Designing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals for the sustainable school of tomorrow


Deadline: 29 October 2018, 12:00 noon CET


The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are part of the The 2030 Agenda for change and transition to a sustainable society. The agenda and its global goals is adopted by countries worldwide with a commitment to lead the world to a sustainable future. Implementing the ambition of the goals is a shared responsibility, but requires action and broad participation from different actors throughout society.


Smart Cities Accelerator is a project-based partnership consisting of leading universities, companies and cities in southern Sweden and Denmark, co-funded by EU’s Interreg scheme. The aims of the project are to develop smart cities and sustainable solutions for intelligent use of energy. Part of the focus is on education and includes students and school environments in finding new solutions and fostering behaviours that can contribute to sustainable development in the Öresund region and beyond. Developing sustainable schools and supporting learning environments is a common concern and ambition for the project partners, for which the 2030 Agenda is a natural starting point.

The challenge of this Open Innovation Call targets innovative ways to highlight and raise awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in existing and new school environments, supporting sustainability as an educational idea. This call searches for functional, informative, playful and cost-efficient innovations inviting children in different ages to learn more about the SDGs and how they can be assessed in daily life to support the transition to a more sustainable society.


Taking the background of the call as starting point, the aim of this call for innovation is to make children more aware of and understand the meaning of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and how these goals are applicable in the daily life. The call wants to see visual innovations with focus on the visible aspects of the design and targets, especially products/innovations that helps highlighting and presenting the SDGs in a way that:

  • Are appealing to children in different ages from preschool up to age 16
  • Can come at hand for schools and teachers who wants to include aspects of the SDGs and sustainability in their education and various learning environments.

The design should invite children to interact with and come closer to the SDGs, making the goals more graspable, and creating a relationship between the children and the goals. Sustainability is more than a buzzword, and the goals should be explained in ways that children can understand and relate to.

The Challenge

If we are to successfully reach the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, we need to make sure that children are well informed of the challenges we face, all over the world as well as in our own backyards. As we target the children, a successful implementation can improve the likelihood that our world will develop in line with the global goals. Change starts with the children – our future.

Hence, we need to raise a higher awareness about the SDGs among children – and school is the natural arena for this to take place. This challenge targets innovative ways to highlight the SDGs in various school and learning environments. Regardless the design, the product should be functional, informative and playful at once, inviting children to learn more about the goals and how to work with them.

The emphasis should be on the visualisation of the goals; the design in which they are represented should therefore be thought through thoroughly. Education and learning are natural elements that plays an important part in the innovation process – how can children learn and understand about the sustainability goals through a design product? What challenges are there in the content of the goals and in the language in which they are written?

One design fits all (Replicability)

It is necessary that the design is flexible and replicable, as the physical conditions varies a lot between schools.  This product should be useful for schools all over Europe.

As the target group is schools, the cost for buying and installing the design must be addressed and considered when the product/solution is presented. The cost can be a deciding factor if schools decide to purchase the product or not. A product that is too expensive and advanced will most likely face obstacles for being further implemented.

Taking loads off (Functionality)

The design should invite children to play or interact, but possibly also function as a support in education. The aim is to not give the teachers an extra work load, but rather help and support and offer viable alternatives to teach about sustainability. It should be an easy to use add-on for teachers and something they can easily choose to use in their daily education.

Form is up to you (Innovation)

With all this in mind, there are no specific criteria or form for how the product must be designed or built – this is up to the contesters of this call to decide, using their expertise, knowledge, creativity and ideas to lead the way to great solutions. It is the use and outcome that decides the form.

Exploring existing material

We urge contestants to familiarize themselves to already existing learning and educating material dedicated to the Sustainable Development Goals, i.e. We are looking for innovation, design products and ideas with strong emphasis on the abovementioned visualization aspect.

How the competition works

The competition is an Open Innovation Process open for everyone who wants to share their ideas on how to highlight the Sustainable Development Goals in accordance with the conditions of this call. The process runs in the following steps according to the timeline described further down.

  1. Release of call
  2. Deadline for submissions
  3. Evaluation: All proposals submitted are judged in accordance with the judging criteria (see below). Up to five (5) proposals are selected for a final pitch event on the Open Innovation Day. 
  4. Open Innovation Day (Malmö, Sweden)


Process timeline

Release of call 20 September 2018
Webinar 4 October 2018
Deadline for submissions 29 October 2018
Presentation of finalists 1 November 2018
Open Innovation Day 16 November 2018

A webinar took place on 4 October 2018 at 10 AM. If you would like to listen to a recording of the webinar, click on the button below:

Listen to the webinar here

Competition Manual Find out more about the open innovation call

Who can participate?

The call is for any innovator who wants to take on the design challenge, no profession or line of business is more suitable to take on the task than the other. However, as schools are the arena where the innovation is to take place, there must be a strong element of pedagogy or learning perspective involved. It is strongly desired that the innovation has a strong connection to various educational activities and learning environments.

What’s in it for the winner?

The finalists will have the opportunity to present their idea at Open Innovation Day held at Form/Design Center in Malmö, Sweden, on 16 November 2018. At this Open Innovation Day an expert jury will guide and assist the finalist for a final co-creation of the ideas and choose a winner for the Open Innovation Call.

The winner will get professional sparring and assistance from Smart Cities Accelerator’s network of researchers as to co-write articles about the concept for a variety of national and international magazines and newspapers within the field. The winners of this challenge will not receive a fixed price or award. However, as there are plenty of schools in need of this kind of innovation, there is a potentially large market for the innovations and several possible co-partners or actors who wants to continue and perhaps further develop the design and the work done.

As a contestant, you will receive customized consultancy support, if you are chosen as a finalist for the Open Innovation Day following the Open Innovation Call. A network of specialist will be at your assistance to prepare the idea/proposal for the finals. Furthermore, validation and/or implementation of the proposal will be the utmost aim for both the organizing partners as well as the contestants, alas this cannot be promised beforehand. Additionally, participation will provide opportunities to engage with relevant stakeholders and potential customers and expand networks and knowledge about the theme at hand.

Competition Manual

The competition manual contains further information about:

  • Competition objectives
  • Specifications and criteria
  • Important dates
  • IPR and legal details
  • The structure of the process and how it will be managed
  • The competition partners

We highly recommend that you read this document carefully before submitting a solution.

Download the competition manual here

Proposal Template

All solutions must be presented via the submission form linked below. Submissions that are not sent via this route will not be considered.

Access the submission form here

Application procedure

All proposals must be presented via the submission form on the website by 29 October, 12 noon, 2018.

All proposals must include an account for how the project team/the innovator uses the compulsory EU-criteria of sustainability with regards to the innovation., in accordance with what is described under the section “Judging Criteria” in the Competition Manual.  

Submissions that are not sent via this route and/or without the sustainability report will not be considered.

Open Innovation Day

A maximum of five (5) selected finalists will be invited to a final pitch event in Malmö (Open Innovation Day) on 16 November 2018. Travel costs for up to two members per selected innovation will be reimbursed by Climate-KIC in accordance with the terms and conditions provided.  The winning proposal will receive professional advice and assistance by EIT Climate-KIC on how best to progress with turning their idea into reality.

Answers to competition questions

Questions and answers related to the competition will continuously be uploaded here.

Q: Is it possible to upload other documents to the application?

A: Yes, it is possible to upload illustrative materials such as illustrations, diagrams, pictures etc. We will not take additional text material into consideration.

Q: Where do I find more details about the consultancy and for Open Innovation Day?

A: We will make sure that you receive all the information that you need for each step you enter. You are always welcome to contact Climate-KIC at if you have any questions.

Q: Do I need to go to Sweden to participate in the competition?

A: All our events, interviews and consultancy will be offered online in English. You will only need to go to Sweden for the Open Innovation Day, if selected for this. Expenses for travelling and accommodation will be reimbursed for up to two persons per finalist team.

Q: How do I get access to the presentation from the webinar on 4 October?

A: You can listen to the webinar recording here. All the information presented during the webinar can be found in the competition manual.

Q: What´s the Open Innovation Day about and when and where is it?

A: The Open Innovation Day is the final event for the call. The finalist will get the opportunity to pitch their ideas for an expert jury and the audience and work in a co-creative process to further develop their ideas. The OI Day will take place in Form/Design in the central parts of Malmö, 16 November, from 10 PM to 13 PM including lunch. Read more about this event in the competition manual 

Partners and Contact Information

Organizing partners








Questions and contacts

For further information and questions concerning the competition, please get in touch with us via email at