Bergeron Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology

Close mobile menu

UNHack 2022

Join us as we develop solutions to create a sustainable future.

November 4 – November 6

About UNHack 2022

UNHack 2022 is a community event for all undergrad post-secondary and grade 11 & 12 high school students to come together for an unforgettable weekend to try and solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.

You will take part in an experiential learning opportunity with the Lassonde School of Engineering BEST Program at York University, which will help you learn how you can solve some of the most important challenges facing our world.

We hope that this experience helps shift your perspective and encourages you to explore how you can address important global issues, reflect on your experiences, and challenge the existing norms and traditional career pathways.

Over the weekend, you will work to solve global challenges along with your team by following our structured design sprint methodology. With this methodology, you will be able to identify an important problem, develop a viable solution and build an implementation plan.

For high school registration, please contact k2i@lassonde.yorku.ca for more information.

About UNHack

UNHack 2022 is a community event for all undergrad post-secondary and grade 11 & 12 high school students to come together for an unforgettable weekend to try and solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.

You will take part in an experiential learning opportunity with the Lassonde School of Engineering BEST Program at York University, which will help you learn how you can solve some of the most important challenges facing our world.

We hope that this experience helps shift your perspective and encourages you to explore how you can address important global issues, reflect on your experiences, and challenge the existing norms and traditional career pathways.

Over the weekend, you will work to solve global challenges along with your team by following our structured design sprint methodology. With this methodology, you will be able to identify an important problem, develop a viable solution and build an implementation plan.

What’s in it for you?

  • Discover your passion
  • Learn how you can make a difference
  • Connect with like-minded people
  • Identify problems and develop solutions to solve it
  • Understand desirability, feasibility and viability concept
  • Foster teamwork and leadership skills
  • Build your network with students, mentors and advisors
  • Explore future career paths

Program Schedule

DAY 1

Friday, Nov 4th

5:00 pm – 10:30 pm

Introduction

Opportunity discovery

User need

Root cause analysis

DAY 2 am

Saturday morning, Nov 5th

8:30 am – 1:00 pm

Formulate a “How Might We” statement

Solution ideation

Solution selection

DAY 2 pm

Saturday afternoon, Nov 5th

1:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Solution validation/prototyping

Pitch & get feedback from mentor

Refine solution

Pitching

DAY 3

Sunday, Nov 6th

8:30 am – 4:00 pm

Preliminary pitches and feedback

Final judging

Closing ceremony and prize announcement

A few takeaways from UNHack 2021 participants

Saimanoj Yarasi

(3rd year psychology, 1st computer science)

“I learned different ways to identify the core of an issue and taking steps to break it down to find the root cause of the problem which will possibly result into a better solution.”

Richard Balroop

(Computer Engineering, 2nd year)

“I’ve learned more about what it’s like to lead a team, being flexible with others, and making a decisive group decision that benefits the overall goal when there are several unclear options.”

Kenechukwu Oraka

(1st year, Software Engineering)

“Learning more about myself, and how I could actually keep up with the competition throughout the weekend is something I really loved. The previous me wouldn’t have even had the slightest idea that I would be able to keep up with the activities especially on a weekend. I believe I have gained many useful skills in life and taught me never to give up and underestimate my abilities.”

Maria Flores

(Mechanical Engineering, 2nd year)

“My biggest takeaway I feel was seeing what a difference collaboration and teamwork can make when problem-solving. Often I tend to shy away from collaborative work, however, this experience allowed me to break away from that and experience the benefits of brainstorming as a group and learning how to listen to my group members. Especially since a big part of engineering is collaborating with others, I think this will benefit me as I take on future a project in my career.”

Ryan Hunter

(Grade 12th, OSSD)

“My biggest takeaway was learning how to properly manage a team that is working toward a project with a fast-approaching deadline.”

Nessanth Kamalanathan

(1st year, Engineering)

“This experience gave me a first-hand insight into how engineering can be applied to solve real-life issues. The process of finding and fixing the problems we may have in campus life proved to be challenging as aspiring engineering, but enlightening.”

What’s the Design Sprint?

Learn about SDGs

Challenges

How to provide better access to affordable food and increase food security on campus.

Proposed by YorkU Food Services

How can we increase the consumption of plant sources of food amongst the York community?

Proposed by Food Services (Tom Watt)
How to use web-based tools to help students identify and address mental health issues?

Proposed by Student Counseling, Health & Well-being (Michael Sa’d)
How can we create an application that provides relevant information such as fair trade, health and ratings for food services on campus? 

Proposed by Dr. John Simoulidis, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies
How to create a crowdsourced system that identifies and provides relevant information on SDGs projects, and topics addressed in courses?

Proposed by SDGs-in-the-Classroom Community of Practice (Nitima Bhatia)
How to better involve parents in facilitating student educational success?

Proposed by Dr. Kai Zhuang, Lassonde School of Engineering
How to create a system for University students to identify career opportunities based on their digital portfolio ?

Proposed by BEST (Artem Solovey)
How can we improve access to clean drinking water for indigenous communities ?

Proposed by Dr. Stephanie Gora and Reece Lima-Thompson, Lassonde School of Engineering
How to create a system or method for reducing embodied carbon emissions in the construction of buildings?

Proposed by BEST (Ilija Mirkovic)
How to create culturally understanding communities through an interactive and engaging platform for students to share their social and cultural experiences?

Proposed by Dr. Kai Zhuang, Lassonde School of Engineering
How to improve physical accessibility for in person activities and events on campus?  

Proposed by Facilities Services / Campus Planning, Design and Construction (Johanna Classon)
How can York University students become more aware and engaged about fair trade on campus?

Proposed by Dr. John Simoulidis, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies
How to create an application that allows students to search sustainable and accessible events in real time?

Proposed by Facilities Services / Campus Planning, Design and Construction (Johanna Classon)
How to improve road safety on campus by connecting facility vehicles through technology? (Vehicle Ad-hoc Network – VAN)

Proposed by Amirhossein Nourbakhshrezaei, PhD Candidate in Geomatics Engineering-Lassonde
How to design new campus buildings that can be repeatedly assembled and dissembled to be reused to suit evolving needs?

Proposed by Dr. Liam Butler, Lassonde School of Engineering
How to reuse or recycle waste materials generated on campus in the construction of new spaces, buildings, and/or art installations?


Proposed by Dr. Liam Butler, Lassonde School of Engineering
How to effectively reduce carbon pollution in heavily populated areas on campus with green walls  around EV charging stations?

Proposed by Dr. Jose Etcheverry, Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change
How to utilize existing building energy data to upgrade into “smart buildings”?

Proposed by YorkU Facility Services (Bradley Parkes and Steven Prince)
How to regulate e-bikes and micro mobility on campus?

Proposed by York U Sustainability Office
How to utilize green roofs on campus to create a community that consumes food grown on campus?

Proposed by Dr. Burkard Eberlein, Professor of Public Policy and Sustainability, Schulich School of Business
How to increase student engagement to reduce clothing waste on campus?

Proposed by YorkU Sustainability Office
How can an organization such as KPM Power creatively re-purpose plastic?

Proposed by KPM Power

Read more from KPM Power
How to locally increase composting and processing of organic waste at a postsecondary institution for student residents?

Proposed by Dr. John Simoulidis, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies
How might we effectively monitor wildlife and biodiversity on campus?


Proposed by YorkU Sustainability Office

Join as a mentor!

Mentorship is a key part of Experiential Learning activities as it provides the most value possible to students as they gain invaluable advice from an experienced person, and build their professional networks.

Mentors reinforce the Design Sprint process, facilitate teamwork and guide students through the process.

By becoming a mentor, you gain valuable experience, build meaningful relationships with other students and will enjoy interacting with aspiring entrepreneurs.

Frequently Asked Questions

The event is designed for undergraduate university and college students as well as grade 11 and 12 high school students. UNHack is a great experiential learning opportunity that provides a safe space for you to tackle challenges, meet new people, learn new processes and explore your passions and strengths.

Note: For high school registration, please contact k2i@lassonde.yorku.ca for more information.

Note: If you are not a post-secondary or high school student, please contact the organizers to see how you might be able to take part in this event.
We would like students to address challenges that are aligned with the UN Sustainability Goals (SDGs). Participants can choose any challenge that aligns with the UNSDs and tackle it as a team over the weekend.
In addition, we will have some specific challenges available from our sponsors/partners. You can choose your challenge or use one of the available challenges (e.g. YorkU SDG challenges).
One of the best parts about taking part in UNHack is meeting others who are inspired to change the world; who knows, you might meet your new best friend. So, don’t worry – you do not have to come with a team. However, if you do have a team, you are welcome to participate with them.
A few days before the event, you will receive a link to provide some basic information about yourself and identify which of the UN Sustainability Challenges you would like to work on. After the opening ceremonies, you will be invited to join a group of participants who want to work on the same challenge.
Projects are judged based on the following criteria:
• Innovativeness,
• Desirability,
• Feasibility,
• Viability,
• Impact on sustainability,
• Presentation quality
The first place: $1000; second place: $500 and third place: $300.

In addition, the winning teams will be awarded to join the BEST Lab to access various resources such as mentorship, coaching, and connections to take their projects to further steps.
The $10 fee will be refunded back to the original method of payment upon completion of UNHack and Reflection Survey Submission. The fee is to ensure student commitment because there are quite a lot of teamwork activities during the event that requires your full commitment so you can create a great project in collaboration with your team.
Watch these videos to know about what UNHack Participants had to say in previous years.

UNHack 2021
UNHack2020
Yes, the event will be held fully in person at Bergeron Building. Participants are expected to attend the activities in person.

Our Sponsors

Scotiabank logo logotype emblem

Have questions? We’ve got answers!