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Solve the SDGs  — an online hackathon for sustainability problems by AVP and Junction — is now over! We had more than 200 participants from 47 countries working on three different challenges related to the Sustainability Development Goals by the UN. 

The hackathon opened with speakers from different organizations:  Sami Pirkkala, Chief Specialist in Sustainable Development and the 2030 Agenda from the Prime Minister’s Office of Finland, Janne Laine, Vice President for Innovation at Aalto University, and Aino Saarelainen, who introduced the Aalto SDG app by Aalto Sustainability Hub.

The three challenges were Health and Well-being (SDG3), Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG6) and Sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11).  

Within 44 hours, we saw 25 projects tackling these challenges. One winner for each challenge was chosen by participants in addition to overall winner of the hackathon. 

The criteria for voting was the three i’s: the more innovative the project is, the more significant impact on society it potentially has and the more realistically implementable the project is, the better. Participants voted for the best project for each challenge, and the following teams emerged as winners. 

(SDG3) Health and well-being 

Challenge: Mental health by Aalto Ventures Program 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we all are sailing through the rough emotional seas. Just imagine how hard it is for a student to only study online. Create ideas and solutions to incorporate well-being practices into daily routines. And take wellbeing as a broad concept — something that can bring you joy, flow state or happiness every day. 

Winner: Buddy Challenge

An app where students can help each other by becoming a buddy for their fellow students. It’s not just a match — the app carefully selects the best buddies based on mutual needs and interests.  

(SDG6) Clean water and sanitation 

Challenge: Sanitation for all by UNICEF  

How can we ensure sustainable urban sanitation for all in developing countries? The world is rapidly urbanising, swelling impoverished urban settlement populations. Today, 55 % of the global population live in urban areas. A third of these are children. Roughly 700 million people in urban settlements are being deprived of access to adequate sanitation. We need to find innovations to ensure sanitation for all in urban settings.  


Water contamination is a huge problem in third world countries and less developed communities. Many people die and efficiency is lost. aims to save lives with transparent & crowdsourced data by creating an early detection system for water contamination.  

(SDG11) Sustainable cities and communities 

Challenge: How to engage, empower and inspire citizens to commit solving the SDGs by City of Espoo 

One of the grand challenges of urbanization is how to involve citizens in urban development. How to make you and I feel that we can contribute to what our city looks like when we are so many, and cities operate in a complex environment. Urbanization is not only a fact, it is also a sincerely complex, if not chaotic, challenge. But it is not linear. No one has decided it has to be this way. What is once invented, designed and engineered can be re-invented, re-designed and re-engineered. 

Winner: uCity

platform that includes citizens in their local communities and cities, rewards citizens with tradable digital credits for their engagement with the community and the city and enables citizens to contribute to building their ideal city. 

The overall winner of the hackathon is uCity

Challenge winners get prizes from each partner, and AVP and Junction provided the overall winning team with free guaranteed pass to Node by Slush.

A huge thanks for our mentors and everyone who participated, and congratulations to the winners! 

See all projects here: 

Opening and closing ceremony can be found on Youtube:  

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