20Creathon results in surprising solution for social issues

How do you come up with solutions for complicated social issues? We developed the Creathon, a kind of pressure cooker for ideas, for this purpose and the results were surprising and innovative.

The force of a Creathon is the combination of the right question, people with varied backgrounds, a proven concept, a time constraint and a lot of energy and enthusiasm. Find out how the concept works and participate!

What is a Creathon?

A Creathon is a meeting during which teams work together to solve a social issue or challenge. For example, teams might try and find a solution for food waste or flooding in a city. The teams consist of people with varied backgrounds, knowledge and experience, who compete against one another. In doing so, they stick to a specific programme and have a set deadline. This results in surprising and often innovative ideas: out-of-the-box thinking! The concept is kind of like a hackathon (which involves teams working on software or hardware projects), but with a Creathon, the result can be a physical product instead. View our film and experience the energy of a Creathon.

How does a Creathon work?

In a Creathon, the participants lock themselves up for 24, 36 or sometimes 48 hours to find a solution for a social challenge. The teams are given an extensive briefing on the subject and the accompanying data. They then go on speed dates with experts to get more information and test their first idea. We help teams find the right balance between extending a wide net, thinking outside of the box and making decisions, so that everyone is ready to pitch their solution to the expert jury in time. The expert jury will then determine the winners, who will go home with 500 euros. However, the true reward is the opportunity to develop your idea further, into a concrete product or service. To enable this, we match the team to one of the business developers with Novel-T. On top of that, a Creathon gives all of the participants a lot of inspiration and energy, and gives entrepreneurs new insights and a fresh take on their company and field. 

Who can participate in a Creathon?

Anyone can participate in a Creathon challenge: amateurs and professionals, young and old. The only requirement is that you have to be interested in the theme of the challenge and you have to enjoy collaborating with other people. A mix of fields, cultures and skills will result in beautiful new insights and solutions. And being a participant is not the only way to get involved; you can also be a part of the process as an expert or as a supplier of data. We invite all companies to try out the Creathon concept. Suggest a challenge and be surprised by the solutions that arise during a Creathon. Having a team examine your problem without being held back by overly specialised knowledge can result in very surprising solutions and ideas that will help you innovate and help your company grow.

Why participate?

Participate because of the interesting presentations by experts, getting to work with open data sets, because it looks good on your CV, allows you to widen your network and to meet lots of students and professionals. But also because you will be helping the world improve and making friends for life. It is also very valuable for any company, allowing you to obtain new insights and potential solutions to your company or field’s specific challenges, with only a minimal investment from you. We guarantee that you will leave feeling excited and incredibly inspired!

What is 20Creathon?

20Creathon created and organises the Creathon events in Twente, created in response to a need felt by the province or Overijssel and developed by Novel-T. Our main themes for 2017 and 2018 are ‘Safer public spaces’ and ‘Changing events’.

The objective of the 20Creathon programme is to use the available data, knowledge and talent to develop solutions for social issues. If there are promising results, our aim is to develop them further into concrete products or services quickly and properly. Thus, we stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship and strengthen the ecosystem, as well as motivate young, talented people to come to the Twente area and stay there.

We work with the following partners in the 20Creathon consortium: Universiteit TwenteKokkeler Innovatie ConsultTwente Safety & SecuritySaxionNDIXStichting GemGids.


Does the Creathon concept appeal to you? If so, there are various ways to get involved:

Share your challenge or idea with us. Are you dealing with a social issue that might work well for a Creathon? Are you an entrepreneur with a problem and feel like a Creathon might result in new insights? Let us know, and together we will determine whether a Creathon is the right solution. If not, we will help you find another way.

Do you have interesting data that could help our participants come up with an innovative solution? If so, let us know! If the data is sensitive, do not worry; we will treat it with the utmost care.

Participate in a Creathon. Go to our website or contact us directly. Call us at +31 (0)6 5462 0933 or send an email to info@20creathon.eu. Go to the 20Creathon website to read more about our challenges and participants’ responses.

If you are curious about the innovative solutions that have resulted from our challenges, then read the interview with Elke Bies and Wilbert Pontenagel: ‘You can always find the funds to finance a smashing idea’.

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