Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is Smart Seeds?
  2. Who runs Smart Seeds?
  3. What is the program format?
  4. What is the timeline?
  5. Who is involved and how?
  6. How are the challenge topics developed?
  7. Who is invited to participate?
  8. What are the benefits for my organisation and people?
  9. How much does it cost?
  10. What is the time commitment for participants?
  11. What support will participants receive?
  12. What will participants produce?
  13. What happens if a solution could be implemented?
  14. Who should I contact for more information?

1. What is Smart Seeds?

Smart Seeds is a global innovation program focused on generating fresh ideas to tackle complex industry challenges.

The program has three key focus areas:

Professional development of young professionals and growing leaders

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

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.

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2. 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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3. What is the program format?

There are four key events over the course of the 10-week program.

Launch Workshop

At the Launch Workshop, participants form teams around challenges presented by industry leaders. Teams are also introduced to an industry mentor who will offer guidance and support throughout the program.

During the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to become familiar with the ideas framework and techniques to facilitate innovation.

Following the Launch Workshop, teams work independently to research the challenge and generate ideas.

Mid-point Workshop

Participants come together with their mentors to converge on one idea to pitch to industry.

Pitch Workshop

Participants learn pitching and presentation skills to effectively communicate their innovative concept to senior industry leaders.

Showcase Event

At this exclusive event, each team will pitch their concept to a judging panel, as well as an audience of senior industry leaders. The Showcase Event celebrates the innovative concepts developed by the teams, and inspires senior staff with fresh ideas and perspectives.

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4. What is the timeline?

The program takes place globally over approximately 10 weeks between March and May.

5. Who is involved and how?Back to Top

Program Coordinators Coordination of registrations from participating organisations

Preparation of learning and development materials

Provision of tools and platforms for idea development and delivery

Coordination and facilitation of events

Team and participant support

Recognition of participants, their ideas and their organisations

Participants Young professionals from Participating Organisations with diverse skills and backgrounds, who are motivated by new thinking, people and opportunities.

The time commitment is approximately 1 to 4 hours per week for 10 weeks.

Participating Organisation An organisation with at least one young professional registered to participate in Smart Seeds.

Other optional involvement includes putting forward a Challenge and/or Mentor.

Participating organisations are invited to nominate young professionals, challenge authors and mentors for the program.

Primary Contact from Participating Organisation The main point of contact to coordinate a participating organisation’s involvement in Smart Seeds.

Some coordination support is required to nominate participants and organise invitees for the Showcase Event.

Challenge Authors The industry leaders who identify, articulate and pitch the challenges to participants.

The time commitment is approximately 5 hours.

Mentors Growing or senior leaders who provides professional and creative guidance to a team throughout the program.

Mentoring skills, enthusiasm as well as an appreciation for the creative process are required

The time commitment is approximately 10 hours.

Judges A panel of senior industry leaders from a variety of organisations and disciplines will decide the Judge’s Choice Award at the Showcase event.
Sponsors Sponsors are organisations that provide either financial or in-kind contributions to support the delivery and growth of Smart Seeds.

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6. How are the challenge topics developed?

Participating organisations are invited to put forward challenges. A challenge is a specific industry challenge (or opportunity) that requires cross-sector, interdisciplinary collaboration. Typically challenges have no clear or apparently viable solution. Each challenge will be articulated in one page using a template provided. Each team selects one challenge to focus on over 10 weeks.

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7. Who is invited to participate?

Smart Seeds encourages Expressions of Interest from a wide range of both public and private organisations from a variety of industry sectors.

Limited places are available for participation and registrations are managed to bring together a diverse and exciting make up of organisations and disciplines.

Program sponsors are given first preference to participate.

Organisations can express their interest here.

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8. What are the benefits for my organisation and people?

Benefits for participating include:

  • Professional development for young professionals and growing leaders, focusing on collaboration and innovation
  • Attraction and retention of the best young professionals
  • Fresh ideas for real industry challenges
  • Expanded networks for young professionals as well as growing and senior leaders
  • Opportunity to demonstrate your organisation’s commitment to industry leadership, collaboration, learning and development and innovation

9. How much does it cost?Back to Top

The participant registration fee is set by each city location.

Contact us more information.

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10. What is the time commitment for participants?

The time commitment for participants is approximately 4 – 6 hours per week across the 10-week program. Participants are expected to attend all workshops and the Showcase Event.
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11. What support will participants receive?

The team mentors will be the first port of call during idea development.

The Primary Contact will provide support to participants in terms of time management and participation in the program.

Smart Seeds Coordinators will also provide support, deliver learning and development and set expectations.

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12. What will the participants produce?

Participants will deliver a short 8-minute group presentation to pitch their idea at the Showcase Event. The delivery format and content of the presentation will be open, and creativity in delivery will be encouraged. Further information is provided at the Launch Workshop. Participants are also required to produce an A3 idea snapshot poster for the event. These posters will be published on the Smart Seeds website.

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13. What happens if a solution could be implemented?

Smart Seeds has developed frameworks, tools and platforms to enable collaboration, develop ideas and deliver innovations globally. Visit the Greenhouse for more information.

The following is included in the Smart Seeds terms and conditions:

GHD grants all participating organisations a royalty free licence to the Intellectual Property (IP) generated from the program to further progress ideas.

Should any one or more participating organisations wish to pursue commercialisation, it will be at their own commercial, technical and management undertaking.

GHD requests that ongoing recognition be provided to the original members and mentors of the idea team and of the Smart Seeds program.

Any underlying IP provided by the participating organisations remains theirs and GHD owns all IP generated from the program.

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14. Who should I contact for more information?

Contact us for further information about Smart Seeds.