Open Seventeen is a prize-backed challenge to reward and invest in those developing innovative and implementable projects that leverage OPEN DATA and CROWDSOURCING to tackle the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This spring, the challenge targets "SDG #3: Healthy Lives and Well-Being for All at All Ages", and it is run in collaboration with Be He@lthy, Be Mobile, a joint program between the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the World Health Organization (WHO).


The competition is open to students currently registered in a University, at the Bachelors or Masters level, and who can sign up as an individual or a team (max 3 px).

The Challange is co-organized by the Citizen Cyberlab at University of Geneva, the Citizen Science Centre Zurich (University of Zurich and ETH Zurich) and the Governance Lab at New York University. This is the 4th edition of Open Seventeen.


This spring, participants to the Open Seventeen challenge will learn about crowdsourcing solutions to mobile health for non-communicable diseases, using open data. Between 19 March and 30 April, we’ll be coaching you and your m-health project during six 2-hour interactive online sessions, with guest appearances by experts from ITU, WHO, and other organizations (dates/times will be communicated to successful applicants).


All accepted participants receive intensive mentoring and coaching to help transform their ideas into impactful projects, and become part of a global community of civic innovators. On successful completion of the course they may be eligible to participate in the SDG Summer School, a two-month fully funded summer school in Geneva, Beijing and Shenzhen. Participation will also open other unique opportunities to join international events (competitions, hackathons, summer schools and more).

Challenge 1

Monitor and encourage use of road helmets

The number of people injured or killed while riding two-wheelers is rising worldwide. How can crowdsourced data from smartphones help to change that trend?

Challenge 2

Crowdsourcing tobacco control compliance

Tobacco control legislations are not always achieving their desired results because their enforcement is a challenge in many countries. How can mobile phones help to provide a clearer picture of what’s going on?

Challenge 3

Digital innovation for school health

Schools should be environments for physical, emotional and social well-being. What can schoolchildren do with mobile tech to monitor and encourage healthier lifestyles?

Challenge 4

New ways to support hypertension

Challenges with hypertension include poor compliance to medication, lack of follow up, not reaching the desired levels of control. How can phone-based apps support patients with hypertension?

Challenge 5

Behavioral changes to cope with diabetes

Complications in people with diabetes include blindness, amputation of lower limbs and renal failur. How can phone-based app help people with diabetes prevent complications by adhering to healthy lifestyle and doing regular check ups?

Challenge 6

Low cost early-stage cancer detection

How can mobile devices help in improving tests for early detection - cervical cancer screening - and ensure that screen positive women are receiving the required intervention?
How it works
12 March 2018

Deadline for Application

Introduce yourself, your motivations, and pitch your idea!

19 March – 30 April 2018


50 selected participants will follow a 6 weeks long coaching developed by The GovLab at NYU (virtual, one 2h session/week) with mentors from academia, Be He@lthy, Be Mobile, and other International Organizations (dates/times will be communicated to successful applicants).

May 2018

Winning projects - SDG Summer School and more

Some projects and participants will be selected to participate in the SDG Summer School (8 weeks, July-August 2018) in Geneva, Beijing and Shenzhen, or to take part in the UNLEASH 2018 ideation and collaboration week in Singapore (May 30 – June 6). All travel costs covered.

Make sure you check the Frequently Asked Questions for more details