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22-23 May 2021 : From Ideas to Sustainable Impact


1. What do you need to know about SDG Open Hack Singapore?

  • Partnership with United Nations for Training and Research (UNITAR), Open Geneva, University of Geneva, and universities and corporate partners in Singapore

  • The SDG Open Hack is an unconventional hackathon, no coding, and programming skillset required! SDG Open Hack promotes innovation & entrepreneurship; cultivates leadership, creativity, mobility, international competence, and teamwork abilities.

  • Open to all university students, encourage cross universities and disciplines to form teams to solve societal and/or environmental challenges, by way of learning UN 17 SDGs

  • Students can freely choose challenge topics according to their interests, form an interdisciplinary innovation team online, and work hard to develop innovative solutions within 24 hours 

  • At the grand finale, the shortlisted innovative solutions be presented to the judges and the public.

  • The SDG Open Hack is a 24-hours and 100% online challenge that runs between May 22-23, 2021.

2. What does a hackathon mean?

The word hackathon comes from the combinations of “hacker” and “marathon”. These are moments of collective intelligence lasting a few hours, the aim is to develop practical and innovative solutions to concrete problems (challenges).
The SDG Open Hack aims to bring together university students, professionals, academics, investors, and SDG enthusiasts to turn ideas into sustainable impact.

3. When and where will Open Hack take place?

The SDG Open Hack will start on Saturday, May 22 at 4:00 pm (SGT) and end on Sunday, May 23 at 4:00 pm (SGT). The Open Hack will take place online, using digital tools made available to participants. The awards ceremony to announce the winners will take place on Monday, May 24 at 6:00 pm (SGT).

4. When will the SDG Open Hack open for registration?

Registration is now open until Saturday, May 22 at 12:00 noon (SGT) just before the start of the hackathon. Participants will have to choose a team before the registration closes. You must form a team with the minimum of 2 members and no more than 8.

5. Who can participate?

Any university student (undergraduate or post-graduate) who is currently attending local or private universities. He/she is interested in turning innovative ideas into impact solutions by working with professional mentors. No prior knowledge of coding and/or programming required.

6. Do I have to form a team prior to joining the Open Hack? 

No, participants will be given the opportunity to come up with proposed solutions and allow others to join and form teams. Participants are encouraged to form a team with members from different universities and/or disciplines.

7. Do I need to show up at the Open Hack with all the solutions?

No, participants are required to submit their proposed solution via google form (link can be found on confirmation email or Sparkboard) prior, then form a team via Sparkboard. Proposed solution will be posted on Sparkboard on Wednesday, May 19 from 12:00 noon (SGT) onwards. Participants can continue to refine their proposed solution by attending Innovative Bootcamp and working with professional mentors throughout the SDG Open Hack SG!


8. What are the Challenge Topics?

Please refer to the '7 Hack Topics' page.

9. Do I have to be wired for 24-hours? 

No, the duration of the Open Hack is designed to allow each participant to adapt their engagement throughout the event. Apart from the compulsory sessions (i.e. Welcome Remarks, Hackathon Brief, Teamwork-Part 1, Cross Pitch, Coaching, submitting the final deliverable and Awards Ceremony) that must be strictly adhered to, participants are free to plan and manage their own time. It is up to everyone to live their hackathon experience as they wish, with respect for the teammates and various stakeholders in this Open Hack!

10. How to register?

To register, click here.

11. The steps to follow:

  1. Submit your registration here.

  2. A link will be sent to you via email to join the hackathon Sparkboard.

  3. Create your profile (photo, skills, LinkedIn profile, ...) on Sparkboard.

  4. Submit the problem you are trying to solve and your proposed solution via the google form (link will be provided in the registration confirmation email). Your answer will be used on Sparkboard for recruiting team members.

  5. Discover all the proposed solutions on Sparkboard.

  6. Join ONE team ONLY, choose your team according to the profiles and skills sought by the project.
    Each team is made up of a minimum of 2 members and no more than 8 people.*

  7. Join the event Slack Workspace (refer to Sparkboard for the invitation). Slack will be the main communication platform among the organizer, participants, and mentors during the 24 hours Open Hack.

  8. The actual Open Hack schedule will be shown on Sparkboard on Saturday, May 22 at 4:00 pm (SGT). The agenda comprises keynote speeches, hackathon brief, teamwork, cross pitch, mentor coaching & discussion.

  9.  A pitch video, no more than 2 minutes, should be uploaded on the given google drive before Sunday, May 23 at 4:00 pm (SGT).

  10. Tune in to the Grand Finale and Awards Ceremony for the results on Monday, May 24 at 7:00 pm (SGT).

12. What tools will be used at the Open Hack? 
A user guide with a full explanation of the digital tools used for the Open Hack is available on Sparkboard.

13. If I have questions before the Open Hack, who should I go to? 

You may join the 'SDG Open Hack Singapore' Telegram group and post your question (if any).

14. If I have questions during the Open Hack, who should I go to
You will find a “#question-and-answer” channel on Slack where you can ask questions.

15. What language will be used for the Open Hack? 
English is the official language, and it will be used throughout the Open Hack. However, participants can discuss and work in their desired language(s) within their own team.

16. Are there any winners?
Yes, there will be a total of 3 winning teams. The award categories are as follow: 

  1. The Most Innovative Solution

  2. The Most Impactful Solution

  3. The Most Investible Solution

In addition, 1 favourite project will be nominated by the Open Hack participants as soon as all pitches are submitted, thanks to an open voting system on the Open Hack platform. Voting will be closed on Monday, May 24 at 6:00 pm (SGT).​


17. What are the prizes?

Please refer to the 'Prizes' page.

18. What is the expected deliverable at the end of the Open Hack?
Each team is required to submit a pitch video (no more than 2-minutes) to present their solution in a business plan format. The video must be uploaded via a given google drive link before Sunday, May 23 at 4:00 pm (SGT).  Late submission will not to be entertained.

Mentors will submit 2 shortlisted videos for the jury review. The awards ceremony will be broadcast on the GGEF Youtube channel & Facebook page and accessible to the public.

19. Who can vote for the favourite project of SDG Open Hack Singapore?
All Open Hack participants will be able to vote directly on Sparkboard right after the pitch videos are uploaded on Sparkboard, on Sunday, May 23 2021  at 5:00 pm (SGT) (a “Vote” tab will appear on the platform). Participants will not be able to vote for their own project.

20. Important Dates:
May 15 – Launch of Sparkboard - open to registered students to sign up
May 15 – Submit the problem you are trying to solve and your proposed solution via the google form (link will be provided in the registration confirmation email). Your answer will be used on Sparkboard for recruiting team members.
May 19 – Discover all the proposed solutions on Sparkboard. Participant to select one team to join, choose the team according to the profiles and skills sought by the project.
May 20 & 21 (6:00pm – 8:00pm SGT) – SDG Innovation Bootcamp
May 22 @ 4:00pm (SGT) to 23 @ 4:00pm (SGT) – The actual 24 hours Open Hack Challenge!

21. SDG Innovation Bootcamp
The 2-days Bootcamp will be carried out prior to the Open Hack by expert panels to equip participants with tools and skillsets to excel in the hackathon. Participants are strongly encouraged to attend the Bootcamp webinar series.

22. What is the allocation mechanism of mentor and forming team?
We have our mentors pre-allocated to the different SDG Hack topic i.e Problem Statement. Depending on which problem you wish to solve, your mentors will change accordingly. As for forming team, students can form their own team freely on the Sparkboard that we have sent out once the period for accepting solutions is over. You are free to look through the different solutions and form your own team.

23. Is the challenge presented in the form of a case? For example, with the development dilemma faced by a specific company as the case, and the team needs to find out the final solution?
We have a variety of problems. We have some problems that are more specific in that sense whereby companies ask for student’s solutions to aid them with a certain issue. For example, the hack topic regarding SDG #3: Good Health and Well-Being sees Prudential Assurance Singapore asking students about how they can leverage digital health innovations to empower vulnerable communities and provide inclusive offerings to these groups. On the other hand, we also have more open-ended problems such as SDG #11: Sustainable Cities and Communities whereby students are asked how we can rebuild our cities with sustainable social and economic growth.

24. Does the solution need to focus on the macro direction or specific to micro areas?
Again, this depends very much on the problem that you are tackling. Some problems will call for solutions that deal with a specific group of people while others may be on a much larger scale and will require solutions that are more macro in nature.

25. Are there any formal requirements for the solution? Or is there any preference?
There are no formal requirements or preferences for the content of the solution. We are open to creative and innovative ideas that will solve any of the problems in this Open Hack. The only standardised requirement is that you will need to present your solution in the form of a 2-minutes pitch video.



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