Viral wood!

Show circular economy. Be exciting. Win 10,000 €.

Is the timber sector losing touch with a digital society? Let’s connect those two worlds. 

Don’t you love wooden products? Many people have a positive attitude towards a massive wooden house, a cracking fireplace, or a self-crafted pallet-based couch table. However, only a few know about the wood value chain and how it contributes to the good of humanity. Who knows what happens between the harvesting of a tree and a final product? Hardly anyone.  
Who knows that wood products store carbon, that the trees sucked out of the atmosphere? Who knows about high-rise timber buildings? Who heard about nano cellulose, or green energy solutions, or…. 

It is time the timber sector catches up with an increasingly digital society. 

Let’s build the path together in a 48-hour in-person hackathon on October 9-11 in Vienna 

The expected outcome: Find a creative solution to raise awareness among people beyond the industry about the positive aspects of sustainable wood use. Students from wood and forestry, marketing, digital communication, and other relevant fields will work together to identify key aspects that best express the benefits of sustainable wood use.  

Your interdisciplinary and international team will create a short video (think of an Instagram Reel, etc.). We’re looking for the “wow-effect”. If your video leaves jaws open - that’s a good sign. 

Further, your video must be backed by trustworthy sources. These sources and further elaboration of your concept can be presented in various ways: written text landing page, blog post or poster presentation. 

Here are a few prompts you can use for inspiration to build your communication concept:   

  • What if there were no wooden products in today’s world? 

  • Wood + Technology = Climate Saver 

  • Why does wood play a significant role in Circular Bioeconomy? 

  • The most unbelievable use cases of wood 

  • Debunk a common but wrong perception about the timber supply chain. 

What and where:

The hackathon will take place in the new and vibrant “Startup House” in Central Vienna. The kick-off will be on Monday, October 9th, at noon. The deliverables (video, blog post, poster presentation) must be ready 48h later. The final presentation will happen on the evening of October 11th in the Vienna City Hall. 

All accepted participants will receive travel, accommodation, and food in full. 

There are general conditions: 

  • There will be 8-10 teams, so expect intense competition for the three top spots with cash prizes). 

  • The value chain you describe must touch the softwood sawmilling sector. 

  • You have only 48 hours to work out your approach, produce the video, and an additional elaboration, e.g., a landing page.  

The teams will be from the applicant’s pool to guarantee a combination of different backgrounds. To win the challenge, you need to combine the knowledge of each team member/mate in the best way. 

You will also get support: 

  • Mentors from the wood value chain and communication experts will help and challenge your ideas during the hackathon. This is also the perfect opportunity for you to extend your network. 

  • The hackathon takes place in Vienna Startup House, where you will find yourself door-to-door with innovative startups, in the atmosphere of challenging the status quo. 

  • The final presentation will be in front of a large, international audience. The presenters will get specific pitch training with professionally accompanied rehearsals. 

  • All teams get the opportunity to present their videos in Vienna city hall. This means you can get in touch with industry and stakeholders from all over the world. 

The judging:

  • First, you must present the video and your approach to an expert jury. They will assess your work in various ways (quality of work, how well the solution was chosen, how relevant it is for society (e.g., climate crisis), and how well the team used its different backgrounds). The teams will be informed about the evaluation matrix at the beginning of the hackathon. 

  • Only the best three teams will qualify for the presentation in front of an audience at night in Vienna City Hall. There, the final winner will be chosen by a public vote. 

The Prizes

There will be prizes for the three best teams:

1st Place: 10,000 € 

2nd Place: 5,000 €  

3rd Place: 2,500 €  

All participants are invited to join the awards event and get in touch with peers from industry, from R&D or associations.