SDG Summer School

In September 2015, world leaders committed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs. Over the next 15 years, governments will strive to achieve goals such as ending extreme poverty, fighting inequality and tackling climate change. To achieve these goals, we need to enable today’s youth to play an active and meaningful role in tackling the SDGs. The motivation of the SDG Summer School is for teams of University students, in close collaboration with UN organisations, to conceive ways to use open data, crowdsourcing technologies, and low-cost open source solutions to tackle sustainable development in ways that even schoolchildren can participate in, and develop prototypes suitable for deployment.

A snapshot of a previous summer school, where the theme was “Mobile Health for the SDGs”, with WHO and ITU.

Challenge-Based lnnovation

The SDG Summer School is all about team-based problem solving and hands-on prototype development, going from a conception phase to producing practical demos. The overarching goal is to impact the SDGs by enabling tomorrow’s innovators to participate actively in tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges, today. Mentors from international organisations in Geneva provide exciting challenges and extensive field experience. The methodology is inspired by Jean Piaget, founder of the International Bureau of Education, the predecessor of UNESCO. Piaget, who worked at University of Geneva for 50 years, encouraged educators to embrace a challenge-based mode of learning, which is at the heart of the crowdsourced creativity that this programme seeks to foster.

Previous editions

The SDG Summer School is constantly evolving. You can consult the pages dedicated to previous editions here:


SDG Summer School 2022

SDG Summer School 2021

SDG Summer School 2020

SDG Summer School 2019

SDG Summer School 2018

SDG Summer School 2017

ODD Summer School  2016