The second Edinburgh annual Global Goals Jam was part of an exciting event where teams around the world designed practical, actionable interventions to help achieve the Global Goals. The Jam ran from the evening of Friday 15 September through the weekend of 16–17 September at the Informatics Forum, University of Edinburgh. It was sponsored by the Edinburgh Living Lab and the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, in partnership with The United Nations Development Programme and MediaLAB Amsterdam.

We spent the weekend developing, designing and testing prototype solutions to challenges in the following areas: poverty, hunger, health, education and sustainable cities and communities.


  1. Ox-Chain — How can we design a solution which uses digital technologies (especially Blockchain and smart contracting) to promote more responsible consumption and production, particularly in relation to the global trade in second-hand clothes? [Resources]
  2. Challenges Worldwide — How could bamboo be harnessed to build a sustainable city with the tools and resources to contribute to Global Goals 1-4 (No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health & Well-Being, Quality Education)? [Resources]
  3. University of Edinburgh Social Responsibility and Sustainability — Considering climate trends and vulnerabilities, choose an area of Edinburgh that seems most at risk in the face of climate change. Investigate the area and develop a proposal of what incremental and transformational adaptation would look like in that area. Is transformational change required or is incremental change enough to meet the challenges of climate change in the city of Edinburgh? [Resources]
  4. Climate-KIC — How could we support small innovative businesses to reduce carbon emissions from their supply chain by (1) making them aware of the benefits of reassessing their supply chain and (2) calculating their emissions from their supply chain? [Resources]
  5. City of Sanctuary — How can we further develop and improve our approach to collecting and disseminating information that is relevant for refugees and asylum seekers in Edinburgh? [Resources]


For our second Edinburgh Global Goals Jam, we recruited over 20 participants from across the University and the City of Edinburgh, with skills and interests in sustainability, design, computing, social science, engineering, art and more. Five teams formed to address each of the five challenges and supported by our expert mentors, became intensely involved in the process of researching, ideating, designing and prototype over the weekend.

Brief descriptions of the final concepts that they developed are described below.


Team members

  • Eleni Margariti
  • Rosy Shu
  • Zezhong Wang
  • Theodor Beutel

Concept Description

We developed a blockchain-based marketplace to enable pay-per-use for eco-friendly and ethical clothing: customers rent high-quality clothes while producers and distributors are encouraged to increase the lifespan of clothing. Our Ethereum smart contract incentivises all stakeholders in clothing retail to fight poverty and increase sustainability.

Presentation slides

Bamboozled Pandas: Bamboo prototype

Bamboozled Pandas

Team members

  • Mariia Kharitonova
  • Anthony Ogley
  • Micol Zardi

Concept Description

We developed two concepts for enhancing sustainable cities through scalable use of bamboo, addressing different stages of the production process:

  1. city park spaces for sustainable bamboo cultivation;
  2. bamboo-based shopping trolleys and baskets for use in supermarkets and retail.

Presentation slides


Team members

  • Sebastian Rink
  • Jess Batten
  • Bela Hamid
  • Erica Buchanan

Concept Description

We designed a "rain catcher" to respond to climate change: attached to trees in urban greenspace, it would collect and store rain in the wetter winters, and make it available for plants during drier summer months. Using an umbrella and length of tubing, we built a simple prototype and collected feedback from residents in the nearby Meadows.

Presentation slides

Carbon Catchers

Team members

  • Chia-En Chang
  • Ewan Nicolson
  • Hildegard Veronika Boisseree-Fruehbuss
  • Michael Remmert

Concept Description

Our concept focussed on mechanisms to encourage the sharing of data and information on supply chains within a cooperative of SMEs. The objective is to find points of cooperation and economies of scale which would thereby reduce the carbon impact of supply chains.

Presentation slides


Team members

  • Sorina Oprea
  • Xuanchen Yao
  • Wanting Chen

Concept Description

We produced two prototypes:

  1. the iBox, a tangible artefact for supporting face-to-face dialogue between refugees/asylum seekers and local support organisations;
  2. a website mock-up which would not just display information but also collect the testimony of refugees.

Presentation slides | Website

We are immensely grateful to the support given to teams during the weekend by our mentors — Andrew Bailie, Lina-Lotta Lahdenkauppi, James Baster, Diego Arenas, Telemaco Hernandez Guerra and Patrycja Graczyk. Four experts generously contributed their time to give detailed feedback to all of the teams after the Sunday pitching session — Neil Fleming (Challenges Worldwide), Peter Ashe, (Edinburgh City of Sanctuary), Lynn Wilson (Independent consultant/designer) and Isla McCulloch (Dig In Bruntsfield). Finally, we would like to thank Allan Lloyds (Product Forge) for live-streaming the team pitches.

[supsystic-gallery id=1]


The Jam ran from the evening of Friday 15th September through to the afternoon of Sunday 17th September. Here is the detailed schedule.

Friday 15th: Informatics Forum

17:00–19:00Kick-off the Jam!
Introduction to the event Presentation of the challenges Team formation

Saturday 16th: G07, Informatics Forum

9:30Coffee and pastries
9:45Overview - schedule and objectives
10:15Design Sprint 1, Part 1: Understand the challenge
11:15Introduction to data and prototyping
12:15Design Sprint 1, Part 2: Understand the challenge
14:00Design Sprint 2: Ideate
15:45Design Sprint 3, Part 1: Prototype

Sunday 17th: G07, Informatics Forum

10:00Coffee and pastries
10:15Overview - schedule and objectives
10:30Design Sprint 3, Part 2: Prototype
12:00Design Sprint 4: Test and Evaluate
14:00Prepare presentations and pitches
16:00Pitching and feedback


Apply for funding to develop your idea or participate in one of those programmes offered by our sponsors and friends:

More opportunities for entrepreneurs, designers, data scientists, and social changemakers coming soon.

Have an opportunity that you want to advertise? Let us know!


Data Sources

http://www.europeandataportal.euEuropean data portal Environment Agency portal landing page about mostly DEFRA data
http://data.edinburghopendata.infoCity of Edinburgh Council open data portal access to Scotland's official statistics CityScope curated datasets and visualisations database on land use / land deals, UK National Grid data
http://www.product-open-data.comOpen product data
https://opencorporates.comData that might help w/ supply chain info access to Scotland's official statistics with stats from Bitcoin’s blockchain historical data API emissions by country (1960-2013) gas emissions, by country (1990-2015 waste by waste operations and waste flow, by country (under Waste/Waste Streams) recycling facilities food datasets (UK specific datasets / household purchases / household expenditure) of food deficit by country (1992-2016) food banks across UK (full data-table in the following article) Edinburgh recycling facilities


Thanks to our sponsors and challenge providers for their support. Check out the links to see the great work that these organisations do and how you can get involved with them.