The Helsinki Challenge journey so far

Helsinki Challenge is a science-based idea competition in which teams of scientists from ten Finnish universities work on solutions that help the humankind reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Here's a quick summary of what has happened in the competition so far.

  1. The Helsinki Challenge competition was first organized by the University of Helsinki in 2015. In August 2016 the competition returned bigger and better as a joint effort of ten Finnish universities. The competition themes people in change, sustainable planet and urban future, challenge the teams to create solutions for global problems, which affect all of our lives.
  2. New #helsinkichallenge is here! And we are so excited! Read all the latest news from our website
    New #helsinkichallenge is here! And we are so excited! Read all the latest news from our website
  3. A total of 110 teams applied for the competition, including 340 experts from Finnish universities and over 160 other organizations.
  4. Out of these the pre-qualification stage jury chose 20 semi-finalist teams for the accelerator programme. The semifinalist teams were creating solutions for, among others, the loneliness of young urban people, aging, malaria and cancer treatment.

  5. Kicking off with co-creation

  6. In January 2017 the semifinalist teams started their journey in the Helsinki Challenge accelerator program. The Kick off event introduced the teams to the process and the crew. The winner of 2015 Katri Saarikivi gave an encouraging piece of advice for the Helsinki Challenge freshers:
  7. "Be proud of science and remember to challenge your views!"
  8. During the accelerator program the teams build networks, receive communication support and get the chance to collaborate. The goals is to develop the solutions from their early idea stage to a feasible solution. At the Challenge Clinics the teams met a range of communications, funding and feasibility experts eager to share their expertise with the teams.
  9. The clinics, assignments and the freshly printed Helsinki Challenge Team Guide made sure that the teams could start developing their solution without delay. The spring 2017 was full of co-creation workshops, collaborator meetings, testing and data collection.

  10. Telling your story to a large audience

  11. In order to find new collaborators, funders and fans, the teams become initiated to the art of pitching. At February's two Pitch Nights the teams learned how to communicate their solution to a large audience in an appealing and meaningful way. Their task was to pitch their solution in just 7 minutes!
  12. Over 500 people per night at the Great Hall and over 700 live stream viewers enjoyed the inspirational atmosphere created by the teams and their ideas. In his opening speech, the rector of the University of Helsinki Jukka Kola described aptly what was behind all the buzz:
  13. "We are here to solve big problems - together!"
  14. Helsinki Challenge Pitch Night 22.2.
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