Latest News


Sneak Peek|Meet our SDG Hackathon Leaders

Tsinghua University’s “Innovation for Sustainable Development” Global Summer School 2021 will be held from June 28 to July 6. This year, the Summer School curriculum will include a special "SDG Hackathon".

The hackathon is composed of 14 sub-groups, each focusing on a theme related to the SDGs. After selecting a sub-group to join, students will form an interdisciplinary “Innovation Team” to explore, develop and present solutions for the sub-group' s "Challenge" topic.



Theme: Exhibition design and event planning to promote sustainable development for children

Background: Children will play an important role in the future. They are also the activists who drive a family to approach a new lifestyle. Therefore, the promotion of sustainable development for children, whether in the future or at present can be influential. How to involve children’s cognition, environment, and behaviors, design exhibition, and organize events, has important social value and practical significance?

Hack Leader

Zhou Yanyang, associate professor in Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University, is academically specialized in experiential exhibition design and has long engaged in research on cultural and creative projects for children as well as adolescents. In 2004, after receiving bachelor‘s degree from Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University, she attended Politecnico di Milano in Italy and acquired a Ph.D. major in Design in 2009. From 2007 to 2009, she taught at the Politecnico di Milano, Italy. Since 2010, Zhou has returned to Tsinghua University as faculty.  

In 2011, Zhou was in charge of Haier Museum Design; in 2012, the exhibition design monograph Experience (Tsinghua University Academy of Fine Arts Lecture Hall) was published; in 2013, she was selected into the National Youth Talent Training Program; in the same year the monograph, Design Discipline: China’s Perspective, was co-published by her composing the fourth part; In 2014, she was invited to participate in the “Volkswagen Exhibition Window Design Invitational Competition” in Hamburg , and won the Global Best Plan Award; in the same year, she presided over 2014 Qingdao World Horticultural Exposition -Dialogue Pavilion. This Garden design was listed as one of the five highlights of the Expo; in 2015, she presided over the exhibition design of the China Pavilion at Expo2015 Milano, and achieved the bronze medal of the National Art Exhibition.

In 2016, Zhou founded Zii, a design research brand for children and adolescents. Soon afterward, two children’s cultural and creative projects were incubated, namely The Maze of Chinese Characters and The Story of Water. They were exhibited to the public during Beijing Design Week and rated as the “Best Educational Design Award”. In 2017, Zhou then launched the campus tour of The Maze of Chinese Characters. Her project, the tour exhibition of several key primary and secondary schools, also received satisfactory reviews. Also in 2017, she designed a large-scale experience exhibition, Marshmallow and Cloud Mother, for CCTV Animation Group,and achieved the “Top 10 Parent-Child projects” of Beijing International Design Week. In 2018, she presided over the overseas promotion exhibition The Maze of Chinese Characters -Children's Installation Interactive Art Exhibition, with support from the National Art Foundation. In the same year, she was invited to serve as an overseas author for the “100th anniversary of the birth of design master Castiglioni” by the Italian Ministry of Culture. In February 2019, she schemed the sub-exhibition area of the China Pavilion of the 21st Milan Triennale in Italy. In May of the same year, she led the CCTV Animation Pavilion of the Beijing World Horticultural Exposition, and won the the Golden Award for Enterprise Landscape Prize at the Expo. In October, she presided over the Oltre i sensi, le nuvole Chinese Character Art Exhibition in Milan, an overseas promotion project of the National Art Fund. 2020, Project on exhibition of landscape design for the China Children Centre.



Theme: Sustainable Solutions for Addressing Environmental Pollution

Background: Anthropogenic activities cause wide spread pollution in air, water, and soil. Such environmental pollution can jeopardize human health and damage ecosystems. Addressing these pollution issues will be critical for meeting SDG 2, 3, 6, 11, 13, 14, and 15.  It is imperative to develop innovative and sustainable solutions for addressing these issues.

Hack Leader

Deyi Hou is an Associate Professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. His research interest includes sustainability of soil use and management, regional to global sources and distribution of heavy metal contamination, green and innovative remediation technologies, etc. Dr. Hou received his B.E. from Tsinghua University, M.S. from Stanford University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. Dr. Hou has published over 100 papers on top journals including Nature, Science, Nature Climate Change, etc. He is currently serving as an Editor-in-Chief for Soil Use and Management, and Associate Editor for Science of the Total Environment. 



Theme: Future scenarios and innovation models of energy transition development in the context of carbon neutrality

Background: In order to control the atmospheric temperature rise within 2°C or even 1.5°C, the "Paris Agreement" calls on all parties to put forward long-term low-emission development strategies based on national conditions and common but differentiated responsibilities and their respective capabilities, so as to achieve global carbon neutrality in the second half of this century. At present, China, Canada and other countries have announced their own carbon-neutral target schedule. To achieve the goal of carbon neutrality, it is necessary to promote the construction of a low-carbon policy system, set the boundaries of energy development, and ensure a rapid transformation of energy development towards green and low-carbon. In the context of energy transition development, new development trends of energy transition can be explored from various aspects including demand, ideas, concepts, mechanisms, systems and technologies to also anticipate future scenarios and innovative models of energy transition development.

Hack Leader

Haiwang Zhong, Associate Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, Tsinghua University, IEEE Senior Member. His research interests include power system operations and planning, electricity markets and demand response. He has published 60+ SCI indexed papers. He is the Primary Investigator for two projects funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China, one project funded by Beijing Natural Science Foundation. He currently serves as the Chair of the IEEE PES Working Group on Demand Response, Secretary of the CIGRE D2.53 Working Group on Power Internet of Things. He was awarded the ProSPER.Net Young Scientist Award. He was awarded 4 provincial Science & Technology Awards and won 2 Gold Medals in Geneva International Invention Exhibitions. 



Theme: Future Information Technology for Human Healthcare

Background: During the outbreak of COVID-19, we have witnessed the great impact of advanced information technology. After the pandemic, how will information technology (including both hardware and software) be revolutionized, and how will it address various challenges of human healthcare?

Hack Leader

Xing Shengis currently working as an associate professor in the Department of Electronic Engineering at Tsinghua University, China. He received his bachelor and PhD degrees from Tsinghua University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, respectively. He worked as a postdoctoral researcher at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. His current interests are primarily in the exploration of implantable micro- and nano-scale optoelectronic devices, to enable high performance and versatile applications in biomedicine. 



Theme: Atmosphere Settle Down

Background: SpaceX, Virgin Galactica, SpaceBlue, MoonExpress, Bigelow, ISRO (India), and CNSA (China) and other new private companies and new space agencies are innovating to reach Space and reap new benefits. Basic survival technology has been developed, and colonies on Mars or on the Moon are possible. Apart from evolution in the scientific field, design is the next question. In the past, it was clear that design applied to space issues was not a priority. But today, design and better-thought-through solutions (achieved also by collaboration from different fields), can bring considerable improvements to living standards for many aspects of life in space. Solving human center problems in space has become particularly important as future space travelers and inhabitants will not only be professional space travelers, but also common people.

Hack Leader

Prof. Zhiyong Fu is an associate professor of the Information Art and Design Department, Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. He is associate dean of China-Italy Design Innovation Hub, vice-director of China Innovation & Entrepreneurship Education Research Center, member of Tsinghua University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Teaching (special) Committee and the director of Tsinghua Service Design Institute. He has served as the Secretary-General in China Information & Interaction Design Committee (IIDC) since 2014 and was the Secretary-General of Art branch of Computer Basic Education Steering Committee for Liberal Art, Ministry of Education. He is a member of the "Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems" (GIAHS) Expert Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs,and a Council Member of the Chinese Museum Association since 2020. His research interests include urban interaction design, service design, user experience and social innovation. He has undertaken and completed about 40 design and education research projects, and published more than 70 papers in international conferences, such as ACM Ubicomp, HCII, IASDR, DESIS and DMI. He was board member of CCD at HCII from 2012 to 2018, and chair of future urban sustainability and social innovation session. 



Theme: The adaption and transformation of government governance in the era of new technologies

Background: In the pursuit of SDG 16, which aims to promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies, the theme of this Hack focuses on developing effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels. In the 21st century, innovative technologies, including Internet, big data, and artificial intelligence, are becoming critical driving forces in the modernization of national governance system and capacity. This Hack seeks to explore the adaption and transformation of government governance empowered by new technologies, and aims to promote sustainable development by combining technological innovations and governance system.

Hack Leader

Xufeng ZHU is Professor and Associate Dean at the School of Public Policy and Management (SPPM) and Executive Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development Goals, Tsinghua University (TUSDG), Deputy Director of the Science & Technology Development and Governance Center, Tsinghua University (TUSTDG), and Director of the Think Tank Research Center of the SPPM. Dr. ZHU earned his bachelor’s degree in environment engineering and doctor’s degree in public management from Tsinghua University in 2000 and 2005. His research interests include public policy theories, science & technology policy, environment and climate policy, and public governance in transitional China. He serves as General Secretary of the China Public Management Association and Co-Chair of the SDG working committee of the NASPAA. He also serves as Regional Editor, Associate Editor, or Editorial board members in over ten international journals. 




1. How to create a sustainable lifestyle?

2. Monitoring and evaluation of the sustainable development goals

Background: Focusing on gender equality, responsible consumption and production, quality education and sustainable cities and communities within the 17 United Nations SDGs to build a sustainable way of life in today’s society.

Measuring and evaluating the process and effects of the sustainable development goals of a region or country objectively and scientifically by utilizing information technology and big data.

Hack Leader

Qu Wei, Doctor of Law, China University of Political Science and Law, is currently the director of the Global Learning Center of the School of Social Sciences of Tsinghua University and the Chinese leader of the IUP project (a talent training and academic exchange project jointly implemented by 11 world-class universities including Tsinghua University, Yale University, and Stanford University). He is responsible for developing and implementing cooperation with central ministries and commissions, local governments, large enterprises, financial institutions, overseas universities, and international organizations. Additionally, he created the “Horizon Program for Global Youth Development”, committed to providing support and assistance for young people to participate in global governance and sustainable development. He worked in central ministries and commissions for 13 years. Furthermore, he has served as the liaison of the national research and implementation of the "United Nations Convention against Corruption" work coordination group, WTO trade policy review inter-ministerial working group, and other institutions, participating in relevant work of each working group as well as negotiations and consultations with the Working Group on the Implementation Review Mechanism of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, the WTO Secretariat Working Group and the US Department of Commerce. 



Theme: Student success by developing global competence for all

Background: What constitutes student success? And how can we support each other to ensure success in the university today and beyond?

This SDG Open Hack aims to promote SDG 4 quality education for all in relation to student success in the university. Student success is a creative transboundary and multidimensional concept. It changes as students discover and develop themselves through the university. Meanwhile the university also guides student success through not only teaching and learning support but also institutional culture in general.

Global competence is increasingly becoming both a goal of, and also a means to, student success today. In general, global competence refers to learning, working, and living together effectively in intercultural and international contexts. It aims to build a reciprocal relationship with oneself, with others, and with the world. It also aims to empower one to transform oneself, the university, and society together for sustainable development. It develops increasingly in a transboundary fashion of intercultural, international, interdisciplinary, and at the interface between the university and government, industry, society, etc.

Hack Leader

Dr Zhou Zhong is an associate professor in comparative and international education, Ph.D. supervisor at the Institute of Education, Tsinghua University, China. Professor Zhong is a DPhil in Education Studies and MSc in comparative and international education, the University of Oxford. Her research interest lies in comparative, intercultural, and interdisciplinary studies of international higher education. Her research focuses on higher education innternationalization, international strategy, education for global competence and sustainability competence, and teaching and learning innovation. She has served as the project director of the Asian Higher Education Outlook (AHEO) research series of Asian Universities Alliance (AUA) since 2017, and the Secretary of the Research Association University Culture of China Association of Higher Education since 2019.

LIAO Ying is the director of the Center for Global Competence Development of Tsinghua University.  The Center provides campus-wide transformative learning experiences with a global focus, leads cutting-edge research and development in the fields of global education, facilitates cross-cultural engagement opportunities for all students and faculty members, and promotes a global competency based cross-cultural understanding on campus and beyond. LIAO Ying is experienced in student affairs and international education. She has a bachelor degree in Biomedical Engineering and a master degree in Law from Tsinghua University.  She gained her second master degree in Computer Science at Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology, USA.

David Zupko has been a college administrator for two and a half decades, working at Loyola University, at the University of Chicago, and as deputy registrar at Yale University. He began working for Tsinghua University in January 2018, and in June 2019, Zupko was named associate dean in the Office of International Affairs.

Zupko is believed to be the first foreigner to be appointed to this prominent post in central administration at a major Chinese university since China’s Reform and Opening Up. He believes, "In China, the idea that education is closely tied to societal contribution directly connects institutions to national goals. The link between history and societal value, and how these fundamentally define knowledge acquisition, helps shape the emerging model of higher education in China."

Zupko is personally committed to internationalism. When his wife became the director of career development for the Schwarzman Scholars Program at Tsinghua, he moved to China with their two young daughters. He welcomed the opportunity to broaden their global perspective while developing an understanding of Chinese culture.

Currently, Zupko delivers strategic analysis of university initiatives for internationalization, teaching and learning, and academic policy. He works with senior leadership to develop support in all stages of the student lifecycle and advises on academic and student affairs for the new Tsinghua International Graduate School in Shenzhen, China.




Situation and trends of global digital cultural and creative industries


As the main force of the "creative economy", the world of cultural and creative industry has developed rapidly, achieving huge economic output and creating a great number of employment opportunities. Cultural and technological integration and innovation is becoming a new theme in the 21st century. With the characteristics of globalization, revitalization and informationization, diversified forms of cultural creation have entered into the daily life of citizens around the world. With the rise of industrialized Internet, all walks of life have entered the process of digital integration. With digital cultural and creative content as the core, digital technology is relied upon to create, produce, communicate and serve. This Hack will explore social theories in terms of innovation, cultural information, cultural creators as well as the concept of digital technology in the context of the "Fourth Industrial Revolution".

Hack Leader

Hu Yu is a Tsinghua University professor from the School of Journalism and Communication. He is a PhD supervisor, secretary of the Party Committee, Executive Director of the Institute for Culture Creativity of Tsinghua University, Vice President of the Chinese News Journalism with Chinese Characteristics Research Council, managing director of the Chinese Society of the Forbidden City, a professional committee chairman, and Tsinghua Alumni Association Vice President of National Image Communication Research Center of Tsinghua University. His research interests include journalism theory, corporate communication, and cultural studies.

Zhang Zheng is an associate professor and PhD supervisor of the School of Journalism and Communication, Tsinghua University. He is also the deputy director of the National Research Center for Cultural Industry of Tsinghua University, and the deputy director of the Institute for Cultural Creativity of Tsinghua University. Research directions include new media and human development, audience and effect research of new media, digital cultural industry, cultural industry and regional economy, etc. 



Future trends and development models of quality education


Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4 or Global Goal 4) relates to quality education, and is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations in September 2015. The full title of SDG 4 is "Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all".

Hack Leader

Xia (Sherry) Du is currently the Director of Education of Tsinghua x-lab. She has 15 years+ of industrial and management experience for both state-owned company and foreign companies, including Sinopec, Roland Berger, KG and SFC and has held positions including the Head of Procedures, Strategic Management Consultant, China BD Manager, Senior BD Manager, and General Manager of China.

Sherry has accumulated rich management experience in business development strategies, new product development and marketing strategies, key account management, operations management, business investment and financing in different industries including energy, petrochemical, chemical, environmental protection, power, new energy and manufacturing. During her career life, she achieved the biggest order in her company in China and achieved 100 percent business growth for five consecutive years. She also achieved the first order in many different fields from different industrial customers. She promoted the product localization for the company in China and was the co-founder of a new business unit of the joint venture.

Sherry graduated from Tianjin University with a bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering and obtained her master degree in the International MBA program of Tsinghua University and MIT.




How AI can help us build an intelligent and sustainable future?


The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the proliferation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies in public health, such as contact tracing, facial recognition, virus detection, and vaccine development. As we start to reap the benefits of AI technologies to combat the pandemic, we also need to recognize the potential risks posed by such technologies, such as the widening digital divide, data privacy concerns, and the development of autonomous weapons. Therefore, more efforts and investments are needed to steer technology towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and make more AI beneficial for all. This Hack aims to bring teams of passionate young people from across the world together to embark on a learning journey to explore how we can harness AI technologies to tackle real-world problems.

Hack Leader

Dr. LIANG Zheng now serves as the Professor of the School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University, as well as the research fellow and vice president of Institute for AI International Governance, Tsinghua University(AIGI), the research fellow and deputy director of China Institute for Science & Technology Policy at Tsinghua University(CISTP). Dr. Liang got his doctor’s degree of economics at Nankai University(2003) and accomplished the senior executive training program on leadership at Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (2010). He had visited at MIT Industrial Performance Center (MIT IPC) as the Fulbright Visiting Research Scholar for one year (2012). The main areas of his research now focus on Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, Globalization of R&D, IPRs and Standardization, Emerging Technology and Innovation Governance etc. Besides academic publishing on peer review journals such as National Science Review, Journal of Informetrics, World Economy etc. Dr. Liang also participated in some important research projects such as the Strategic Research for National Mediumand Long Term Science and Technology Development Program (MLP) of China. He used to be a member of National Innovation Survey Expert Group (2014-2017), as well as the member of Sino-US Innovation Dialogue Expert Group (2015-2018). 




The applications and challenges ofsynthetic Biology in the strategy of carbon neutrality


To achieve the aim of carbon neutrality bymid-century, with the emerging technology of synthetic biology, we may designand synthesize genetic circuits to facilitate mass and green production ofmolecules, which will be widely used in the industry of chemical engineering, biopharmaceuticals and energy, and will revolutionize the traditional industry. However, the application has faced grand challenges, including science and technology, cost,ethics, safety and laws. For instance, how to increase the manufacturing efficiency? How to ensure biological safety of synthetic microbes? As well as the ethics issues ofsynthetic lives.

By this project, we would like to comprehensively think the area in an interdisciplinary manner including biology, engineering, economics and philosophy, and search for solutions for the applications and challenges of synthetic biology in biological manufacture.

Hack Leader

Dr. Lan Ma received the B.Sc. degree in genetics from Wuhan University, Wuhan, China, in 1987, the M.Sc. degree in immunology from Peking University, Beijing, China, in 1993, and the Ph.D. degree in stem cell biology from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, in 2003. She was associate professor at Yunnan University from 2000 to 2005 and Tsinghua Shenzhen graduate school from 2005 to 2011. She was professor since 2012 at Tsinghua Shenzhen graduate school. Her interest is stem cell biology, nano-biomedicine, and vaccine & antibody bio-engineering.

LIU Xiao received his bachelor and master degree in Nanjing University in China majoring in chemistry and molecular biology, respectively. He received PhD degree in University of Copenhagen, Denmark. He joined as an associate professor in Tsinghua University Shenzhen international graduate school in 2020. He has published more than 70 peer-reviewed publications with total citations of more than 24000 and a H-index of 36. His current research interests are system human immunology with the emphasis on deciphering the heterogeneity and multimodality of human immune microenvironment. 



Adolescent health problems in the context of online education in the post epidemic period


China has 700 million myopic people, 3.1% of which develop pathological myopia. Pathological myopia causes degenerative changes to the back of the eye and reduction insight that cannot be corrected by lenses or glasses and blindness. The diagnosis and prediction of pathological myopia are crucial for early intervention. Here we design two tasks for the students. 1. AI facilitated prescription of “OK” glasses. 2. Prediction of pathological myopia. These two projects will help clinical doctors to predict the development of myopia and accurately prescribe “OK” glasses at early myopic stages.

Hack Leader

Peiwu Qin received a B.Sc. degree in biotechnology from Northeastern Agricultural University, Harbin, China in 2002; a M.Sc. degree in developmental biology from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China in 2005; a M.Sc. degree in physical chemistry from Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA in 2008; a M.Sc. degree in statistics from the University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA in 2013; and a Ph.D. degree in biochemistry from the University of Missouri in 2013. He has been a Post-Doctoral Fellow with the Department of Physics, University of California at Berkeley, USA, from 2013 to 2018. He is currently an Assistant Professor with the Tsinghua–UC Berkeley Shenzhen Institute, Shenzhen, China. His research interests include optical imaging method development, image processing and bio-imaging.

Dr. Yuhan Dong received B.S. and M.S. degrees in electronic engineering from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, and a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA in 2002, 2005, and 2009 respectively. Since January 2010, he has been with the Tsinghua Shenzhen Graduate School (currently known as the Tsinghua Shenzhen International Graduate School), Tsinghua University, where he is an Associate Professor and Ph.D. advisor. His research interests include wireless communications and networking, machine learning and optimization, artificial intelligence and healthcare. 



How can Art & Design make our meals greener?


We are what we eat.What you choose to put on your plate can shape your identity and have a significant impact on our planet’s environment. We have lost a third of the world’s biodiversity to monocultural farming. Meat farming is the leading cause of land degradation, soil erosion and animal extinctions.

This hack will look into how industrial farming erodes the planet’s carbon sinks; how antibiotics and agrichemicals are killing pollinators and larger species; how livestock farming is taking up more land, using and contaminating more water, and ask tough questions about the food we eat and how we farm it.

Our planet has plenty of food if the land used for farming domestic animals is rehabilitated back to healthy natural ecosystems or used for growing local plant-based foods. If, as experts recommend, we eat less meat, the supply chain will be different. In this case consumers can drive change much more immediately than through other environmental protection efforts.

Art can’t save the world, but art can change the world by changing people. As individuals, we all have a role to play. Compared to climate emissions or the issue of plastics use, there is a very direct link between food supply and what individuals do. Join us, together we will try to figure out how art and design thinking and ingenuity will find greener ways for our eating habits.

Hack Leader

Eric Fan Feng has a Ph.D. in art history, and is Associate Professor of art and deputy chair of Department of painting in Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University in Beijing. Dr. Feng was trained as a visual artist, who has exhibited work across China, and in the U.S. and Japan. Dr. Feng’s work is in several public collections and he has produced a number of public art commissions around China. In 2015, he was awarded the “East Asia Fellowship” by ARIAH (The Association of Research Institutes in Art History). He was a visiting fellow at Archive of American Art, Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. and Visiting scholar at American Academy at Rome in 2017. In 2020, he taught 2 online courses at University at Buffalo, SUNY, one art history, one studio painting.