Sustainability Hackathon 2022 - Solve the Unsolved Rural-Urban Human Wellness

Date: 18-20 November 2022
Venue: AIT-EC and Online
Organizer: Department of Development and Sustainability, SERD, AIT
Co-organizers: AIT-EC

Your idea counts. Apply here to join!

About the Sustainability Hackathon

This is the fourth year of the Sustainability Hackathon. Sustainability Hackathon is part of compulsory activity for the students taking the “Introduction to Development and Sustainability” course at the Department of Development and Sustainability, Asian Institute of Technology but the event is opened to everyone as long as the rules are followed. For the 2022 Hackathon, we focus on the interlinkages of rural-urban migration movements and how the human wellness in the urban areas can be improved as newly arrived population from the rural areas need to face many urban challenges. Human wellness refers to the active pursuit of activities, choices and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health.


Since the industry revolution, especially under the industry revolution 3.0 and 4.0, more and more people move to the urban areas. Urban population is projected to reach 2.5 billion people or about 68% of the total population by 2050. Up to 90% of this projected population will take place mainly in Asia and Africa. Rapid urban population growth in Asia is faster than the level of urbanization, indicating that Asia will have the most crowded cities in the world. The population movements are motivated by the general understanding that urban areas have more to offer such as high-paid jobs, various job opportunities, personal growth and development, and human wellness than rural areas. Although some of this understanding is true, urban areas are crowded, polluted, noisy, and expensive to live in, while many urban jobs with good pay require high skills in many aspects. The movement to live in the urban areas also creates a vacuum of the laborforce necessary for production of agriculture and for managing the natural resources.

As people from the rural areas do not have the necessary skills to acquire jobs in the urban areas, they end-up living in the less expensive locations or even in the slump areas, and they need to work late with little or no time to take care of their family or loved ones. Similarly, rural areas face possible decline of agricultural supplies and further loss of natural resources. To improve human wellness in rural and urban areas, solutions to solving the aforementioned problems are urgently needed. In fact, the Agenda 2030 of the United Nations recognize the importance of protection and improvement of the human wellness anywhere, regardless where they live as targeted in its SDGs 3 "Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages", SDG 8 "Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all", SDG 2 "Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture", and SDG 12 "Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns" 

Scope for the Sustainability Hackathon 2022

With the increased global interests in sustainability, the global efforts to achieve the SDGs by 2030, and the increasing availability of the impact financing coupled with the increasing applications of the environmentally friendly Industry 4.0 Technologies in rural and urban areas, there are huge opportunities for us to solve these rural-urban human wellness problems. Therefore, the Sustainability Hackathon 2022 is organized to provide a forum for sustainability enthusiasts, innovators, and students to solve the problems facing the human wellness of the urban population originally migrated from the rural areas, while ensuring that rural-urban connection is maintained. The proposed solutions may cover one or more of the following topics:

1. Urban lifestyle 

2. Urban healthiness

3. Urban employment

4. Urban air and pollution

5. Urban green space

6. Urban net-zero emission

7. Rural-urban living transition

8. Smart cities for human wellness

9. Smart urban tourism

General rules for the Sustainability Hackathon 2022 are that each team needs to have at least three members and the solutions must

1. Include three important terms, the rural area, urban area or urbanization, human wellness

2. Propose to use at least two of the Industry 4.0 technologies

3. Include three SDGs

To encourage the worldwide participation, the launching event and hacking time are expected at 5:00 PM Bangkok time on 18 November 2022 and the pitching will start at 3:00 PM on 20 November 2022.

The Sustainability Bootcamp

During the event, several talks by prominent speakers about rural-urban human wellness, sustainability, SDGs, technology, innovation, startups, green financing, pitchdeck preparation and pitching techniques will be organized. Names will be provided as things progress.  


Teams with the highest scores (to be evaluated by judges) will receive one of the following prizes

CSI Prize
Penguin Bangkok Prize
HM Prince Prize


Sustainability Innovation 30%

Social Impacts 30%

Product Design 20%

Team Pitching 20%

Judges for the Sustainability Hackathon 2022

Prof. Mokbul Ahmad, Course Instructor and Head of the Department of the Development and Sustainability, SERD, AIT

Prof. Vilas Nitivattananon, Course Instructor and Dean of SERD, AIT 

Prof. Dieter Trau, Director of AIT Entrepreneurship Center and Dean of SET, AIT



Course Instructors

Dr. Mokbul Ahmad

Professor, Development Management Planning and Innovation 

Dr. Vilas Nitivattananon

Professor, Urban Innovation and Sustainability 

Dr. Nophea Sasaki

Professor, Natural Resources Management

Organizing Committee

Nophea Sasaki, Chair

Takuji W. Tsusaka, Vice Chair

Jennifer Pangilinan, Secretary

Sanhakot Vithayaporn, Moderator

Agnes Pardilla, member

Sophal Meas, member

Kyawt Kay Paing, member

Winn Lai Lai Yi, member

Apply here to join!

Some useful links

Urbanisation, rural–urban migration and urban poverty: 

Industry 4.0 and Nine Technologies: 

What is Social Finance? 

Smart Sustainable Cities: The Essentials for Managers’ and Leaders: 


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