Three public sector organisations take part in Hackathon course


130 students will conceptualise and implement digitalisation projects.

Student teams began working on the challenges put forth by public sector organisations at the Design Factory on 31 October. The course will end on 14 December.

From October to December 2017, Aalto University will hold a multidisciplinary course with Accenture and selected public sector organisations. The course kicked off on 31 October at the Design Factory in Otaniemi with an event where the various organisations' challenges were introduced with the help of presentations and service design exercises.

Three organisations are participating in the course that is now being held for the third time: the Finnish Defence Forces, the Finnish Government Shared Services Centre for Finance and HR (Palkeet) and the cooperation group focused on the development of the Uusimaa Region's social care and healthcare services for the disabled. The last mentioned cooperation group comprises Apotti, an extensive change project initiated in 2012 for building a regionally cohesive social services and healthcare reform, the City of Helsinki’s services for the disabled, as well as the Eteva municipal consortium, Finland's largest provider of services for the disabled.

26 multidisciplinary student teams, 6 challenges, 45 days

The Finnish Defence Forces has requested that teams come up with solutions for decreasing paperwork and making processes more sensible so that the effectiveness of military service could be elevated to a new level. A second challenge is related to increasing the skills and competence of young people about they begin their military service. The objective is to prevent people from dropping out of military service or to at least minimise the number and to proactively prevent the marginalisation of young people.

Palkeet in turn wants students to provide new self-service concepts, which could allow all citizens to independently manage work-related matters. A second challenge brought forth by Palkeet is for students to conceive a human resources model that could best help public sector organisations take the approaching work reform into account.

The Uusimaa region's social and health care services for the disabled are expecting artificial intelligence and IoT-based technological solutions, new business models and other innovations that can make it possible for the disabled to live independently, improve cost-effectiveness and free up human resources from around-the-clock facilities for assisted living.

Members of international student teams comprise students from Aalto University and the National Defence University

A total of around 120 Master's Degree students from Aalto University and 15 Master's Degree students from the National Defence University are taking part in the course. Of the participating students from Aalto, the majority are School of Business students with various majors, but there are also participants from the schools of technology and the School of Arts, Design and Architecture. This allows the formation of multidisciplinary teams in line with Aalto's ideology.

'Our students want to prove that the promotion of digitalisation does not always require projects with hundred thousand or million euro budgets. What is essential is to understand the user's needs and develop a solution that will be quickly functional on the basis of these. The course constitutes six credits, and it is one of Aalto University’s Finland 100 projects, explains Katariina Kemppainen, Professor at Aalto University.

The School of Business has developed the Hackathon concept with experts from Accenture and its service design unit Fjord. In addition to Kemppainen, people from Aalto, who have taken part in the implementation of the course, include Senior University Lecturer Johanna Bragge, Professor of Practice Esko Penttinen, Assistant Professor Eeva Vilkkumaa, post-doc researcher Jani Merikivi and University Lecturer Christa Uusi-Rauva.


Katariina Kemppainen from Aalto University and Vesa Silfver from Accenture held the opening addresses for the course and welcomed representatives of participating organisations and the students to the course.

Hackathon event in mid-November, best team will be selected in December

The actual Hackathon event will be organised 16-17 November. The Hackathon teams have been given the freedom to develop concepts and solutions to the organisations’ challenges in any manner they wish over a period of two days. The teams spar in this case with representatives of public service organisations as well as experts from Aalto University, the National Defence University, Accenture and Fjord. The winning team will be selected in the final held on 14 December, where the teams that fared best in the semifinals on 8 December will present their solutions to the jury. In addition to the 20-hour long Hackathon, the course includes lectures, group work assignments, coaching, start-up cooperation and excursions.

Twitter: #pshack100 #suomi100 #finland100 #aalto

Further information:

Aalto University:

Johanna Bragge
Senior University Lecturer
Department of Information and service economy
+358 40 530 1032

Katariina Kemppainen
Professor (Professor of Practice)
Department of Information and service economy
050 486 9858

Thomas Lemström
Project Manager, Health & Public Services
040 4897 590