Our challenges

We have seven challenge categories connected to the United Nation's 17 Sustainable Development Goals. For each one of the seven challenge categories there are five specific challenges. They are the foundation of the hackathon competition.

The challenges in Hack for Earth are firmly anchored in citizendriven innovation. To create the challenges we have analyzed 1K+ dreams from 60+ countries from the global Dream for Earth campaign (read more about Dream for Earth here), and combined the result with the expertise & knowledge from our partner community (read more about our partners here). Finally, the Board of the Hack for Earth Foundation decided on the final five challenges in each category.

What are SDGs?

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. Addressing the global challenges we face, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace, justice and more.


Challenge categories

Advisory Board

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Education is a basic key to success in our lives,  but it is also the very foundation on which we can build a brighter future for our planet. Still, groups of people don’t have access to basic education, like reading and writing. Many, and often girls, are excluded or not permitted to go to school. Negative effects arise from children and youth not having access to education, both on an individual level but also on a socioeconomic level. Gender equality is a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world, along with absence from discrimination based on religion, sexual preference, political views, ethnicity, age and background.

The challenges for Education category are:

1. How can we create an educational model that is accessible across the globe for all  and that fosters agency to solve global challenges?  

2. Bravery in education for teachers and learners. How can we support teachers to  update their curriculum to meet the demands of the future? 

3. How can we assure financing and availability for up-skilling, re-skilling for life-long  learning for all? 

4. How can tech help educational institutions to combat disinformation?

5. “Educational passport”. How can we assure that qualifications get evaluated in a  standardized way internationally? (Alternative educational systems and forms of  learning, informal ways, outside of classroom skills, soft skills, etc)

We need to find solutions addressing Sustainable Development Goals number: 

4. Quality education, 5. Gender equality, 10. Reduced inequalities

Quality education
Gender equality
Reduced inequalities

Sustainable Society

More than half the world’s population is living in cities and the number is expected  to rise even higher in the years to come. On the one hand,  the cities contribute to economic growth and progress but on the other hand cities are also accountable for leaving devastating footprints on our planet. 

Technology and innovation are keys at the forefront in finding sustainable solutions for our cities, and at the same time  the digital divide is still growing. It remains a fact that many people on our planet lack affordable access to the Internet. Also, economic growth and decent jobs are not something available to everyone. Our planet is suffering due to our consumption and production and leaving many behind - and our common future is depending on a change.

The challenges for Sustainable Society category are:

1. How can smart societies accelerate the transformation to sustainable societies?

2. How can sustainable infrastructure support societies and make housing more  affordable and accessible for all? 

3. How can we make ethical and fair data available for all to develop sustainable  societies? 

4. How can we make our cities greener? 

5. How can we build resilience in communities' infrastructure to adapt to climate  change?

We need to find solutions addressing Sustainable Development Goals number: 

8. Decent work & economic growth, 9. Industry, innovation & infrastructure, 11. Sustainable cities & communities,  12. Responsible consumption & production

Decent work and economic growth
Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Sustainable cities and communities
Responsible consumption and production

Human Rights

Human Rights are inherent to all human beings on earth. As humans we should have the same right to life, such as the right to food, education, work, health and liberty. But still, this is not the case for everyone. There is, unfortunately,  a large variety of  inequalities that both have a negative effect on an individual level, on society and for the world.  

The challenges for Human Rights category are:

1. How can we ensure that children in schools have access to healthy and  environmentally friendly produced food? 

2. How do we ensure equal access to information through the internet?

3. How do we tackle climate change effects as a global challenge leaving no one  behind? 

4. How to provide everyone with the opportunity to be creative and inspired to imagine a  better future? 

5. How can we ensure equal rights for women and girls and fight discrimination?

We need to find solutions addressing Sustainable Development Goals number: 

1. No poverty, 2. Zero hunger, 10. Reduced inequalities

No poverty
Zero hunger
Reduced inequalities


Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being at all ages is essential to a sustainable development for the people on this planet, and it is also a human right according to the United Nations. Still, this is not something that all people on earth can take for granted. Not everyone can even be sure that they will have access to something as basic as food, and even more people than before are suffering from acute hunger. The people of the world, suffering from hunger, need a change, today. 

The challenges for Health category are:

1. How can we improve healthcare system preparedness for future incidents?

2. How do we empower nurses and community leaders to raise awareness about health  (female health, nutrition, vaccination) in rural areas? 

3. How can we have/access true, evidence-based information to address health  challenges and inform policymaking? 

4. How can public-private partnerships help country health systems to deliver medicines  in a locally affordable context? 

5. How can we preserve student’s mental well-being while studying? (this includes  positive associations with failure, innovation)

We need to find solutions addressing Sustainable Development Goals number: 

2. Zero hunger, 3. Good health and well-being,

Zero hunger
Good health and well-being


Global warming and disastrous weather conditions are all over the news constantly, and these ominous climate changes are undeniably caused by mankind. It doesn't matter where in the world you are living, we can all see that the disturbing changes in our climate are increasing too rapidly.

The oceans drive global systems that make earth habitable for us humans but still there is a continuous deterioration of the oceans, having an adversarial effect on the ecosystems and biodiversity. Life below water is suffering as well as life on land. 

The challenges for environment category are:

1. What are the enablers to accelerating the sustainable and just transition towards  affordable and clean energy? 

2. What are the opportunities to reduce fossil fuels? 

3. What can be done at the community/individual level to leverage green technology to  prevent extreme climate situations and raise climate action 

4. How to accelerate the reduction of water consumption and safeguarding the quality of  water (land/ocean)? 

5. How to incentivize stakeholders to build a supportive environment to co-create  solutions for the climate?

We need to find solutions addressing Sustainable Development Goals number: 

7. Affordable and clean energy, 13. Climate Action, 14. Life below water, 15. Life on land

Affordable and clean energy
Climate action
Life below water
Life on land


Compassion and a strong moral compass is essential to every democratic society. Looking at the world, development seems to be going in the wrong direction. In many places institutions are threatened, people are exposed to violence, organized crime is flourishing, child abuse and unequal access to justice is common. Creating partnerships worldwide is more than ever crucial to this world and us human beings.

With Covid-19 still tormenting the world, we need to collaborate worldwide in supporting developing countries as well as sharing knowledge, giving and sharing access to technology, science and innovation. All this in order to make the change and find the solutions we need, to the challenges we are facing. 

The challenges for Partnership category are:

1. How might we engage youths around the world to co-create solutions to some of the  world’s complex challenges? 

2. How can we break cultural, technological, and organizational borders for partnerships  to solve complex global challenges? 

3. How might we help establish trust between organizations to build effective global partnerships? 

4. How can we use storytelling to build concrete collaborations for global goals?

5. How might we bridge the digital divide to build unity and remove boundaries?

We need to find solutions addressing Sustainable Development Goals number: 

16. Peace, justice and strong institutions, 17. Partnerships for the goals

Peace, justice and strong institutions
Partnerships for the goals


Billions of people today are lacking access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene which lead to deadly diseases and complications - that could have been prevented. Our oceans are suffering from how we treat our planet and dead zones are continuing to spread even though we know that the oceans play a crucial role to us as human beings and to the whole ecosystem. 

The challenges for Water category are:

1. How can we define the average, fair, and over usage of water consumption relevant  to location and communities and region and map it to water distribution? 

2. How can we improve an individual's knowledge on their water footprint to help them  make better purchase decisions? 

3. How can we define which type of plants are suitable to specific climate and location  and quantity of water needed, when designing green spaces in cities? 

4. How can we keep our oceans/natural water resources safe and clean from plastics, both for us and biodiversity? 

5. How can we manage, control, and monitor overfishing and what types of fish is or is  not suitable for the fishing season?

We need to find solutions addressing Sustainable Development Goals number: 

6. Clean water & sanitation, 14. Life below water

Clean Water and Sanitation
Life below water