Smart Seeds is a global innovation program for young talent focused on complex infrastructure challenges.

The program has three key focus areas:

Capacity building of young talent and growing leaders

Participants and mentors develop professional skills and networks to open up new possibilities for their careers and organisations.

Smart Seeds delivers on six learning experiences: Working Collaboratively | Innovation Fundamentals | Challenge Refinement | Ideation | Pitching Ideas | Influencing Change

Interdisciplinary collaboration to inspire new thinking

The program brings together organisations from different sectors and professionals with diverse skills and experience.

Delivery of innovations through industry leadership

Smart Seeds supports the generation, selection, development and implementation through its frameworks, platforms, tools and networks.

Who gets involved

How it works

Challenges are set by industry leaders across water, transport, urban planning and design, building and property, environment, resources, agriculture, energy and more.

Creative concepts are developed by multiple teams, each made up of talented young people from different organisations, and presented to industry leaders at an exclusive Showcase Event.

Smart Seeds has a variety of formats to engage young talent in different locations and contexts, which include Pace, Bootcamp and School Challenge. The program journey outlined below is consistent for all formats.

Smart Seeds Challenge Identification
Challenge Setting

Challenge authors put forward challenges related to infrastructure at the Challenge Workshop.


Smart Seeds

Idea Development

At the program kickoff, participants from different organisations form multidisciplinary teams to tackle set challenges. Over a number of weeks, teams develop ideas, select the best, and develop a refined pitch. During the process, teams are mentored by experienced mentors in innovation and entrepreneurship.


Smart Seeds


The program culminates with teams pitching their ideas to a judging panel of executive industry leaders at the exclusive Showcase Event. The Showcase Event is attended by participating organisations and peers.



Following the Showcase Event, teams are supported by industry leaders to present the ideas to their organisation or project team. To enable global collaboration, the entire Smart Seeds Community is invited to join the Greenhouse where ideas are progressed through the innovation pipeline.


Who runs Smart Seeds?

Smart Seeds has grown from an internal innovation initiative run within GHD to become a global innovation program involving a range of public and private organisations in Australia, New Zealand, North America and the UK.

Since 2013, GHD has invited industry partners to help lead the program’s growth into new cities. GHD and partners are motivated to deliver the program for the benefit of young professionals, their organisations and the industries we are involved in to create new opportunities and lasting community outcomes.


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