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Digital Event

Participate in the nordic & Canadian Circular Economy Hackathon

The Nordic Trade Promotion Organizations in Canada are hosting a 3-day digital competition on energy, construction and the circular economy, in partnership with the Town of Oakville, Minto Communities, the Vancouver Economic Commission, Nordic Innovation and World Circular Economy Forum.

The aim of the Hackathon is to develop innovative solutions for the Town of Oakville’s upcoming Oakvillage development by Minto Communities. Participating companies will have the chance to show why their products and services will be the best fit for the Town of Oakville. The 3 days will consist of an opening digital panel discussion, time to develop a solution in teams, closing presentations, and an announcement of the winning solution. The hackathon is financed by Nordic Innovation.

Hackathon focus

The competition will focus on innovative circular energy and construction solutions for phase 4 of the Oakvillage development by Minto Communities. With phase 1 -3 of Oakvillage at different stages of completion, teams will look closely at Oakvillage’s phase 4 development, possible retrofits to phase 1-3 and a clear connectivity throughout the entire development.

Who can participate?

Companies working in circularity with a focus on the following topics can participate:

  • Sustainable energy solutions (storage, production and distribution)
  • Sustainable building materials
  • Sustainable construction solutions
  • Climate resilience.

Participating companies will have the opportunity to: 

  • Showcase your innovative solutions to a global audience and relevant North American industry stakeholders
  • Expand your network
  • Engage in knowledge sharing practices 
  • Closely collaborate with North American and Nordic industry stakeholders.


November 24 (11 AM - 12 PM EST): Opening panel discussion 

This digital event will be part of the World Circular Economy Forum official side event and available for public registration.

  • Overview of competition case study 
  • Panel discussion on energy, construction and the circular economy
    • Decarbonization (energy production, distribution)  
    • Resilience & user comfort (buildings)
    • Circularity and Embodied Carbon (construction materials) 

Speakers for the Nordic & Canadian Circular Economy Panel Discussion:

ZAHRA Teshnizi, Senior Advisor, Mantle314


Zahra is a Senior Advisor at Mantle314, a multi-disciplinary strategic consultancy focused on climate change, resiliency and the move towards the low-carbon economy. Zahra is an urban sustainability expert with more than eight years of experience in low embodied and operational-carbon buildings development. She is well-connected to a network of climate change action leaders in the public, private, and academic sectors, especially in the Lower Mainland, British Columbia. Zahra has a diverse background in policy advising, sustainable building innovation, multi-stakeholder outreach and engagement, and project management.

During the panel discussion, Zahra will cover the circular economy and embodied carbon in the Canadian landscape.

Sonia Vaz-Martins, Technical Manager Bioenergy, SWECO


Sonia is a chartered engineer with over 10 years’ experience in the design and advisory services within Heat and Power sector. More specifically, in the design and assessment of anaerobic digestion plants gas to grid, compressed natural gas stations, combine heat and power generation, energy from waste and steam systems, as well as involvement in the delivery of district heating and network projects.


During the panel discussion, Sonia will focus on energy from waste and how it contributes to decarbonise the electrical and natural gas grid, and subsequently transport and heating in buildings/ cities.

Gabriela Costa, Senior Sustainability Consultant, SWECO


Gabriela has a background in Architecture and Urban Design and has over 6 years’ experience in Building Sustainability Consultancy focusing resource efficiency via passive architectural design for indoor environmental comfort.

She has led the sustainability strategy for various iconic buildings in the UK and recently developed an integrated Circular Economy Statement for a prestigious commercial building in London coordinating the circular design principles with architects, engineers, contractor and supply chain.

Moreover, she is championing the set-up of a repair café in her local community in her spare time and hopes to embed circular thinking into the resident’s everyday lives.


During the panel discussion Gabriela Costa will focus on circular design principles in buildings.

EVA GEITEL, Architect, ALA Architects


Architect M.Sc. SAFA Eva Geitel joined ALA Architects, the Helsinki based architecture and interior design studio specializing in cultural buildings, transportation infrastructure projects and modernist renovations, in summer 2013. She has 13 years of professional experience in the fields of renovation, public building design, office interior design and urban planning. Before ALA, she worked at various established offices both in Finland and abroad, participating in the design of such large scale projects as Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects’ Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, Poland. For the first three years at ALA, Eva contributed to the Helsinki West Metro project as the project architect for the Soukka station. After returning from her parental leave in the beginning of 2018, she has mostly worked on ALA’s competition entries, studies and reports before starting in the project for the new Université Lumière Lyon 2 learning center in March 2019.

Eva is a former deputy chairwoman of Finnish Association of Architects SAFA and has been a board member in the Helsinki and Uusimaa Division of SAFA since 2013.

During the panel discussion Eva will focus on sustainable building design and the user experience.

November 24 (12 PM EST) - November 26 (10 AM EST): Teams work on solution 

Teams will be given a competition guide that provides detail of the Oakvillage development, judging criteria, final deliverable criteria and areas to focus on for the solution. 

Teams will be given an online meeting space open from November 24 (12 PM EST) - November 26 (10 AM EST)

November 26 (11 AM - 12:30 PM EST): Closing presentation and announcement of winning team 

This digital event will be part of the World Circular Economy Forum official side event and available for public registration 

  • Presentation pitches of solutions.
  • Announcement of winning solution.

Teams and guidelines

Participating companies will be placed in teams of 4 comprising of complementing Nordic companies and North American industry stakeholders (public and private). The announcement of teams will be emailed to each participant on the November 23.

Teams will be given an instruction guide and an online meeting space available from November 24 - 26 to work together on their solutions. On the 26th, teams will present a 5 minute pitch of their solutions with slides during which the judges will use to make their decisions.  

Prizes for winning team

  • A digital meeting with Minto Communities to be able to explain your innovative solution in more detail and understand the procurement process for Minto Communities' developments.
  • A digital meeting with the Town of Oakville’s Planning and Climate Action departments to be able to explain your innovative solution in more detail and understand the procurement process for the Town of Oakville.


  • Minto Communities
  • The Town of Oakville
  • The Vancouver Economic Commission 


The Town of Oakville is a municipality located on the western half of the Greater Toronto Area on the shores of Lake Ontario. With a population of 211,300 as of 2019, it is one of four municipalities that comprise the Halton Region and is located in one the most densely populated areas of Canada.

The town is a growing and attractive destination for businesses and residents. As guided by ‘Livable Oakville’, the town’s Official Plan (2009), Oakville is set to grow by more than 80,000 in population over the next 20 years. Oakville’s Community Energy Strategy sets the vision for that as a sustainable energy future as one that through collaboration and innovation is clean, affordable and resilient. The town’s vibrant culture, commitment to greenspace, access to education, and strong job market earned Oakville the number one spot in MoneySense Magazine’s 2018 Best Place to Live in Canada.

Minto Communities

For over 65 years, Minto Communities has been building new homes, master-planned communities and condominiums, one home and one relationship at a time. With more than 85,000 homes built and operations in Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, and South Florida, Minto Communities fulfills the lifestyle needs of individuals, couples and families, at every stage of life. Through technology, sustainability and thoughtful design, Minto Communities continues to build better.


To register for the competition, please send an e-mail to shikar@um.dk, where you list your name, e-mail, job title and company name.

Deadline for registration is November 20, 2020.


If you have any questions please contact Shirin Karoubi at shikar@um.dk.