What the 2015 initiative is all about



Teams of engaged citizens will assemble in Brazil, Serbia and Zambia. These are Smart Living Challenge Project Teams that will work to develop and implement local projects.


Each team will work over the course of three months to conceptualize, plan and implement a project to promote and support sustainable lifestyles in their city.


By the end of 2015, the projects will be realized and hopefully continue to scale over time. Meanwhile, the teams’ process and tools will be packaged and shared for others around the world to use.


Other cities around the world with engaged local partners and Swedish Embassies are joining in smaller formate for new initiatives during the year.
Shorter Smart Living Challenge activities

Creative workshops

The Embassy of Sweden and IKEA invites creative talents to join a workshop in May for smart solutions to create a better and more sustainable life in the city.


With the main subject “natural and human resources”, this creative workshop and conference is taking place May 30-31, 2015. Arranged by Walter IT Solution and Embassy of Sweden in Sarajevo.


Not yet decided – ongoing discussions regarding creative workshop in Luanda.


During autumn creative workshops will be arranged on the themes EAT, LIVE and MOVE in connection to COP21, United Nations Conference on Climate Change.


Smart Living Challenge has been launched in Brazil!


The kick-off was on the 9th of June at the Universidade Federal de Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), where six lucky finalists were chosen to form the SLC Brazil team.

The day started with welcoming speeches from the organizers, the Swedish Embassy in Brazil, the Technological Park at UFRJ and the Green Fund, followed by inspirational presentations from the SLC 2014 winners Bicicletaria Cultural, bicycle activist Aline Cavalcante participating in the documentary Bikes vs. Cars, and Eduardo Bernhardt from the NGO Transporte Ativo in Rio de Janeiro.

After the inauguration lunch the SLC team gathered with Johanna Olsson from Hyper Island for their first workshop. Here they got to know each other a bit more and began processes on co-creating the mobility project that will be implemented on the UFRJ campus. The excitement and motivation was noticeable among the participants and since all had already proposed interesting ideas on sustainable mobility for a more accessible campus, we believe that the SLC team 2015 will definitely come up with brilliant solutions!

Reflection on creative workshop in Sarajevo


To step into Walter BIM Solutions offices, located in the city of Sarajevo, is literally to step in from a dark stairway, smelling of the 50’s era, into a bright creative space, that almost breathes the future of BiH. I wonder if there is a more suitable place to hold a creative workshop under the theme “How on earth can we live smarter?”

I am attending the first “Smart Living Challenge conference and workshop” of its kind in Sarajevo. The Swedish Institute and the Embassy of Sweden in BiH are the organizers together with the company Walter BIM Solutions.

There is a small doubt in me that this weekend will be enough to find solutions that could contribute to the answer of this big question. Will there be enough time? My doubt is quickly swept away when speaker after speaker addresses the small audience with passionate talks about the problems, but also the potential of Bosnia and Hercegovina when it comes to tackling environmental problems. There is definitely a lot of competence in the room. I am amazed by the energy in the crowd and when a vivid discussion between two of the participants starts already within the first hour I am convinced this is going to be fun, creative and even might produce results.

The second day emerges into a creative workshop, under the leadership of Sasan Shaba, from Sweden, Eskilstuna, who manages to channel all this energy and creative thinking into five concrete ideas on “smart Living”. The ideas range from technical solutions for “smarter houses” to educative initiatives like “smarter kids for a smarter future”. All of them have the goal to improve the environment and use natural materials.  And all of them could be elaborated into start-ups!

As two of the participants put it:

We made and learned so much for such short time period. It was exciting, instructive and fun!

It is possible to create great ideas/solutions in a small range of time!


Karin Lissola is Second Secretary Political and Economic Affairs at the Embassy of Sweden in Sarajevo

Ideas to tackle food waste from Indonesian talents

30 participants gathered in Jakarta on May 23 for a one day creative workshop on how to tackle food waste. Among the participants were food waste startups, city officials, researchers, students, NGO-representatives and food bloggers, all engaged and motivated to make a change.

IKEA, one of the partners in Smart Living Challenge Jakarta (arranged by the Swedish Embassy), called for ideas which are very simple and could improve people’s everyday life. Food waste is a major problem all over the world with one third of the food produced never consumed.  The average rubbish bin of a family consists of approximately 70 percent organic waste.

The participants were divided into four groups, and after inspirational talks of Edwin Permana, last year’s Smart Living Challenge winner with his project on water treatment, Arlisa Febriani, winner of the IKEA Blue Bag award for her ideas and Foodlap, a startup with several ideas for food waste treatment techniques, the brainstorming began.

BagiMak, a group that came with the idea of developing a food sharing application with the possibility to donate or share your left-overs was awarded the first prize from the jury.

We are so happy that the jury liked the idea, and so excited to have been part of this workshop. We will definitely meet up again and develop the concept further

said Lia Vania Dewi, participant of the winning group.

I would love to use this application. We often have great amount of leftovers after events or other, and it is not always we could find good use of it

said Johanna Brismar Skoog, Ambassador of Sweden to Indonesia, and part of the local jury.

Read more at the Embassy of Sweden Jakarta website.

Making it happen in 2015

Photo: Lena Granefelt imagebank.sweden.se

In 2015, the Smart Living Challenge continues, but shifts focus: from ideas to making it happen. In cities around the world, teams of citizens will work together to conceptualize and execute new projects or initiatives, inspired by the hundreds of existing ideas, that tangibly contribute to more sustainable lifestyles in their cities.

With support from the Swedish Institute and SISP, the results of this work and insights from the process will be put on display in Paris during the COP21 summit in December 2015.

Winners trip in 2014


In 2014, Munktell Science Park, together with the Swedish Institute initiated the Smart Living Challenge, an open, international innovation competition designed to generate business opportunities and ideas to foster more sustainable lifestyles in cities.

The competition was a huge success, generating hundreds of ideas and, ultimately, 15 winners. During their visit to Sweden, the winners took part in meetings and workshops with some of the leading exponents of innovation in the country. A total of 34 workshops were conducted, partly via Swedish embassies in 14 countries in collaboration with local partners. In all, along with contributions submitted to smartlivingchallenge.com, more than 300 ideas from 27 countries were generated. The jury selected 15 winners from 12 countries in 5 continents that was awarded with an innovation week in Sweden.