UN metaverse Think-a-Thon 2024

Shape the future of our cities and communities alongside fellow students and academics! The metaverse Think-a-Thon 2024 invites you to seize this unique opportunity to embark on a journey of innovation, where virtual worlds revolutionize the landscape of society and shape the way we meet, live, work and play. 

As we usher in a new era of boundless possibilities, where virtual worlds converge with reality to shape the future of our cities and communities, now is your chance to dive into the immersive realm of virtual worlds. Collaborate with students from diverse academic backgrounds and universities worldwide, co-ordinated by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations International Computing Centre (UNICC), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The metaverse Think-a-Thon 2024 challenges you to push the boundaries of creativity and innovation, designing virtual simulations that transcend traditional brainstorming methods. Your solutions will not only address critical global challenges through the lens of the metaverse but also showcase a strong commitment to leveraging technology for sustainability.

Exciting prizes await the most innovative and impactful solutions! The winning team will receive recognition for their creativity and ingenuity, along with a cash prize. 

Join us in shaping a brighter future where the metaverse becomes a catalyst for positive change in our cities and communities.

All the resources, training, and support you need to run your dream online business! Whether you’re just getting started or a seasoned business owner, we have tools and resources to help you take your business to the next level.

Contact us at virtualworlds@itu.int.

Webinar on UN metaverse Think-a-thon: Project Showcase & Competition
(11:00–15:00 CEST, 8 May 2024)

Embark on an exhilarating journey into the heart of innovation with the UN Metaverse Think-a-thon Project Showcase & Competition!

Find more here.

The list of shortlisted teams is available here.

The list of 10 pre-selected teams is available here.

The list of top 3 teams is available here.

The final ranking of these top 3 teams will be officially revealed during the UN Virtual Worlds Day, scheduled to take place on 14 June 2024, in Geneva. More information is available here.

As defined by the ITU Focus Group on metaverse, the metaverse is  “an integrative ecosystem of virtual worlds offering immersive experiences to users, that modify pre-existing and create new value from economic, environmental, social and cultural perspectives.” The metaverse is a collective virtual shared space, created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical reality, including augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and the internet.

The metaverse is no longer fictional; it’s a ground for innovation, collaboration and action. As we navigate the intricate pathways of this digital universe, we aim to unlock its full potential in addressing pressing global challenges and advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The metaverse Think-a-Thon 2024 aims to harness the potential of virtual technologies and innovative approaches to generate actionable insights, propose practical solutions, and foster a collective vision for creating smarter, more sustainable cities and communities.

This year’s metaverse Think-a-Thon theme is on Virtual Worlds Revolutionizing Smart Sustainable Cities & Communities

  1. Explore the intersection of virtual technologies and sustainable development to catalyze innovative solutions for smart cities and communities.
  2. Foster interdisciplinary collaboration and knowledge exchange among experts and innovators in the fields of technology, sustainability, urban food systems and food security, urban planning, engineering and more.
  3. Co-create actionable strategies and initiatives to harness the metaverse’s capabilities in addressing critical challenges, from education and disaster preparedness to sustainability and beyond.

Virtual Education Platforms

Creating immersive virtual learning environments to improve access to education for underserved communities, promoting lifelong learning opportunities.

  • SDG 4: Quality Education

Disaster Preparedness and Response

Propose virtual simulations and training environments to train emergency responders and communities for natural and man-made disaster preparedness and response

  • SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13: Climate Action

Urban Conflict Resolution Simulations

Conduct virtual simulations tailored for urban and city management to facilitate diplomatic negotiations, and resolve conflicts between cities, communities, stakeholders and urban planners. These simulations aim to enhance conflict analysis, and peacebuilding strategies for urban areas.

  • SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

The metaverse Think-a-Thon 2024 presents an exciting platform for collaboration and innovation, welcoming students (current or recent graduates) from diverse academic backgrounds and accredited Universities worldwide to join forces in shaping the future of our cities and communities. They will collaborate, brainstorm, design, and prototype solutions addressing the proposed sub-topics.

Participation is open to:

  • Students, whether currently enrolled or recent graduates, of a graduate level are encouraged to participate either individually or in teams.
  • Teams should comprise of a minimum of 3 individuals and a maximum of 5. Individuals can be involved in more than one team. Teams can be involved in more than one subtopic and teams are invited to join the teams as coaches.
  • And is free of charge.

The participating individual or team are expected to present their proposal in any of the formats they find more relevant. Each proposal will contain clear action plans outlining concrete steps for implementing the ideas, solutions or initiatives with clear goals and outputs.

  • Research Papers or Reports: produce academic papers or reports summarizing their findings, insights, and recommendations.
  • Policy Recommendations: formulate policy recommendations aimed at policymakers, urban planners, or technology developers to promote the adoption of sustainable practices and technologies in cities and communities.
  • Educational Materials: educational materials, such as infographics, videos, or online courses, to raise awareness about sustainability issues and solutions among broader audiences.
  • Community Engagement Initiatives: propose community engagement initiatives or campaigns to involve local communities in sustainable urban development efforts.

Exciting prizes await the most innovative and impactful solutions! The winning individual or team will receive recognition for their creativity and ingenuity and also receive a cash prize. 

  • CHF 10,000 (first winner)
  • CHF 5,000 (second winner)
  • CHF 3,000 (third winner)
  • Registration opens: 5 March 2024
  • Registration closes: 29 March 2024
  • Think-a-thon proposal deadline: 29 March 2024
  • Announcement of shortlisted teams: 5 April 2024
  • Sessions with mentors: 8-19 April 2024
  • Final Submission: 19 April 2024
  • Announcement of the 10 pre-selected teams: 30 April 2024
  • 10 pre-selected teams will present their projects during a webinar: 8 May 2024
  • Announcement of the top 3 projects: 8 May 2024
  • Winner announcement and award ceremony: 14 June 2024

How to register for the UN Metaverse Think-a-thon:

  1. Create an account or Login here.
  2. Select “UN Metaverse Think-a-Thon 2024 – Virtual Worlds Revolutionizing Smart Sustainable Cities & Communities” as your problem statement to work on.
  3. Create a team under the chosen problem statement (UN Metaverse Think-a-Thon 2024).
  4. After its creation, admin will review and approve the team, confirming your successful registration for the UN Metaverse Think-a-Thon.
  5. Team members can then request to join the team, and it is the team leader’s role to approve these requests to join the team.

Evaluation criteria 1:


1. Assess the creativity and originality of solutions presented, focusing on the design of virtual simulations, enhancing the brainstorming process beyond traditional methods.

2. Evaluate the extent to which participants push the boundaries within the metaverse to address challenges and propose solutions.

Evaluation criteria 2:

Relevance to the Sustainable Development Goals

3. Examine the alignment of proposed solutions with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, emphasizing the incorporation of the metaverse to tackle critical global challenges.

4. Consider how effectively the solutions leverage technology to promote sustainability and social impact within urban and rural communities.

Evaluation criteria 3:

Scalability and Sustainability

5. Analyze the scalability and sustainability of proposed projects, looking for a clear framework outlining how solutions will be expanded and maintained beyond the event.

6. Evaluate the feasibility of partnerships, funding models, policies, and integration strategies to ensure long-term impact and continuity.

Evaluation criteria 4:


7. Assess the potential impact of proposed solutions on communities, economies and the environment, considering both short-term and longer-term effects.

8. Look for evidence of tangible benefits and measurable outcomes that demonstrate the transformative power of the metaverse in addressing societal challenges.

Evaluation criteria 5:

Implementation Feasibility

9. Evaluate the technical execution of proposed solutions, focusing on the feasibility of implementing virtual environments within the metaverse. Evaluate the replicability, impact and relevance to real communities.

10. Consider factors such as accessibility, infrastructure and platform requirements, that will facilitate the implementation of the project.