circle17 Impacthon 2019

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







circle17 Impacthon

We combine ideas with expertise

The Impacthon offers participants the opportunity to discuss ideas and business models, to put them to the test together and to develop them further.

Over a period of three days, ideas that pave the way for sustainable management can be worked on together with experts.

Imressions from Impacthon 2019/2020

What to expect

Many thanks for the video and the photos to © Sergio Veros!


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.


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? 

Our focus in 2019/2020

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?

Development program

What comes after the Impacthon

After the Impacthon our participants continue working on their ideas at our development program. With support of mentors and experts, business models are created that are then showcased to potential partners at our Matchmaking.