circle17 Impacthon 2019

Many thanks to our amazing participants and knowledge partners for co-creating this impactful weekend together. See you back in 2020!







Circle 17 Impacthon


Do you also believe that true sustainable transformation starts with ourselves, our society and the way we do business?

Do you see in business a solution to today’s social- and environmental challenges, and are you interested in developing new products and services to achieve the SDGs? Then the circle17 Impacthon needs you!

The circle17 Impacton for ‘Sustainable Transformation’ is the launchpad where ideas for a more sustainable future in business can be tested, challenged and further developed with a great network of public and private partners. 

How can you help to transform each of the following systems?

circle17 Impacthon Challenges


Creating sustainable agriculture

How might we create systems that foster the local food supply in novel ways?

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Connecting sustainable mobility

How might we connect different modes of mobility and transportation in novel ways?

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Transforming urban infrastructure

How might we use urban mining to move towards more sustainable cities?

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Challenge 1 – Many of us are inclined to use unsustainable transport, such as the car to go to work or airplane to a holiday destination, because it is more convenient and perceived cheaper than a sustainable alternative. Many of us are buying online because it is more comfortable and cheaper than going to local stores.

How can we satisfy our desires and be more sustainable at the same time? Many of us want to change – however, more sustainable solutions often tend to be more expensive than sustainable ones due to a lack of true-cost pricing (e.g. flying versus taking the train). To create change, we need solutions that are as comfortable and economic as unsustainable alternatives and are therefore not socially exclusive. If those conditions are fulfilled, change to new practices can be facilitated and people can be motivated to modify their transportation behaviour towards being more sustainable.

Competition between different suppliers of mobility has been one of the main problems hindering the creation of sustainable practices and an ecosystem for cooperation, innovation and joint solutions. To create novel systemic models in the mobility and transportation sector, cooperation between different stakeholders is necessary. Organisations cannot build new innovative solutions alone, hence new collaboration models for joint innovation efforts are needed.

Challenge 2 – Awareness about agricultural production, its effects on the climate and often unfair labour conditions has increased significantly. Sustainable local production could reduce negative consequences of food production. However, local and sustainable production is often small-scale and labour-intensive, thereby making those products more expensive. Additionally, consumers often lack access to locally produced, sustainable products and therefore prefer the easier choice of buying non-regional food.

Enhancing the accessibility of local agricultural products for consumers can be the first step towards the creation of a sustainable agricultural system. How can we create systems that enable both ends of the value chain to change their practices and to understand each other’s needs and challenges?
This enhanced awareness creates a community that cares for each other and creates higher value on both sides.

Challenge 3 – Cities are growing rapidly worldwide and becoming the predominant space to live and work in. The visibility and allocation of resources in urban are essential to secure inclusive and resilient cities. Urban resources can have a physical and an immaterial appearance. They appear as raw materials, e.g. for buildings and infrastructure, for food production, or as once used resources, like vacant buildings. Moreover, they could be talents or innovations that only need to be linked to their practical use.

Many resources are left unused in the urban space or, rather, the incentives to (re)use urban resources are missing. Some are abandoned, some are tried out once and left to be covered by dust (e.g. innovative research projects, prototypes), others lie dormant and have not been seen as a potential resource so far. Too many resources are being wasted, because they have not yet been discovered by the appropriate user. It is often cheaper to demolish, e.g. to tear down existing infrastructure. How can we incentivise the re-use of materials, rather than increasing the input of new primary raw materials and therefore exploiting natural and human resources?


Who are we talking to?

The Circle 17 Impacthon is a great opportunity, particularly for young and forward-looking change makers, who are driven by a vision for a socially and environmentally sustainable future.



Apply with your idea, alone or together in a team of maximum three people.


You can work on the idea of others, who are looking exactly for your expertise.



Are you at the end of your studies and ready to kick-off your career in sustainable transformation? Are you an expert in one of the challenges, ready to translate your knowledge into a business model?


Are you a startup-founder, ready to bring your idea to a next validation round? Or are you an entrepreneur who is brewing on a new project idea, ready to team up and absorb input from a large crowd of experts to develop it further?


Are you a young professional and is it your aim to lead positive, sustainable and profitable change through business? Are you working on an impact plan, and do you want to take you thinking to a next level? 


What’s on the planning


17:00 Registration & Drinks
17:30 Opening 
18:00 Keynote: Individual Sustainable Transformation 

Karin Huber-Heim, Futureability

We as individuals have much more impact than we think. Not only in our daily lives through the transport we use or waste we produce, but mostly on the other side of the world, by the production and transport of all the things we buy and use daily. We as consumers ultimately ‘pay’ for the hidden impact of our habits, and keep the mass-consumption system in position. What can we as individuals do in order to become more aware of our ‘hidden impact’?

18:45 Keynote: Sustainable Business Transformation 

Harald Friedl, Circle Economy

Sustainability is becoming increasingly important in today’s corporate world and can contribute to the current and future success of organizations. Integrating ecological, social, and economic objectives into corporate decisions is a key success factor for transformation towards sustainability. As sustainability is not achieved by single actions, but rather is an on-going process, decision-makers must have means to analyze the current state of an organization. How can companies structure the field of action for the transformation towards sustainability? Could a circular business model be the solution?

19:30 Panel Discussion: The Sustainable Transformation of Society 

Markus Raunig, Austrian Startups / Barbara Innman, Impact Hub / Theresa Imre, Markta

Fulfilling the SDG’s for sustainable transformations will take an unprecedented effort by all sectors in society — in which business has to play a very important role in the process. What does Sustainable Transformation mean on a society level? Considering Austria’s ecological, social, and economic scenario, how is sustainable transformation in Austria already nudged and where can society/government still contribute to reinforce systematic change?

20:00 Team Building Workshops
Impacthon participants will find a project to work on and team members to work with for impacthon success!
21:30 Networking with Food & Drinks
Be prepared to build your momentum, meet a lot of like-minded people and make a great amount of first-hand connections to continue your impacthon journey with.


08:30 Breakfast
09:15 Keynote: Design Thinking for the SDGs

Daniel Podmirsek, Vertical Farm

What do the SDGs have to do with business or Design Thinking? How can you use Design Thinking to frame the ‘real’ problem and solution you’re aiming to tackle? Daniel will guide us through the design processes behind ‘Vertical Farm Institute’ and reveal what kind of ‘glasses’ you’ll need to successfully design your project!

10:00 Workshop: (re)-design thinking for Sustainable Transformation
Facilitated by our knowledge partners Spirit DesignPioneers and Circle Economy.
15:00 SDG Flea Market
Be prepared to share your first drafts and thinking with NGOs, Social Enterprises and Corporations in the field of Agriculture, Mobility and Urban Infrastructure.
16:00 Workshop: Hypothesis & Testing by The Ventury
Growing a startup idea is like a scientific experiment in search of a business model. How can you make sure to continuously challenge yourself by defining hypotheses? What experiments can you run to test your hypotheses?
18:00 Business Model Innovation for Sustainable Transformation by WhataVenture
Use the WhataVenture Business Model Canvas and Frameworks as a roadmap to ideate on new business ideas and potential partnerships for the goals.
20:00 Working Time


07:00 Empowerment Yoga
08:00 Breakfast
09:00 Key Note: Silvia Ratheb

Silvia Ratheb, SAP

Why does business aim to move forward using the SDG’s, what is corporate social innovation, and where does the potential lie for you to tap into partnerships with businesses for the achievement of the SDGs?

10:00 Mentor Roasting
Touch-down on the status-quo of your thinking by connecting with mentors from a great variety of disciplines. Don’t be afraid to ask, be prepared to actively listen and co-create new strategic fundamentals together.
12:30 Mentor Lunch
14:00 Pitch Training: for sustainable business models 
Learn what the most fundamental building blocks are for an ‘impactful’ pitch
17:30 START: Final Pitch Event
After 48 hours of intensive thinking and transforming, you will pitch your final results to the jury

Contact Us

Questions? Talk to Us!

Impacthon Location

Location of the circle17 Impacthon

Spaces wants to redefine the way work is done. That’s why they’ve cultivated a community of thinkers, achievers and imagineers. Plug into their energy during the Circle 17 Impacthon and watch your world accelerate.


Square One, Leopold-Ungar-Platz, 2
Vienna 1190, Austria