Fab City Challenge

A unique format of collaboration that brings together local and global innovation communities to propose meaningful outcomes that respond to urgent areas of intervention in cities and regions as a driver of change.

Basic Information




Hosted in a specific place, joined by people from around the world


from 5-10 days short challenges can be organised for 5-10 days, longer challenges up to several month


English & regional

About the Fab City Challenge

Fab City Challenges help address the most pressing issues around sustainability, innovation and life systems in local contexts. Some areas of intervention from past Fab City Challenges: Regenerative Materials, Agriculture, Waste Management, Water Conservation, Food Security, Human Wildlife conflict, Sustainable Mobility, New Learning Models, Preserving Natural Ecosystems, New systems of value and exchange, Renewable Energy … among many more. Teams from around the world are invited to focus and learn about a specific local initiative, propose and prototype design outputs to win seed funding for its implementation.

Participants Profiles

Local & Global Experts

Local and global experts and enthusiasts such as students, academics, professionals and other practitioners of design, making, digital fabrication, organising and activism who bring their skills to the challenge.

Technologies & Methodologies

Individuals from existing projects, technologies or methodologies that deal with or might fit into one or more of the challenge areas.

Networks & Organisations

Individuals from Networks and organisations of practice that add value in the form of specific knowledge, skills or experience including universities, advocacy movements and communities of practice.

Challenge Hosts

Anyone can host a global-local challenge in their city, region, or country by partnering with their local fablabs, communities, schools, organisations to work on urgent areas of intervention in their context.

Challenge Partners

Community Partner

Local organisations, practices, people that work in areas of intervention. They co-create and build a challenge with challenge hosts by situating it in context with real-world problematics

Remote Partner

Global organisations, practices, people that work in areas of intervention. Contribute to the development of a challenge related to specific focus in a another local context

Funding Partners

They Contribute towards the organisation of a challenge, or sponsor an award or microgrant

Expected Outcomes

The program offers conditions for a local global team to work on specific local needs, specific local initiative, propose and prototype design outputs to win seed funding for its implementation.

Fab City Challenges create valuable outcomes and generate impact and benefit to all the different stakeholders involved.

  • Open-source* Design Outcomes – Developed during a Challenge to tackle wicked challenges
  • Seed-funding – to realise selected winning projects developed during a Challenge
  • Publications / documentation – Document the Challenge to generate evidence of impact in local context through global dissemination
  • Long-lasting Collaborations – Kickstart promising and meaningful partnerships for a thriving ecosystem

Team Curation

Teams are selected through careful curation considering the following criteria. This process is done with the hosting organisations

Aligning participants interests/preferences of challenges or areas of interest 

Diversity in  skills and professions – balancing people with specialised skills, general skills and wildcards. 

Methodologies and potential collaboration partners by considering networks/organisations represent balance in diversity and backgrounds – age, gender, country.

Program Structure

Overall program:

  • Scoping and ecosystem assessment
  • Programming and curation
  • Co-creation of challenges
  • Coordination and support
  • Impact assessment 
  • Communication and dissemination

Program during challenge:

  • Align and Identify  
  • Arrive, Explore & Immerse
  • Prototype & Build 
  • Test & Iterate 
  • Showcase, share & Win