Innovating for a Sustainable Post-Pandemic World

Do you have great ideas for how to tackle some of the global challenges created by the pandemic?
Apply for the Open Seventeen Summer Challenge now.

Application deadline: 10 June 2020

Online coaching 6-31 July 2020 (2hr/weekday for 4 weeks)


The Open Seventeen (O17) Summer Challenge is a prize-backed fully online coaching programme to reward and invest in those developing innovative and implementable projects that leverage crowdsourcing and open source solutions to tackle the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2020, the O17 Summer Challenge targets the Covid health crisis and the social, environmental and economic challenges that the world will face in its aftermath.


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 each week of the O17 Summer Challenge, teams will be selected for cash or in-kind prizes. Top projects at the end of the month will be eligible for further support and participation in international innovation events.


The competition is open to high-school students, undergraduate students and Master students, from any field and region, who have bold ideas for how to tackle pandemic and post-pandemic challenges with crowdsourcing and open source solutions. Students may sign up as individuals or as a team (max 4 persons).


Application Deadline is 10 June 2020. Online coaching will take place in daily 2-hour interactive sessions, from 6-31 July 2020. In addition to the coaching, participants will be expected to work on their projects. Coaching will include guest experts from partnering universities and International Organizations (exact dates/times of sessions will be communicated to successful applicants).

This Challenge is co-organized by Citizen Cyberlab at University of Geneva, CRI at University of Paris, The Goodwall social network for Gen-Z, the AI for Good Global Summit, and with the support of the Crowd4SDG Project and the Geneva Tsinghua Initiative.

The Challenges


Frugal Medical Equipment for Covid

Challenge Mentor: CRI, University of Paris

As well making DIY masks and ventilators, how can maker spaces and fablabs around the world contribute to tackling the public health challenge that Covid presents, in collaboration with hospitals and public authorities?
( Note: this challenge requires access to a fablab )


Crowdsourcing for Pandemic Research

Challenge Mentor: Citizen Cyberlab, University of Geneva

Huge amounts of data are being generated about the coronavirus and Covid. How can simple crowdsourcing techniques and citizen scientists of all ages extract valuable information from this, and share the results with policy makers?


Post-Pandemic Sustainability

Challenge Mentor: x-lab, Tsinghua University

This option is for applicants who may already working on a project related to the SDGs, which addresses environmental challenges and opportunities that may arise in the aftermath of the pandemic.


Good Work Through Crowdsourcing

Challenge Mentor: GovLab, New York University

In the wake of the pandemic, as unemployment soars to never seen levels, how can crowdsourcing help people find good work, help businesses create safer workplaces and reduce anxiety and isolation among the unemployed.


Caring for the Elderly

Challenge Mentor: CS Center, University of Zurich / ETH Zurich

Assistive solutions for the mental health and well-being of elderly persons isolated due to the pandemic, including ways to improve their capacity to leverage technologies.


Reinventing Remote Collaboration

Challenge Mentor: OpenFIESTA, Tsinghua University

Exploring new ways for students to collaborate online, using frugal and open source technologies.

How it works

10 June 2020

Deadline for Application


Registration is open until 10 June via our partner Goodwall, please read carefully how to apply. You can apply as individual or as a team (one application per team, max 4 persons).

6-31 July 2020

Online Coaching


Selected participants will be coached online for 4 weeks. The coaching happens online, 2h per day, with mentors from partner Universities and International Organizations (exact schedule and platform details will be communicated to successful applicants). Each week of coaching, projects and participants are selected for prizes.

September 2020

Future events


Top projects and participants will be selected to receive further support and participate in future UN and International Innovation Events.

Make sure you check the Frequently Asked Questions for more details

Mentor Labs

Host Universities


Communication Partners

Content Partners