Smart Living Challenge 2014-2016


Sweden invited the world to live sustainably. Between 2014-2016, Smart Living Challenge attracted more than 1000 participants globally to find solutions for sustainable urban lifestyle.

300 ideas was submitted to a competition with 15 selected winners, 40 workshops and other iniatives on 18 countries on 5 continents with participation from talented students, researchers, city planners, architects, designers, innovators and professionals from government agencies, academia, science parks/NGO:s in cities. Around 100 partners from business, university and the public sector met to support the initiative.

In 2017 the Smart Living Challenge initiative develops into new collaborations through the network of the Swedish and international partners.

Read more in the Smart Living Challenge 2014-2016 report.

Focus on moving smarter in Brazil


At the Cop21 Climate conference in Paris in December 2015 the audience voted the Smart Living Challenge initiative to support the Rio Grande de Sul to becomethe most sustainable and innovative place in Latin America by 2030 via Porto Alegre Sustainable Innovation Zone (ZISPOA).

This was done through webinar adressing  “Sharing for Sustainable Mobility in Porto Alegre”, where key influencers within the global Smart Living Challenge network Swedish and Brazilian entrepreneurs met virtually. This was followed up with a visit of experts in Sweden and participation in the Swedish Brazilian Innovation Weeks in October with extensive programme activities. There is great potential for new collaborations and initiatives and ZISPOA is an important example providing valuable lessons that can be replicated throughout Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, Latin America, and globally.

Some of the activities was mentioned in a United Nations Development Programme publication in December.





7 Day Challenge in Kenya and Sweden


During the Autumn of 2016, 20 participants from Kenya and Sweden committed to Live, Move, and Eat sustainably for 7 days in their respective daily lives.

This was done through the use of technology, innovative drive and competence of the participants. The ambition was to encourage the development of urban lifestyles and improving quality of life. This is the individual contribution to reducing their carbon footprint and mitigate against climate change. The local partner, Green Team Initiative, in Kenya is now inviting Kenyans to take on the challenge both in Kenya and abroad.

Summing up Smart Living Challenge 2015 at COP21

On December 2, The Swedish Institute and the Swedish Incubators & Science Parks participated with a program as key to tackle sustainability challenges in cities at the United Nations Climate Conference, COP21, in Paris.

In the seminar insights, from Smart Living Challenge activities in 17 countries on five continents was presented. Project teams from Brazil, Serbia and Zambia on the themes MOVE, LIVE and EAT shared their reflections on working for a longer period in a team.

Workshop and seminar in Paris on moving smarter

On October 15-16, a diverse group of people gathered at the Swedish Institute in Paris to collaborate around ideas for moving smarter.

The ideas were presented to a larger audience at a seminar with reflections by representatives from Ericsson, Forum Vies Mobiles, Ecowork, VINCI,  City of Paris and Laboratoire Ville Mobility Transports.

Creative workshop in Paris with process leaders Anders Wikström and Sasan Shaba. Photo: Ebba Palmstierna.

Creative workshop in Paris with process leaders Anders Wikström and Sasan Shaba. Photo: Ebba Palmstierna.

Creative workshop in Luanda

In the beginning of October, Smart Living Challenges workshop in Luanda gathered teams that worked together to come up with ideas that would turn the Angolan informal market into a green market. The workshop started off with an inspirational presentation from Allan Cain from the organization Development Workshop, after which process leader Kaj Török from Futerra took over and guided the participants.

The workshop was preceded by a seminar on the topic of urban development and innovation, as well as a welcome dinner for the participants as a way for them to get to know each other and get into the right mindset before the creative workshop.  

The participants – young entrepreneurs, organization founders, environment consultants, programmers and students (mainly of architecture and IT) – were divided into four groups that all created an idea that focused particularly on ways to make the Angolan markets both profitable and better to the environment. Many of them expressed excitement over getting the chance to work with different type of people than they normally would.

Storyboarding in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine


The developing of bold ideas and solutions for four locations in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine was the main task of the Smart Living Challenge creative workshop. 25 people from different cities came together in a two-day creative session, process lead by Marten Janson and Mats Jarnhammar from Living Cities.

According to the SLC methodology, the participants came up with the story of the area firstly. This was made in order to understand the biggest challenge or problem to deal with.

This phase of work is called “storyboarding”. A research of an area, a poll, an observation in order to understand ‘the challenge’ are made during it. While observing, participants do not come up with any solution yet – they study the issue.

Then you generate ideas. There are no restrictions at all, and you don’t have to discard any ideas, because ideas selection is the next step. And only after selecting the best ideas the solution should be made.

For example, participants who worked with the square of the city administration (Hrushevskoho St.), decided to create a City Lab, which would be an example of a dialogue and cooperation between government and city residents.

All teams came up with technological, environmental and cultural solutions. As far as we know, at least two teams continue working on their projects and look for the opportunities to implement the ideas.

Juliya Liakhovych is head of marketing department at Teple Misto Platform

Juliya Liakhovych is head of marketing department at Teple Misto Platform

Launch in Serbia

The kick off event was held at Nova Iskra on Friday, September 11th with a presentation by Alex Neuman from Hyper Island and introduction of the members of the Serbian SLC team.

The team members are: Dragan Zlatković (architect), Gordana Radonić (architect), Pavle Jovanović (interaction designer), Katarina Živković (architect), Alan Kadduri (consultant for the domain of sustainable development), Milica Kostadinović (civil engineer) and Marija Opačić (student of sociology).

This event was preceded by the workshop program facilitated by Alex Neuman with the idea to share tools and methods for creating a more productive environment for collaborative work. Through dynamic and interactive program, the Serbian team received valuable insights that will help them in the process of developing new ideas for smarter consumption and sustainable systems in urban areas.

Brazilian team at the finishing line

After almost three months since kick off, the Brazilian team are almost finished with their project on how to MOVE smarter in Rio.

These intensive months has consisted of many creative team meetings and coaching sessions with Hyper Island‘s Johanna Olsson but also inspiration (such as participation in FGV’s Conference on Technology, Automation and Future Mobility) and have received attention from media (such as in the video above from GloboNews).

Brazil team in coaching session with Johanna Olsson on Skype from Hyper Island in Sweden.

Four of the members in the Brazil team in coaching session with Johanna Olsson on Skype from Hyper Island in Sweden.


The MOVE project will be presented to Fundo Verde at UFRJ, and will also be presented at the Embassy of Sweden in Brasilia on September 4th, during the Smart Living Challenge 2015’s Closing Ceremony at the Swedish Embassy. Authorities from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP-Brazil), Federal Ministries and local agencies related to Transportation and Mobility, University Professors and NGO’s will be attending the ceremony where the SLC Brazil Team will be presenting its MOVE project. After the project’s presentation, Ambassador of Sweden to Brazil, Mr. Per-Arne Hjelmborn, will receive the project on behalf of Swedish Institute and will offer a lunch at the his residence to celebrate the end of Smart Living Challenge 2015’s activities in Brazil.

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.