DIEM is a cross-border digital innovation programme that empowers students from different disciplines to learn and co-create tech solutions to capture emerging, global opportunities. You will learn to build digital products that matter by working as teams to develop intuitive and tested Minimum Viable Products for the real world. To do this, you will learn and apply methodologies such as agile development, design thinking and lean start-up which came out of Silicon Valley for the Asian context. Students will be required to grasp business needs, work closely with users and undergo an iterative software development process. This module will give you exposure to designing for cross-cultural environments and the ethical impacts of digital technologies as well.

We are now piloting DIEM with a group of students from the National University of Singapore as a 4 Modular Credit Unrestricted Elective that will be graded as CS/CU (Completed Satisfactorily/Completed Unsatisfactorily).

At the end of the module, students will be able to:

  • Build up their portfolio via taking a digital project for impact from zero to launch
  • Become effective team players that can communicate across business and engineering teams
  • Experience cross-border collaborations and build international connections
  • Be part of a dynamic, multi-disciplinary team
  • Understand the cultural and ethical implications of technology

Apart from completing challenge-based individual work, students will be grouped into teams of 3-4 (1-2 technical and 2 non-technical) to work on opportunity areas of interest. There will be opportunities to do peer teaching, showcase your products and be a part of overseas validation trips as well.

Looking for Overseas Student Collaborators!

To facilitate the creation and launching of digital products built for overseas markets, we are recruiting overseas student collaborators to team up with NUS students.

We want you!

If you are an overseas youth passionate about learning and collaborating with peers from other cultures to use technology as a force for good, join us.

Complete beginners are welcomed. What we look out for most of all are your level of commitment, attitude, ability to collaborate and growth potential. Our group of instructors are more than happy to do online calls with you to help you make progress.

What is the role of overseas students?

As an overseas student, your main mission is to work alongside the NUS team to come up with list of features required and deliver on project requirements – by fulfilling technical or non-technical tasks agreed on together.

The classes have already begun at NUS, we are looking for overseas students that are interested in learning along and collaborating with the NUS groups to join in the group work segment. After this initial pilot, we hope to see some of you coming over to Singapore to showcase in February 2020 and to make the next run better with your inputs.

How will you be learning and collaborating?

Relevant course materials, recordings and list of readings will also be shared with you. You can also access our panel of Product Owners and Tech Mentors for assistance. You can use our WeChat group for ongoing queries as well.

Regular office hours – likely Wednesday evening – will be made available for you to check-in with your questions and doubts online.

Ultimately, you will need to be proactive, independent learners to get the most out of this experience.

How to participate?

You will be required to complete 2 tasks related to your role of interest (technical or non-technical). Based on your output, you will be able to indicate which NUS teams you’d like to join while the NUS teams make their selection as well.

There is no guarantee that you’ll be selected though we will keep you in mind for other opportunities regardless!

All details about assignments will be released in our WeChat group.

Build Technologies for Impact

Some of the projects you’ll be working on are introduced below. Please note that requirements and technology stack may change, as we learn more about target audiences in different markets and collaborate on these projects with various social enterprises from around the world. More projects might be opened up later so there’ll be more opportunities to hone your skills!

We are looking for diverse skillsets on each project team, i.e. both technical and non-technical talents.

  • EDvengers: A community-driven portal for lifelong learning, anywhere in the world
    • Technology stack: NodeJS, React, Docker, MongoDB, DigitalOcean, Twilio
  • Visual Dictionary: An app for learning Mandarin through computer vision and speech recognition
    • Technology stack: Tensorflow, Google TextToSpeech, Chinese speech engine (iFlyTek)
  • Happy to Help: An app to turn any smartphone into a peer helpline on college campuses
    • Technology stack: React Native, Twilio, TextToSpeech


  • September 2: Release of first task challenge
  • September 5: Online, open class
  • September 6: Release of second task challenge
  • September 9: First task due
  • September 16: Second task due
  • September 26: All groupings finalised

You will know whether you have been grouped successfully by September 26. In exceptional cases, we may allow a group made up entirely of Chinese students to work together.

Submit now!

Check out the challenges here. The password is released in our official WeChat group.