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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

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, 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.

Belgrade, Serbia

Smart Living Challenge program in Serbia will be focusing on the theme LIVE, through which ideas for smarter consumption and sustainable systems in urban environments will be explored, whether through housing, public spaces or more responsible attitude towards resources.

Belgrade, Serbia. Photo cc: Jovan Marković


The program, will be realized at the design incubator Nova Iskra with the support of the Swedish consulting, scientific and educational organization Hyper Island, and their representative Alex Neuman, who will be the main mentor of the multidisciplinary team in Serbia.

Team members of different professional profiles were selected through an open call:

Dragan Zlatković (Master of Architecture and Structural engineering, IT engineer, 1984.), Gordana Radonić (Architect, 1985.), Pavle Jovanović (Interaction Designer, 1991.), Katarina Živković (Architect, 1982), Alan Kadduri (Consultant in the domain of sustainable development in urban areas, 1983.), Milica Kostadinović (Construction engineer, 1983) i Marija Opačić (Sociology student at University of Belgrade, 1987).

This team will, in the period of three months (September – December 2015), work on a joint project. They will have at their disposal the Nova Iskra workspace, as well as the Hyperisland mentorship and constant support of Nova Iskra who will organize meetings with experts, consultants and stakeholders relevant to the project that the team jointly conceived and selected for implementation.

The result from the program will be presented during the COP21 conference in Paris in December this year, at the UN’s forum for sustainable innovation and climate change.


Lusaka, Zambia

In Lusaka, the project aims to promote sustainable cooking solutions, empowering citizens to be agents of change. A team of pin-pointed engaged students and other stakeholders will be assembled in Lusaka at the business incubator BongoHive. The team will work between September to November 2015 to deliver its project to be presented at COP21 in Paris, France, in December 2015.


Based on the theme EAT, the SLC team will work over the course of three icroonths to conceptualize, plan and implement a project that aims to promote and raise awareness about sustainable cooking solutions. One commercial/catering kitchen will during the duration of the project be transformed from a kitchen cooking with charcoal to instead install clean-burning, gasifying stoves using pellets.

The challenge reads “how to create a sustainable commercial/catering kitchen”. This entails that the working group, during the course of three months, is supposed to work on transforming an existing commercial/catering kitchen into a sustainable space. This will be done by introducing the use of clean-burning, gasifying stoves and pellets. This cooking system is proven to be healthier, more cost-efficient, productive and more environmentally friendly compared to using charcoal, which is what the majority of Zambia is currently using when preparing food. The project also aims to raise awareness about sustainable cooking solutions and work on how to change peoples’ mindset.


  • Mwangala Mwale – Student at University of Zambia, 4th year in Environmental Studies
  • Musama Chamunda – Food business entrepreneur
  • Bubotu Hachitapika – Studying Environmental Education and intern at EcoZambia
  • Jacob Mayani – Volunteer for public health Unit responsible for community mobilization under the ministry of Health
  • Tecla Ngwenya – Managing Director at Tecla Investment Limited
  • Frank C. Saka – entrepreneur representing one of the transformed kitchens, Broads Backpackers (he is the Finance Manager)
  • Joseph Lungu – Emerging Cooking Solutions
  • Robert N. Kamoso – Emerging Cooking Solutions
  • Louis Mwape – PR Executive at KPR Consulting

The process will include:

  • Measuring the level of carbonmonoxide-emissions before and after the transformation
  • Conducting interviews with kitchen staff and customers
  • Interviews with the public might also be carried out as a means to get a perception on what would make them change cooking system
  • Create an awareness campaign to be communicated in media about the negative impacts of charcoal


  • Create one sustainable commercial/catering kitchen
  • Promote sustainable cooking solutions and expose alternatives to charcoal
  • Raise awareness of the negative effects of using charcoal and highlight the benefits of using alternative options, in this case pellets
  • Enhance, support and extend our local networks working to promote sustainability
  • Communicate and promote Sweden’s focus on green innovations and sustainability


Rio, Brazil

In Brazil, the project format for 2015 will focus on one group of engaged students, professors and young professionals who will be part of a team in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the UFRJ Science Park, which will develop a project related to theme MOVE. This project team (SLC Brazil Team) will work with Hyper Island between June and August 2015 (for 03 months / 12 weeks) to deliver its project to be presented at COP21 in Paris, France, in December 2015.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo cc: Christian Haugen

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo cc: Christian Haugen

Based on the theme MOVE, the SLC team will work over the course of three months, starting on June 9th with its first workshop, to create, conceptualize, plan and implement a project related to the theme MOVE in order to promote and support a sustainable mobility project at the UFRJ Science Park (as a pilot project and it will count with UFRJ Green Fund to help implement it).

By October 2015, the project will be realized and hopefully continue to scale over time. Meanwhile, the team’s process and tools will be packaged and shared for others around the world to use.

Kick-off (June 9th, in the morning, at 10:00h): All applicants + special guests would be invited for the kickoff. During the ceremony, the winner + selected candidates will be announced and introduced to Hyper Island. Bicletaria Cultural will present its project in Curitiba and propose an open discussion on smart mobility (to be confirmed with Bicicletaria Cultural). Following, a lunch will be offered by the Embassy at Couve Flor Restaurante (right next to UFRJ Science Park auditorium). At the SLC Kickoff ceremony, on June 9th at UFRJ Science Park Auditorium, an inspiring example of what happened last year, the Embassy will invite Bicicletaria Cultural project (01 out of the 15 SLC 2014 Winners) to deliver a presentation about the project and how it developed from an idea among friends to an actual and current project in the city of Curitiba.

Closure (1st week of September – Closing ceremony – Presentation and delivery of the MOVE project by the group)

The outcome will be a new smart mobility project initiated at UFRJ Science Park as a pilot project with potential for scale (UFRJ would have it as a pilot project that can be eventually spread to city of Rio de Janeiro so the society could benefit from it).

The whole process (12-week work on developing the MOVE project) will be led by Hyper Island’s facilitator Johanna Olsson and also will have support from the Swedish Institute and SISP. After the project delivered in the beginning of September 2015 (end of the 12-week period) the results of this work and insights from the process will be put on display in Paris during the COP21 summit in December 2015, in Paris, France.

Smart Living Challenge organizers in Brazil:

Embassy of Sweden in Brazil – Brasília DF

Hosting Partner in Brazil: UFRJ Parque Tecnológico – Rio de Janeiro RJ

Fundo Verde da UFRJ