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Sustainable Development Goals

Future Cities Project

Shape our cities, shape our future
Hackathon, Sydney - 23rd & 24th November 2017
Crystal globe resting on moss in a forest - environment concept © Shutterstock / Romolo Tavani / WWF

Crystal globe resting on moss in a forest - environment concept © Shutterstock / Romolo Tavani / WWF

A light rail transit train Calgary, Alberta, Canada © Michael Buckley / WWF-Canada

© Luis Llerena /

Join our Hackathon and win great prizes

Venue: University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo NSW

Thursday 23rd & Friday 24th November


As emerging technologies including artificial intelligence, blockchain, the internet of things, autonomous electric vehicles, augmented and virtual reality become mainstream, there is a growing opportunity to channel these developments for transformative social and environmental impact. WWF is inviting the best and brightest to collaborate with us over two days as we uncover and develop innovative new solutions linked with the Sustainable Development Goals and the future of cities. 


A hackathon is a creative and intensive session where a diverse group of people come together to solve problems using design and technology. We are using this methodology to gather around 100 change makers who are keen to ideate, design and create the valuable solutions needed for our cities. We’re calling on innovative thinkers to develop disruptive technologies and business models at the hackathon.


To ensure winning teams receive the support they need to develop their solutions over the long term, WWF and partners have also created a bespoke package of support, including cash prizes, a 1 week design sprint & production studio, mentorships, 1 - 1 training, access to networks and contacts, desk space, access to customers to test and validate and access to APIs and libraries. You can read more about the support available here (PDF 95KB).


Register for the Hackathon

Registration deadline: 1st November

What you can win

Prizes include:

Cash Prizes
Access to incubators and accelerator programs
Access to high value networks
Ongoing mentorship
Desk space worth $6,000

Registration is now closed

See you at the Hackathon!

Who are you?* - required
Mandatory field(s) marked with *

Got a question? Reach out to Reece Proudfoot, Innovation Strategist

WWF Sustainable Development Goals Designathon © WWF-Aus / Candice Marshall

© WWF-Aus / Candice Marshall

Come and shape the future of our cities

Our cities of the future should be epicentres of creativity, innovation, sustainability - where people will thrive. But only if we get things right. On a planet that will soon need to support up to nine billion people, our cities also consume the most resources, produce the most waste, use the most energy. Added to this, we are witnessing the troubling rise of social and economic inequality. To enable a positive future for our cities, we need to start now by collectively building the new products, services, platforms and business models to achieve this vision.


WWF is inviting the best and brightest to collaborate with us over two days to come and shape the future of our cities.

Smart city and wireless communication network © Shutterstock / jamesteohart / WWF

The Challenge

We are looking for technology and design solutions which focus on building our future cities, and utilising emerging technologies such as blockchain and IoT.

Over the past 20 years we have moved from a traditional model of large organisations providing services to passive consumers, to a new model of decentralised organisations meeting the needs of ‘pro-consumers’, or active consumers. 

This has resulted in an emergence of Shareable Cities: mayors, civic innovators, sustainability leaders, economists and other champions are harnessing the potential to meet the public needs, and enhance sustainable growth.


Challenge Topics:

  • Inclusive - How do we empower all citizens to be active participants, regardless of location, socio-economic status or privilege?
  • Accessible - How do we make sure our common resources (like energy, housing, food, green space, transport) are clean, safe, affordable and available to all?
  • Sustainable - How do we improve the way our products and commodities are produced, distributed and consumed, enabling thriving and sustainable local economies?
A light rail transit train Calgary, Alberta, Canada © Michael Buckley / WWF-Canada


You are welcome to register as an individual or team. If you are registering as an individual you can meet your potential team members and form teams at the beginning of the Hackathon, or during Information Night on 16 November.


Hackathon teams generally have 3-5 people and consist of at least one of each of the following team members:


The Hustler

These are the people that understand how to pitch, they can sell ice to eskimos


The Hipster

Your creative genius, they’ll design a product the cool kids will be fighting over


The Hacker

The MacGyver of your team, they bring the product to life


The Hugger (optional)

For this Hackathon you may also want a ‘Hugger’ on your team

The sustainability guru who can help define the problem

WWF Sustainable Development Goals Designathon © WWF-Aus / Candice Marshall

© WWF-Aus / Candice Marshall


December 2017 or late January 2018

1-week facilitated design sprint, that will help winning teams move from concept to prototype. This will include testing with partner organisations and potential users to bring your prototypes to life, and to build your team’s pitching skills and confidence.



Late January 2018 onwards

Winning teams will be have the opportunity to pitch to partner organisations, incubators and accelerators for further testing, iterating and planning for scale and commercialisation.

Judges and Mentors

Our mentors and judges are some of the best in their respective fields. We have experts in technology, business and industry who will be there to help deliver feedback, guidance and even provide further resources to high potential ideas into the future.


More judges and mentors coming soon!

CEO - WWF Australia

Dermot O’Gorman

Director, Product and Channel Development

Lisa Wade

Innovation Strategist - WWF Australia

Reece Proudfoot

Senior Manager - Low Carbon Futures. WWF Australia

Monica Richter

Schneider Electric and Hackathons Australia

Angela Bee Chan

ConsenSys - Strategic Initiatives Lead

Claudio Lisco

Innovation Fund. Clean Energy finance Corporation

Katerina Kimmorley

Innovation Leaders Network & Hackathons Australia

Kimberly Odewahn

IoT Specialist. Schneider Electric

Brad Yager

Director, Partner Projects. Schneider Electric

Farokh Ghadially

Mentor at Wade Institute of Entrepreneurship

Ishani Chattopadhyay

Manager - Demand Response at Department of Planning and Environment

Ben Cirulis

Investment Associate at NAB Ventures

Lucinda Hankin

Business Designer. ThinkPlace

Michael Cohen

Executive Service Designer. ThinkPlace

Michael Bye

Director, CitiConnect. Blue Chilli

Johanna Pitman

Supporters and Sponsors

WWF-Australia is pleased to welcome the following partners and sponsors who are supporting The Future Cities Project Hackathon

Click here for more information on their support.


WWF Panbda Labs logo

WWF Panda Labs

The Greenhouse logo

The Greenhouse

Schneider Electric Innovation Centre logo

Schneider Electric Innovation Centre

ConsenSys logo


Hackathons Australia logo

Hackathons Australia

Energy Lab logo

Energy Lab

University of Technology Sydney logo

University of Technology Sydney

Climate Kic Australia logo

Climate Kic Australia

Nab logo


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Thank You

Thank you for registering your submission for WWF-Australia’s Future Cities Hackathon!

This event will be even more awesome if we have a good mix of good mix of skills, so we'll be in touch shortly after the registration deadline date of November 4 to confirm final participants. Share this opportunity with your friends, colleagues, and anyone else you know who might be interested in using their technical or creative skills to help create social impact and meaningful change.