48 hours to
change the world

About the eventSDGsChallengesScheduleCredits for studentsFAQs

Who's gonna save the world?

Even before Covid-19 crippled the world, we’ve been facing severe challenges regarding the well-being of the planet, ecosystem and humanity. Many of these challenges have been codified by the UN into Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs.

Solve the SDGs is a hackathon where we focus on solving these challenges. It’s a hackathon for people, who want to make a difference. For people, who don’t want to watch the world burn, but to save it.

It may seem like an insurmountable task. No one can do it alone, let alone in one weekend. But together with bright minds from all over the world, world-class mentors and sufficient data, we can take a step or two in the right direction. Because if not us, then who?

SDGs = Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations offer a blueprint for achieving a more sustainable future. The 17 different goals address the most severe challenges our world is facing. Solving these goals requires balancing social, economic and environmental sustainability - and some great innovations from all over the world.

Aalto University is the first Finnish university to sign universities’ global Sustainability Development Goals Accord committing to advance the SDGs as part of teaching, research, innovation activities, and campus development.

Read more about SDGs: https://sdgs.un.org/goals


Reduced Inequalities by Improving Digital Support for Young People, SDG 10

Create an “easy-to-use” and lovable digital solution that brings together all the important information, functionalities, and support needed during the customer journey of young people.

Challenge by Accenture & Finnish Red Cross

Boosting Inclusion in Universities, SDG 5

Design an implementable concept aiming to foster diversity and inclusion in universities around a subtopic of your choice: growing awareness; shifting attitudes; supporting advocacy; or assessing the results in the university community.

Challenge by Aalto University, TEK, Now!Project

Reimagining Higher Education, SDG 4

Design creative solutions for teamwork in higher education courses, combining the best parts of traditional and online teaching methods.

Challenge by Aalto Ventures Program

Create safe online environments, SDG 5

Create solutions for combating and eliminating online gender based violence, online hate speech and tech-facilitated violence.

Challenge by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland

Kill Haber & Bosch, SDG 13

Help demolish the need for extremely energy-intensive Haber&Bosch nitrogen fertilizers by finding alternative nitrogen sources, and farmers willing to cut their fertilizer costs with new methods.

Challenge by Särki


The overall winner of Solve the SDGs will get
- 2.000 € from Microsoft
- 1.000€ from AVP
- a golden ticket to Junction 2021

All challenge winners are also awarded by the challenge partners.

Accenture & Finnish Red Cross
- First prize: 1.000€ for the winning team
- The best three teams will win an opportunity to discuss and present their solution to the experts of the Finnish Red Cross Youth Shelters and Accenture.

Aalto University x TEK x Now!Project (1 winning team)
- 1000€ prize divided to the team members as stipends
- Possibility to develop the idea further together with Aalto University with funding up to 5000€

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland (1 winning team)
- The winning team gets to present their winning solutions to Finland’s Minister for Development and Foreign Trade Mr. Ville Skinnari, as well as Technology & Innovation for Gender Equality Action Coalition coordinators from UN Women.

Särki (1 winning team)
- Up to 15h of free consultation from the CEO&Founder of Särki for sustainable business idea(s) of the winner's choosing- Särki covers travel costs of up to 70€ for up to 5 persons to have the consultation in person in Lahti, Finland. - Särki is also dedicated to exploration of opportunities with the winners to continue the work done on the hackathon to actually destroy the need for Haber & Bosch -fertilizers.

Aalto Ventures Program (1 winning team)
- 1000€ prize divided to the team members as stipends

Additionally, all challenge winners will get Secret codes for Junction main event, which will increase your chance to get accepted to the main Junction hackathon at the end of the year.



Registration period

Friday 28.5.

Registrations close and the hackathon begins!
Opening ceremony & team building

Saturday 29.5.

Creating solutions and mentoring

Sunday 30.5.

Project demos, judging and prize ceremony!

Credits for students

+ Students of Aalto University
Aalto students can earn two credits in the form of the course TU-E4011 High Growth Entrepreneurship with varying content. To earn the credits, use the Yoop-tool (available in Finnish https://yoop.fi/testaa-yrittajyytesi/ and English https://yoop.fi/en/self-assesment/) to validate your learning. In the free text fields, use examples of and tell about your experience at Solve the SDGs, with a grand total of at least 1500 words — this basically works as an essay divided into sections. Download your results as a pdf and send it to Lauri Järvilehto (lauri.jarvilehto@aalto.fi) by June 4th, 5 pm.
+ Other students
We cannot guarantee credits to other than Aalto University students. Students outside Aalto University must then negotiate the credits with their own educational institute. The Yoop-tool (available in Finnish https://yoop.fi/testaa-yrittajyytesi/ and English https://yoop.fi/en/self-assesment/) can be used to validate your learning, and the results can be used to demonstrate your entrepreneurial competence. Please be in touch with your professor to agree on practicalities.


+ What is a hackathon?
A hackathon is a fast-paced event, where participants team up to create solutions and concepts from scratch in a short amount of time, addressing current problems. There are hackathons of various lengths and types, but one common characteristic of them is,that they are centered around a specific theme.

For example, Solve the SDGs focuses on sparking solutions to tackle the challenges on our way to reach the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations.
+ Who can participate?
The hackathon is open for participants from all backgrounds; no prior hacking experience is necessary. Since we’re not looking for technical submissions only — anyone can play a part in solving these problems. As long as you’re a team player who thinks the world could be a better place, you’re more than welcome to join!
+ Do I need a team to participate?
You can sign up as an individual or as a ready team of up to 5 members. If you sign up on your own, you can find a team on the first hackathon day at team building.
+ What kind of solutions are accepted?
We’re not looking for technical submissions only and your solution could be for example a concept, app idea, product or platform - basically anything as long as it contributes to the chosen challenge and the matching SDG! Each team will pitch their final ideas with two-minute videos on the final day.
+ How does an online hackathon work?
To participate, all you need is a computer with an internet connection. We also recommend having headphones at hand for smooth communication with the team. Participants will receive a more detailed guide on the practicalities prior to the event. Since everything happens online, you do not need to be in any specific place to join. However, do note that all the program times are in Eastern European Summer Time (EEST, UTC+3)