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Upcycling for Welfare Professionals

We are calling for innovators among the students at VIA University College to reuse, recycle and upcyle waste to new solutions for your future professions.

We invite students to address the challenge of waste overload on the basis of UNs Sustainable Development Goals. Regardless of your profession, ensuring more sustainable consumption through reducing waste is a major concern for future generations. Furthermore, waste produced locally could be upcycled or reused to benefit different professional practices. Help us create new value of the waste produced locally at campuses and their surroundings.

The challenge is exclusively for students at VIA University College.

Giftcards from VIA
Launch of challenge call

At a workshop event at VIA University College Campus Viborg, we will launch the challenge and work with students to get an understanding of the subject of the challenge.

Submission of initial solution

Submit your first drafts for ideas before 31st of October at 15.00. Challenge facilitators as well as co-innovators will be able to share their insights and give feedback on your idea.

Submission deadline for solution

Submit your solution before November 2nd at 15.00.

Review of solutions

A Selection Commitee of experts will review the submitted solutions and select the best ideas.

Winner Announcement

The winners of the challenge will be announced.

VIA University College

What is the ‘Upcycling for Welfare Professionals’ challenge?

What is your solution for applying waste products or creating new upcycled products that will benefit your future profession?

As a knowledge and educational institution, VIA University College has a responsibility to contribute to the UN’s sustainable development goals, some of which addresses sustainable consumption and climate change. Each organization produces lots of waste each year. It is a joint effort to reduce this waste generation and adopt more sustainable practices by reducing resource use and extending the lifecycle of resources used.

As part of your education, you are going to work with and gain knowledge about the sustainable development goals – and how it affects your coming professional practice. VIA University College invites you, to help addressing these global challenges by working with waste products from your own campuses.

What are we looking for?

We would like you to create new, innovative prototypes for how a Campus could set its waste generation in good use. How could this waste be applied or upcycled to be used in a professional practice? This way the waste generated could become a valuable resource for different professions outside the campus. That includes developing new products, new materials or new approaches to upcycle and rethink the way waste is used.

All kinds of waste may be included and all ideas are welcome. A good solution might be applicable for one or more welfare professions. What matters is that the usage of waste has a potential to create value for future users. Thus, it is a requirement, that a potential solution is desireable – for the supplier as well as the potential user.

Furthermore, a good solution should address how it realistically could be implemented at a later stage of development. We are not looking for make-believes, but for actual solutions that could be adopted by your local campus. Check the evaluation criteria for further information.


Step 1: 
To participate in this challenge you have to upload your idea/solution here on challenges.dk before November 2nd at 15:00. Please sign up for a profile here.

Please note that this challenge is only open for students at VIA University College. 

Step 2:

Submit your idea to challenges.dk under the Upcycling for Welfare Professionals challenge.

Your submission should include a title and a short description. If you participate in the course "Interprofessional Weeks" at Campus Viborg, you should include your group number in the very beginning of the description.

Your submission should also include at least one visual representation of your solution in the form of an illustration or another image. Your Submission may include additional documents attached to to submission. 


Your submission is assesed based on its...


  • Is the solution original and new?
  • To what extent does it set itself apart from existing solutions?


  • Is your solution desirable?
  • Will it really solve the challenge?


  • Is your solution possible?
  • Can it realistically be implemented?


  • How costly will your solution be -- will the benefits be worth the investment?
  • What are the most important desired outcomes and how will you measure success?

You do NOT have to answer all of these questions one by one, but please do consider them when developing your solution. That way, your solution will be appropriate, actionable, and deliver tangible results!

Challenge background

The challenge is based on UN's Sustainable Development Goals. The Sustainable Development Goals are a call to action for all countries – poor, rich and middle-income – to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and addresses a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection. Specifically this challenge addresses the goals concerning sustainable consumption and climate change.

You can read more about the goals here

Population growth, climate change and increasing resource scarcity – everyone is challenged to relate to the world's challenges. At VIA, we have chosen to focus strategically on the Sustainable Development Goals and include them in our educations and programmes as part of a strong social commitment. This includes both forming and educating responsible citizens, who leave their own marks on the world and entering into new partnership models that encourages local development.

You can find VIA’s strategy here

Who is behind the challenge?

The challenge is developed in collaboration with the management and staff at VIA University College Campus Viborg.

VIA University College is Denmark´s largest university college with focus on applied science. We are an internationally oriented institution of higher education and help develop the future of public and private professions. VIA is one of Denmark’s six university colleges. Our programmes, courses and research focus on professional practice in areas such as healthcare, teaching, social education, technology, business and design.

VIA has eight campuses in the Central Region of Denmark and represent 18.500 students, 20.000 participants in continuing education and 2.100 faculty and staff.

Photo at the end of the description. Submit your idea below


Idé-besvarelser for denne challenge (38)

The Online-Platform is going to facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations, in the aspects of facilitation of materials like paper, bottles ect. Other aspects are to facilitate upcycle-idea sharing.

"Start from scratch, sort your trash"
We want to make people sort their trash by giving them knowledge about the importance of it.

The Twist Kit is a stack of cups that each has either numbers or a mathematical symbol. It helps children visualize math equations and it is made of waste-cups. Can be used in schools, kindergarten, and at hospitals.

We think that the children and young people are the future, so we need to make sorting trash fun, so we can have a better environment and a better world

An idea for a solution to minimise paper wastage in a creative way

We want to re-and upcycle different kinds of metal, into something useful.
So we don't need to process the products once again.

A simple storage solution using existing plastic, up cycled to save money and reduce further production of plastic.

The idea behind elephant storage is because the original concept looks similar to that of an elephant.

The idea is to develop a complete re(up)cycling system containing an app, a recycling depo, a "quick-grab" shelf/ fridge (for food items). Everything is interconnected in a easy to use solution.

Vores produkt går ud på at genanvende metal, jern, og aluminium. For at undgå forbrændingsprocessen, som forurener rigtig meget.

Idea or concept, that involves giving away waste such as cardboard, electronics, paper, bottles and containers.

This idea uses recycled waste and materials to educate on how to recycle and why it's important for the environment.

The Online-Platform is going to facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations, in the aspects of facilitation of materials like paper, bottles ect. Other aspects are to facilitate upcycle-idea sharing.

Have you ever wondered how many plastic cups and water go to waste every single day here at VIA? We have.
We have one goal and that is to reduce the waste of plastic and water.
Our main idea is to recycle all kinds of plastic to make reusable thermo bottles, from 100% recycled plastic, to every single student and teacher at VIA.

Here is a video about our solution: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdHaQMHdO6o

I hope you all enjoy!

Game cans of trash to make sorting trash funnier

Do you know somebody or have your heard of someone in need? We have all seen homeless people freezing their ass of in the winter, right?

Take a look at our idea, if you want to figure out to help people in need.

The Twist Kit is a tool for children who need to train mathematics. It's a stack of waste cups with numbers and mathematical symbols, and when you twist the cups, you create new mathematical equations.

'The Waste Master Challenge'
Group 3
Participants: Kristine Eide, Ann Gregersen, Rikke Josefsen, Jessie Harris, and Kamilla Frandsen

The Waste Masters Challenge is a program focused on the up-cycling of campus waste, as well as promoting awareness of waste minimisation and recycling.

Title: Playbox
Group Number 7
Participants: Thilde, Ann, Sara, Christoffer, Camilla and Kenneth

A box made of recycled cardboard containing waste material that can be used for creating objects and may stimulate children through creative play.

If you are interested in reduce plastic waste, upcycling and hygiene. Then take a look at our product!

Our idea is to re-use waste from hospitals and from Via here in Viborg. The waste will be used in schools and kindergardens, where it can be used for creativity or as a part of the learning. The kids in the kindergarden can for example make toys out of it. The teachers at the schools can for example create a game with the waste. Both the kids in the kindergarden and the pupils at the school will along the way learn about waste, re-and upcycling and how it affects our planet.

The idea

Our idea is to lessen the amount of plastic that ends up in the ocean. In an article by the guardian, is it said that by 2050, there’s going to be more plastic in the ocean than fish. So, by making it a part of children’s lives with making games and decorations out of plastic, and showing the possibilities of reusing materials, we can change the future predictions previously stated.

Our idea is to transform milk cartons into useful objects, using them for educational purposes and creative learning for kids in daycare/schools.

Would you be able to be creative, come up with new ideas or to focus in a room filled with people? It would be difficult, right? Children encounter these expectations every day.

WONDERWALLS are mobile walls made from cardboard. These walls can be used to create a healthy study environment both in classrooms, kindergartens and even at VIA University College. WONDERWALLS are made to isolate not only the visual stimulation but the noise as well. Nowadays the entire educational system needs to embrace all kinds of children with all kind of special needs but without getting the finances to do so – this solution is low-cost and takes the environment into consideration by using recycled cardboard.

The idea WONDERWALLS occurred in the process of brainstorming – the idea was developed based on our own needs as professionals. We have been investigating and asking teachers if they would use WONDERWALLS in their class routine and they agreed – absolutely! WONDERWALLS can be useful in many professions – the target audience is teachers and social educators. WONDERWALLS can be used in classrooms, kindergartens, hospitals and will even be useful at VIA University College. WONDERWALLS have multiples functions – these will be introduced in the following.

We found that coffeecups are a big waste problem at Via. Therefor we thought of a way to upcycle the coffee cups. We came up with the idea to use the cups, for filling for beanbags.
We found that the material they already use for the beanbags, are the same as what the cups are made of. If they use the material from the cups, it’s good for the environment, because then they doesn’t have to produce that much.

Group 2: Upcycling paper waste to beads for kids with cancer.
Alberte Saaby Nielsen - 267332@via.dk
Sarah Wender Jensen - 253881@via.dk
Anne Waarsøe - 230013@via.dk
Linda Johansen Mark - 254121@via.dk
Karina Maria Jensen - 266974@via.dk
Kamilla Munkgaard Pedersen - 156032@via.dk

Our idea was to make lamps, out of waste. Then we were caught by the idea, and be began to think about what we could make to a kindergarten and for the hospital. Then the office idea come, and we started to make things that could be used to make it.
Our solution is possible, because only your fantasy sets the limits, and it is possible to make yourself.
We think it will solve the challenge, because we use waste from VIA to make office things and lamps, and children can make it.

Trash Panda aims to recycle food waste generated from VIA University to be used for educational purposes in local schools. Compost would be created from the waste by the children, promoting sustainability and encouraging thoughtful consumption.

A pressure vest (made from upcycled materials) for people with special needs and people who experience anxiety or unrest.

Our idea is to incorporate more sustainable environment for children. The way we want to do it, is by implementing vegetable and fruits on the menu. We want to create an area that could be inside or outside for gardening. The reason for our choice of area, is that we want to decrease food waste as well as plastic and general waste. We want to collaborate with VIA University College. Each campus will support the local area, supporting schools and kindergarten in the commune.

We want to use waste, to make music.
Our mission is to teach our kids about waste and about how we can improve our society buy reusing.
The instruments are made with the kids, and will improve their creativity. The instruments should be easy to move around, and should work as a tool in the schools, institutions and hospitals.