is financed by Nordplus, and the partner institutes.


You will meet and work with students from 6 European countries, get new knowledge and improve your soft skills, which you can use in your further studies and career. You will work on a real-life project in an international group in cooperation with the client. During the week, you will solve a big problem and test new ideas in just five days. Furthermore, you will have fun learning and networking.

You will get a certificate of 3 ECTS when attending the Sprint week.
Below we have gathered the most necessary information you need before and during the VAKEN Sprint week. If you need further information, please do not hesitate to be in touch with the contact person at your institution. (found below on this page)

Event venue

University of Akureyri

Norðurslóð 2 600 Akureyri

Getting to and from Akureyri

There will be a bus from Keflavik airport at 14.30 on October 30th and it will stop at the bus terminal in Reykjavik at 15.30. (BSÍ – Umferðamiðstöðin Vatnsmýrarvegi 10, 101 Reykjavík)

On Saturday, November 5th the bus leaves from Akureyri at 8:00 to Reykjavík, and then you will have the day in the city. Your flight home is on Sunday, November 6th. 


Get familiar with all the information available on this website, in particular, the process and the soft skills. The purpose of the pre-assignment is to get familiar with the subject and to understand the project given by the client.

1) You start by reading about the client and the sector/industry in which they operate (more information found below). Look for different sources of information, research articles, web pages, etc. Get familiar with different use cases, and the industry. Read about and look up information about experience marketing, rural tourism, and also slow tourism. 

2) Do a benchmark in your own region. What does the industry look like? What type of destinations are there? What kind of activities do they arrange? What makes them stand out from the crowd? Etc.

Prior to the sprint week in Akureyri, meet with your fellow students at your home University, and present and discuss your findings/research results.

Together with your local team, make a short presentation of your findings on 3-5 slides (alt. video, poster) that you can introduce to your future team members in Akureyri. (new groups will be created in Akureyri) All presentations will be shared with all students at the beginning of the Sprint.

Do also check the Vaken site www.vaken.org and get familiar with all the information available, particularly the process and the soft skills. Also, watch the videos below. 

1. How to solve a problem in four steps (Introduction to complex solving problem process, definition, and steps in problem-solving process) 5:30
2. Creative thinking: How to increase the dots to connect (Introduction to creative thinking process, definition, and examples) 5:10
3. Why self-leadership (Explanation of the idea behind the self-leadership term) 1:09
4. What is critical thinking (Introduction to critical thinking process, definition, and examples) 2:34

The purpose of the pre-assignment is to get familiar with the subject and to understand the project given by the company.

Client brief

Hauganes is a small, tiny village even on an Icelandic scale. It sits peacefully on the western coast of Eyjafjordur bay in North Iceland.

The population is about 90 people and it’s been so for the past 50 years. The first evidence of settlement in the Hauganes area is from the time Iceland was settled in around 1000AD and locations in the area are repeatedly mentioned in the Icelandic sagas. The first settlers in North Iceland came to land in the area north of Hauganes and Litli-Árskógssandur and gradually moved deeper into the fjord. Most of the landmarks and farms are named after the very first settlers who settled in the area. The sagas also claim that Mt. Kotlufjall, the large mountain gazing over Hauganes, holds the grave of Norwegian King Hrærekur, allegedly the only king buried in Iceland ever.
The Hauganes village itself appears to have been formed in the late 19th century, the first wooden house built in 1882, but centuries before that the area, the creek which forms a shelter from the ocean currents, was a harbor for the farmers in the area.

Fishing and fisheries has been dominating throughout the history of Hauganes and in fact, the political and social decisions in regards to fisheries in Iceland in general, reflect in the uprising and downfall of the village culture and population. The regional development is the same as in many places in the world; people tend to move from the rural areas to bigger cities that hold greater opportunities. That is mainly the reason Hauganes has not been able to grow or change for the past 30 years and maybe that is exactly its charm.


  • How might we attract tourists (families) to Hauganes?

Client website: https://visithauganes.is

Output by the November 4th
By the end of the sprint week your team must present the following:

  • A visual presentation showing your solution (any format is accepted). In addition hand-in, a written summary (max 5 pages) in pdf format, of the concept including:
  • The solution. How is it innovative and unique? Why this would work? What is the competitive advantage?
  • Motivation for the solution based on research, justifying your the results
  • References

Send your summary and visual presentation to verak@unak.is no later than November 11th. The material will be sent to the client.

Travel insurance

Travelling is your own responsibility. VAKEN doesn´t cover in any case of emergency or illness. You can choose among many local insurance companies offers in your country of residency, or you can also apply for EHIC, which works in EU countries.

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is a joint document for all European Union, European Economic Area countries and Switzerland Confederation that confirms the rights of citizens to received state-funded emergency and necessary healthcare services to the same extent that it has secured the country’s population.

The EHIC ensures that the necessary and urgent medical care is given to the same extent as is provided to the country’s residents, where the patient is receiving medical help. This medical help will be provided by the hospitals and the doctors who provide state-guaranteed health care services.

Additional links:
For local issuing institutions click on the link and select your country: https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=563&langId=en#nationalinfo

We are looking forward to meeting you in Kaunas!

Arcada University of Applied Sciences, Finland – Mikael Forsström, mikael.forsstrom@arcada.fi

University College Lillebælt, Denmark, – Kristin Utne krut@ucl.dk

TTK University of Applied Sciences, Estonia, – Britt Petjärv britt.petjarv@tktk.ee

Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences, Latvia – maira.lescevica@va.lv

Kauno kolegija/University of Applied Sciences, Lithuania – Indrė Knyvienė indre.knyviene@go.kauko.lt

University of Akureyri, Iceland – Hafdís Björg Hjálmarsdóttir hafdisb@unak.is

Vilniaus Kolegija, Lithuania – Dalia Karlaité d.karlaite@vvf.viko.lt

Learn more about the VAKEN Process and the VAKEN toolkit

The VAKEN team is working on the VAKEN Process and documenting the tools.  We are taking it for a first round of tests in Odense and Kaunas!