For a New Circular Economy
Competition Rules

Call for Entries

The Cumulus International Association of Universities and Colleges in Art, Design and Media is pleased to announce the international student competition CUMULUS GREEN 2020: For a New Circular Economy.

Building on the legacy of the Cumulus Green Award and the Kyoto Design Declaration, Cumulus invites member institutions to address the interdependent challenges presented by The United Nations Sustainable Goals (SDGs) with a specific focus on SDG #12, Responsible Production and Consumption. The topic of SDG #12 is closely linked to the concept of a circular economy.

A circular economy is one that is restorative and regenerative by design. The Cumulus global community is uniquely positioned to make a circular economy a reality through the talent, diversity and creativity of its student body. Cumulus invites the participation of students from its member institutions to put forward submissions that demonstrate the power of design and creative solutions to help humankind transition to a circular economy, one that ensures sustainable consumption and production patterns, and does “more and better with less.”

Why SDG #12 and the Circular Economy?

We know that design is integral in the shift to the circular economy. We have a great imperative to rethink the design of products, services and systems that contribute less waste, can be regenerative and add value to our planet’s ecosystem. The objective of CUMULUS GREEN 2020: For a New Circular Economy is to recognize, showcase and promote the best design ideas and projects that embody the principles and aims of SDG #12 through the Cumulus educational global network.

With this call, Cumulus encourages all its members to:

  1. Accept the invitation, register, and start developing submission ideas!
  2. Promote the competition in your institution to allow for the integration of the competition’s objectives in curricular and extra-curricular programming throughout the 2019 academic year.

How to Participate


CUMULUS GREEN 2020: For a New Circular Economy is a multidisciplinary competition administered by the Cumulus Secretariat for design ideas and projects that address the goals and principles of SDG #12 for sustainable production and consumption and embody circular economy aims.

Entries that provide reflective insights about their envisioned and/or realized impact and the strategic and business dimensions of their designs related to SDG#12 and the circular economy are particularly encouraged.

The three submission categories are:


  1. Services
  2. Design systems

Competition Entries may:

  1. Either strictly fall within one of the three (3) submission categories or
  2. Be inclusive of more than one of the three categories specified


Entries will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. Desirable, viable and feasible design(s)
  2. Evidence of a rigorous research process informing the design solution proposed
  3. Innovative/novel solutions



Student participation in the competition is through their home institution that must be a Cumulus member.

The Cumulus member institution must have their membership in good standing to be eligible for participation as the Cumulus Secretariat may advice.

The competition is open to students from Cumulus member institutions in all disciplines in art, design and media who are pursuing either a Bachelor level or Master level program. Students that are currently enrolled in Cumulus member institutions or students who have graduated in 2018-2019 and/or are graduating in 2019–2020 academic years are eligible to participate.

There is not a limited number of submissions per institution, and there is no cost to submit. Submissions can consist of curricular and non-curricular projects and may include ideas developed as part of an academic assignment or course, or a project sponsored or developed with an external partner (i.e. private company, non-profit organization, community organization).

Students may enter as individuals or as part of a multidisciplinary team (there is no limit to the size of the team). Entries must be comprised of work that is original; individuals and/or teams must hold the Intellectual Property for their submissions and have the right or authority to enter and publish the work entered. Submission entries may include work conceived at a date prior to the Cumulus Green 2020 competition. If so, this must be clearly stated in the submission.

Students who participate in the Cumulus Green 2020 competition via their institutions agree to follow all guidelines stipulated by the competition
. Please refer to the section on Terms of Participation: Rules & Regulations for Eligibility for further information.

Mentorship and Collaboration with external institutions and/or organizations

Student(s) and teams are encouraged to seek academic and professional mentorship/advisement. Submissions may include student members from non-Cumulus organizations (i.e. exchange students) However, at least one (1) student or one (1) recent graduate from Cumulus member institutions must be the lead entrant.


A multidisciplinary panel of international experts convened by the Cumulus Secretariat from Cumulus members and external organizations will be selecting the winning entries. The jury will reserve the right to decide on the number of honorable mentions that may be granted to deserving entries. Winning entrants and honorary mentions will be notified at the latest by 15 April 2020; winners will keep the information confidential until the public announcement in the Cumulus Rome Conference Awards Ceremony for the competition in June 2020.


Award ceremony

Prizes and certificates will be awarded to the selected student(s) and presented during the competition’s award ceremony in conjunction with the Cumulus Conference Roma 2020: Design Culture(s) on 16-19 June 2020. At least one student representative (if team submission) of each winning category is expected to participate in the awards ceremony and will need to attend the exhibition and Cumulus conference. Academic mentors, external team partners and honorable mention awardees will also be invited to attend the award ceremony and this Cumulus conference.

Winning submissions (either individual or team-based) will be recognized with a monetary prize and a certificate; honorable mentions will be recognized with a certificate. Conference.

Prize Categories

1st Prize
5000 € + travel grant/conference admission + certificate

2nd Prize
3000 € + travel grant/conference admission + certificate

3rd Prize
2000 € + travel grant/conference admission + certificate

Honorable mentions


The winning submissions are exhibited in Rome, Italy during the Cumulus Conference Roma 2020 on 16-19 June 2020.Detailed guidelines for the exhibition will be communicated to winners and recipients of honorable mentions

There is a possibility (to be determined after the jury’s deliberations) that the exhibition may include the opportunity to display 3-D physical prototypes of winning and honorable entries. If the Cumulus Secretariat decides to invite physical prototypes for display in the exhibition, the necessary logistics information and shipping costs of the prototypes from the home institution to the exhibition venue in Rome will be covered by Cumulus. The winning entries including any honorable mentions exhibited during the Cumulus Roma 2020 conference may receive requests for display in additional venues by Cumulus or in collaboration with a Cumulus partner; In that case, students will be notified to enter their submissions and that exhibition details will be communicated.


Travel grant and conference registration waivers to Cumulus Roma 2020

Cumulus Green 2020 student recipients of 1st, 2nd and 3rd winning categories will receive the following support from Cumulus for their participation:

  1. Travel grant (500 €)
    Up to three (3) students per winning team of 1st, 2nd and 3rd categories will qualify for a grant (stipend) of 500 € that is intended to cover partial travel costs to the conference.This stipend is non-transferrable and can only be applied towards costs of travel and accommodation in conjunction with attending the Cumulus Roma 2020 conference.
  2. Conference registration waivers Cumulus Roma 2020
    Up to three (3) students if a winning team of 1st, 2nd and 3rd categories will receive free admission to the conference.
  3. Travel Logistics and Rules

Please refer to the section Terms of Participation: Travel Grant Rules and Regulations for further information.

*Note: Cumulus member institutions and/or external partners participating in the competition are invited to further support travel expenses for their winning student(s) by complementing the stipend as offered by Cumulus for example; For students of winning teams that larger than three (3) persons, they may also wish to offer additional travel funding.


Cumulus member institutions participating in the competition understand it requires a process that must be managed. Cumulus member institutions who wish to participate in Cumulus Green 2020 must designate one contact person to coordinate as the competition contact person for the process and be as the main communication contact with the Cumulus Secretariat.

Member institutions are invited to submit as many entries per institution that they deem competitive within the guidelines and objectives of the competition. Pre-selection by the Cumulus member institution is encouraged. All submissions require to have been uploaded by the students with a numeric code. The students receive the numeric code from the registered competition contact person to the competition of the home Cumulus member institution. Submission(s) are at no cost.

The process includes:

  1. Registration of Cumulus Member institution via the competition registration link by 30 September 2020:
  2. Submission of student entries via the competition website at

Note: Cumulus will verify the registrations received and reserves the right to request additional information from the Cumulus member institution and submission entries with its competition contact person.


Participation in the competition requires that students are registered by their home Cumulus institution. All entries must be in English. Entries or files that do not meet the submission entry form criteria and/or do not comply with the competition terms of participation will not be conveyed to the jury. Entrants retain ownership of all ideas and materials/images presented.

Submission Entry Form

1. Project Name:

2. Project Short Description (in no more than 140 characters)

  1. Submission Category

[Note: Fill only the option that applies to your submission]

3.1 Products
3.2 Services
3.3 Design systems

4. Contact Information about you and/or your team
[Note: Fill only the option that applies to your submission]

4.1 Individual Submission:

First Name
Last Name
Mobile Phone


4.2 Team Submission (follow the format below for each team member):

Lead Applicant First Name
Lead Applicant Last Name
Lead Applicant E-mail
Lead Applicant Mobile Phone
Team Member (1) First Name
Team Member (1) Last Name
Team Member (1) E-mail
Team Member (1) Mobile Phone

5. Information about your Institution

CUMULUS Member Institution Name:
Division / Department/ Degree Name:

6. Information about your Faculty/Course Advisor (s).

[Note: if applicable, please list name(s) or your advisor (s)]

Faculty Advisor(s)
First Name:
Last Name:

7. Client/Partner name:

Note: If applicable, please list participating companies and/ or organizations/communities in your project.

7.1 Public organization:
7.2 Private company:
7.3 NGO:
7.4 Other:

8. Overview about your project (500 words or less): Please give the jury a brief idea about your entry. Questions you may consider to include: What opportunity was the project addressing? Who were you designing for? What was your research process? What was the intended impact?

9. Project Images (at least one (1) and maximum of five (5)): Upload images that best illustrate your project and, if possible, the process and intended impact of your work. Project Images must be either JPEG, GIF or PNG formats. The maximum image dimension is 3000 pixels tall or wide and the maximum individual file size is 15MB.

9.1 Image Name Clearly name your images as follows. See format examples below:


9.2 Image Caption: Write a short description for each image in no more than 140 characters

ProjectName Caption 01
ProjectName Caption 02

10. Project Video: Tell us the story behind your project in no more than 140 characters; How you approach, it is up to you!

Length: 2 minutes or less
Max file size:  200M
Video ratio: 16:9
Resolution: FullHD 1920×1080
Format: mp4

Note: Do not include any copyrighted music in your material.

11. Project Social Media (optional)

Project Website:
Project Instagram:
Project Facebook:
Project Twitter:



Competition Call
First information opened in February 2019

Member Institutions to notify Cumulus Secretariat of Intention to participate by 30 September 2019


Orientation Workshop 2019
Cumulus Rovaniemi Conference 29–31 May 2019 +
(29 May 2020): Cumulus New Member Fair and Sustainability Working Group)

Jury Announcement
September 2019

Portal Opens September 2019 – Closes January 31, 2020

Jury Deliberation
March 2020

Notification to Winners
By 15 April 2020

Award Ceremony and Exhibition
16-19 June 2020, Cumulus Conference Roma 2020


Please address any questions directly to the Cumulus Secretariat at

For future announcements and resources related to the competition, follow the Cumulus website:
FB: @CumulusAsso
Twitter: @CumulusGreenX
Cumulus e-News

Context and Supplementary Resources

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and SDG #12

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, are the set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs] adopted in 2015 by the UN’s assembly of nation states, to meet the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The SDGs build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) established in 2000. Considered a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all, the SDGs address the interconnected global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. More information about the UN SDGs:

While the SDGs provide a critical underpinning framework for the competition, the focus of this edition of CUMULUS Green is SDG #12:

The Circular Economy

Use UN SDG 12 reference as above. Other sources e.g.

About Cumulus and Cumulus Green

Cumulus is the only global association representing art, design and media education and research worldwide. The Kyoto Design Declaration signed in March 2008 is a statement of commitment, by the members of Cumulus sharing the global responsibility for building sustainable, human-centered, creative societies. This agenda has been foundational to Cumulus since its inception in 1990. Cumulus Green is an international design award of Cumulus focused on cultivating and leading global cultures, societies and industries towards more ecological and responsible solutions as a direct consequence of Kyoto Design Declaration. The establishment of the Cumulus Green award was a commitment of all member institutions towards global responsibility, human-centered design methods and solutions, improving quality of life, creating optimism for the future and improving economic, social and cultural benefits for all people around the world.
It was active for the first time in 2009 as a student competition and has been going on since then.

Terms of Participation: Rules & Regulations for Eligibility

Notification to Winners and Confidentiality

The winners of the competition are the student (s) of the Cumulus member institution that submitted the project. The winners and their home Cumulus member institutions will be notified by email by 15 April 2020 of their prize category award and/or honorable mentions. The winner(s) will need to confirm the acceptance of the award and those student(s) involved in the winning projects. Failing such confirmation within a period of 7 days from Cumulus making contact, the entrant(s) selected will be considered to have simply relinquished the prize and it may be awarded to another entrant with no reward for those deemed to have relinquished it. The public announcement will take place during Cumulus Conference Roma 2020: Design Culture(s) at Sapienza University of Rome, June 16–19, 2020, until that time the information about winners will be kept confidential between the winner(s) and Cumulus.

Award ceremony

The award ceremony is part of the official program of the Cumulus conference at the University of Sapienza in Rome Italy during June 16-19, 2020. At least one student representative (in case of team submissions) of each winning category (1st, 2nd, 3rd prize) must participate in the award ceremony and attend the exhibition and conference. Academic mentors, external partners and honorable mention awardees are also welcomed to attend at their own cost. Winners will be expected to comply as much as possible with any press request and promotional outreach in connection with the award.

Travel Grant Guidelines

Winners will be expected to manage themselves the logistics of their trip organization. Coordination arrangements will include obtaining travel insurance coverage and travel cancellation insurance for the whole duration of their participation in Cumulus Conference Roma 2020: Design Culture(s) at Sapienza University of Rome, June 16–19, 2020.

The travel grant that is given to the winners (for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize categories) is intended to only partially cover expenses that will be incurred when participating in the conference. The travel grant can be applied to cover transportation (air, train) or/and accommodation/housing during the conference, travel insurance and if needed, a visa. Winners are encouraged to apply for additional travel support from the home university or any other source available to them. Winners are responsible for any taxes that may be associated with their prize award and travel grant, if any. Costs not related to the conference participation, such as any other travel than the route between home institution and conference venue, free-time activities, travel equipment, etc. are not covered nor organized by Cumulus.

Winners waive any and all claims of liability against Cumulus, its employees and representatives, for any personal injury or loss which may occur from the conduct of, or participation in, the program, or from the use of the travel grant. No responsibility is assumed by Cumulus for any injury and/or damage to other persons, property as a matter of liability, negligence, or otherwise recognized reason caused by the participating student or the Cumulus member institutions or any third party participating in the program.

Remittance Travel Grant and Monetary Award

  1. Cumulus will issue the travel grant student winners in the form of a bank reimbursement. The travel grant recipients are responsible for the delivery of receipts and proofs of payment to Cumulus as requested and within the deadline that will be indicated by the Cumulus Secretariat. Reimbursement is only paid against proofs of real costs and not applicable in case of cancelled travels or no show to the conference. The winners are expected to attend events on all conference days and the exhibition and award ceremony to qualify for the reimbursement.
  1. Cumulus will issue the monetary prize award (for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize categories) to the winner (s) by name(s). The award is non- transferable. In the case of a student team winning, the monetary award is transmitted to the lead submission entrant. He/she will be responsible for any further transactions to disseminate the award to other team members. The award may not be altered, exchanged or reimbursed. The value of the award is determined at the time of writing these rules and it may not be disputed in any way with regard to its valuation or amount. The award may not be the subject of any request for financial compensation not provided for, any exchange or any return for any reason whatsoever.
  1. In the scenario that there is a supplementary monetary award or travel grant made available to student winners by another party or sponsor, the Cumulus Secretariat may connect with the winner(s) to coordinate the process of the remittance with this other sponsor. Cumulus assumes no claims or responsibility for another party/or sponsor grant.

Terms and Conditions

Consent to Cumulus: License to Communicate to the Public

The guarantee provided below concerns granting a license to use intellectual property rights of submission in accordance with the competition rules and granting this license to use the submission is a prerequisite for entering this competition.
By submitting a submission to the competition, the entrant states that it has obtained the authorization for communication to the public and reproduction from all students involved in the submission. The entrant has the rights and responsibility of the use of material in the submission. Entrants acknowledge and guarantee to Cumulus that they are not bound by any exclusivity agreement for the reproduction of use of their picture and are free to grant the Cumulus this authorization. Entrants understand and accept that this authorization does not carry any obligation for Cumulus to use their visual material. License to use the submission includes the right to exhibit or promote the submission and to communicate all or part of the submission and its media for communications in any way and on any media whatsoever, including, but not limited to, press articles (in any interviews, news, newspapers, magazines, bloggers etc.), during trade exhibitions or fairs, on the internet, in particular on Cumulus website and Cumulus members, partners and sponsors, social media, by any communication, with no limit on number, worldwide and for the entire duration of the competition and for unlimited time after the competition.

To this end, each entrant authorizes Cumulus in any way and on any media whatsoever including Cumulus partners and members at the time of the submission, at no charge, as well as appropriate to show all of the submissions on any communication media as well as the first names, surnames and pictures of the entrants and the member university in Cumulus, any other attribute of their personality, together or separately, and, in general, anything that concerns them, being established and reproduced and used, free of charge, for the purposes of the public dissemination of any communication related to this competition. In addition, this authorization includes the possibility for Cumulus to attach to the photograph or video reproducing all or part of the project, any other visual, whether or not animated, deemed useful and to make any changes to the initial medium deemed necessary given the technical or other requirements. This authorization is granted worldwide and is valid for the duration of the competition and unlimited time thereafter. This license does not affect the ownership of intellectual property and the entrants are free to use the submissions commercially and to license the use of submissions commercially, or to sell the rights to submissions, however, the rights to communicate to the public will remain in accordance with these rules.

Guarantees and Liability of the Content

By entering the competition, the entrant represents and warrants to Cumulus the following:

  1. All entrants acknowledge being the designer or co-designer (s) of the projects submitted and undertake to observe the regulations related to copyright and image rights.
  2. The submission to the competition is original and it alone holds the intellectual property and exploitation rights attached to the work. The project does not include any reproduction or adaptation of all or part of one or more intellectual works belonging to a third party and, in general, is not likely to infringe the right of any third party, in particular by way of copyright, the rights conferred by trademarks or any other intellectual property rights and/or intangible rights such as personality rights.
  3. Entrants have the right to participate with the same project submission in other competitions but are solely responsible to determine that there are no violations between the rules and terms of each competition they choose to enter.
  4. The submission digital format does not contain any virus, Trojan horse or other destructive or harmful content.
  5. The submission has no defamatory, abusive, obscene, offensive, political, racist, xenophobic or violent nature or nature that encourages violence, and does not infringe the privacy of any third parties which will automatically result in exclusion from the competition.
  6. The submission does not breach public policy or accepted moral standards as defined by law and case law in Finland and in the entrant’s country of origin; the project and its use as described do not violate a law or regulation applicable in Finland or in the entrant’s country of origin.
  7. The submission and constituent elements comply with the moderating conditions described above and, in general, that the entrant shall indemnify Cumulus and hold it harmless against any problem, recourse, claim, action or proceedings that may occur. Entrants will be responsible to cover the costs of negotiation, counsel and/or litigation incurred or made necessary vis-à-vis any third party, without the Cumulus being held liable in any way.
    Cumulus reserves the right to ask for documentary evidence for each of the statements made by the entrant when submitting and sending the project.
  8. Personal Data

    The personal data provided by the entrants is necessary to manage their entry in the competition and is reserved for Cumulus and its members, partners or sponsors. It is used for purposes of the entry in the competition and the internal and public communications related to the submission. It will not be transferred automatically to any 4th parties (others than Cumulus or its members, partners or sponsors or equivalent), unless authorization is obtained from entrant) in this respect beforehand. The postal, telephone or electronic address details provided by entrants (students and the person as pre-registered competition contact) as part of the competition will be used to contact them. Entrants have a right to access, question and object and a right of rectification or erasure that they may exercise with Cumulus.


    Entrants must state that they are aware of the fact that all the information and all the documents concerning or issued by Cumulus, or its partners and sponsors for the competition, are communicated directly or indirectly to them, by any person involved in the organization of this competition by Cumulus or its members, partners and/or sponsors, is information drawn up, received or retained, directly or indirectly by Cumulus in particular in its information systems. Entrants undertake not to dispute the admissibility, validity or evidential value of information of a digital or electronic nature or medium.

    Interpretation of these Rules

    Any problem related to the interpretation or application of the terms associated with this call and its rules will be settled by Cumulus.


    Under no circumstances may Cumulus be held liable in the event of poor functioning of the internet or the exhibition, loss of email or communication by any other delivery channel, or any other computer problem, or any force majeure. In particular, Cumulus may not be held liable for material damage or intangible loss caused to the entrants, their computer equipment or data that is stored, or their direct or indirect consequences. All entrants shall take appropriate measures so as to protect their own data and/or software or files stored on their computer equipment against any threat.

    It is expressly stipulated that this competition may be cancelled, changed or suspended without the entrants being able to hold Cumulus liable, in the event of faults with computer systems or external intervention or intrusion making it impossible to run the competition or exhibiting smoothly. It is also stated that Cumulus may not be held liable for damages of any kind, resulting from an event of force majeure or any other event considered by Cumulus as making it impossible to run this competition. Cumulus is not held liable for any damage caused in exhibiting the competition projects anywhere. At the time of an exhibition, whether electronic or any 2- or 3-D work, the entrant is responsible for any loss.

    Acceptance and Filing of the Rules

    Entering the competition constitutes full and unconditional acceptance of the entirety of these rules, and the two appendices pre-registration and submission. In case of any difference between the version of the rules filed with the enforcement agent and the rules accessible online, only the version filed with the aforementioned enforcement agent will prevail.

    Cumulus reserves the right to amend the clauses of these rules, in particular the competition rules and the winnings awarded, mainly in order to take into account changes in legal, regulatory or administrative provisions or judicial decisions. Each amendment will be the subject of an additional clause to these rules that will be notified together with the rules to any pre-registered Cumulus member institutions and the students among those who may request them.

    In addition to being published in the Cumulus and competition websites, a copy of these rules can be requested from the Cumulus Secretariat by contacting Any request that is incomplete, illegible or sent to another address than that noted above or after the end of the competition will be considered as invalid.

    Elimination Entry/Disqualification

    The entrants not selected will be informed by email to the address given in the project submission file sent/institutional competition coordinator. The judging panel’s decision is irreversible and may not be challenged. The judging panel does not need to give reasons for or justify its choice. No claim may be made concerning the decisions of the judging panel that will judge at its sole discretion, with no possible appeal or request for an explanation of any kind whatsoever, or challenge for any reason whatsoever. Please also see, as above, the item Guarantees and Liability of the Content.

    With reference to the provisions of law of Finland as the host country of Cumulus International Association of Universities and Colleges in Art, Design and Media, entrants who have developed or used software to automatically enter the competition will be excluded from it and a complaint may be lodged by Cumulus for attempted fraud.

    Furthermore, Cumulus reserves the right to permanently exclude from the competition any entrant that has given a false identity or address, that has attempted to cheat, in particular by creating false identities making it possible to register several times, and in general any entrant that has breached one or more provisions of these rules. The exclusion of an entrant will lead to the forfeiture of all its rights under these rules and in particular those related to obtaining competition awards. Cumulus may return these awards to the competition. In addition, as appropriate, Cumulus reserves the right to bring legal proceedings against any entrant breaching one or more provisions of these rules.

    Claims and jurisdiction

    To be taken into consideration, claims related to the competition must be made in writing with the first name, surname and personal details of the person making the claim and sent to: Cumulus International Association of Universities and Colleges in Art, Design and Media at Aalto University PO BOX 31000, 00076 Aalto, Finland no later than twenty (20) days after the deadline for the submission in the competition. In the event of disagreement over the application or interpretation of these rules and failing an amicable agreement, any disputes will be referred to the competent court within the jurisdiction of the Helsinki Court in Finland and will be judged by application of the applicable Finnish rules of law.

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