Kura Kura Bali


Island of Happiness Coastal Design Competition

Propose a new, sustainable approach to seawall design and construction.
Grand Prize Winners Announced
Up to $180,000 value

Challenge Overview

Creating the Island of Happiness

The search for harmony between people and their environment is timeless, but our successes have traditionally come with a negative impact on the environment. Seawalls have been no exception to this legacy, but their function of protection from storms and erosion remains a vital need. That’s why The Island of Happiness is looking to bridge the gap in sustainable seawalls, and that’s where we need original, mold-breaking designs.

There has yet to exist a treatment for the sea edge that is sustainably designed without sacrificing an elegant aesthetic. Your challenge is to propose a new kind of sea edge treatment that can be created first for the Island of Happiness, and eventually become the new standard for sea edge treatments in the rest of Indonesia and possibly other parts of the world.


Prize Summary

Prizes will be awarded to leading innovators in both the ideation and prototype phases. However, the money is just the beginning. Winners of the ideation phase who advance into prototyping will travel to the Island of Happiness to collaborate with Kura Kura Bali and other firms to develop and test their prototype (all expenses paid).

Other prizes may include

  • Recognition at the United Nations Global Initiative Sustainable Development Solutions Network
  • Recognition in the Shanghai Gallery of Art at Three on the Bund
  • Scholarship (subject to meeting admission criteria) to enroll in UID’s flagship leadership development course conducted in collaboration with MIT Sloan School of Management, or other courses at our partners Tsinghua University, Bandung Institute of Technology, Paramadina University and University of Indonesia
  • Potential happiness job in the Island of Happiness, based on availability
  • The opportunity to apply your solution to seawalls in different parts of the Indonesian Archipelago

You’re in Good Company

There are a number of remarkable, accomplished individuals who have recognized the need for breakthroughs in sustainable development and endorsed the UN Sustainable Development Goals Pyramid initiative and we welcome you to join this movement. Included in that group is Unilever CEO Paul Polman, legendary American record producer, Quincy Jones, and former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Christiana Figueres, and many more.

This competition serves a vision that embraces an economically and ecologically sound approach to development, best described by the minds behind Better Business, Better World. Isn’t it about time we prove this can be done and show others what’s possible?


What you can do right now:

  • Click "Accept Challenge" above to register for the challenge and view the submission form.
  • Click on the "Share" button above to share this challenge with your friends, your family, or anyone you know who has a passion for the coastal environment, engineering, or sustainability.
  • Leave a comment in the Forum to join the conversation, ask questions or connect with other innovators.


Want to learn more?

The Island of Happiness seeks to create a model community based on the principles of the Balinese belief in the Three Ways to Happiness: harmony with people, with nature, and with spiritual in all aspects of living. You can learn more about it and how it has been translated into a sustainable design framework by following this link. To this end, both the design and implementation of all projects must enhance and help maintain the natural beauty and culture of the island, and allow for further implementation and/or scale to other locations, worldwide.

If this sounds like the right kind of challenge for your aspirations, click the “Accept Challenge” button on the top of the page to sign up, view the submission form and stay informed on the latest developments and resources for competing! 

Updates 29

Challenge Updates

Grand Prize Winners Announced

Oct. 10, 2018, 9:20 a.m. PDT by Kyla Jeffrey

Kura Kura Bali is pleased to share with the HeroX community the winners of the Coastal Design Challenge Final Prize: Team 1 Adi Neuman (ECOncrete), Hugo Shelley (Iota technologies) and Charly Karamanian (BioInspired Argentina). 

The announcement was made during the welcoming dinner organized as part for the second Tri Hita Karana Forum on 9-11 October 2018.

Congratulations to Team 1 for winning the grand prize US 25,000 and special thanks to Anna Miles (Team 2) for her hard work and commitment. 

The winning solution bridges the gap between development and sustainability by providing a robust coastal defense solution reviving ecology while inviting and connecting local communities to the shoreline. The seawall embraces the water, facilitating public engagement with the marine ecosystem and provides enhanced physical and visual access to the bay. The design represents an environmentally sensitive solution that meets coastal defense needs, while upholding the commitment to sustain and enhance coastal resources.

From left to right: 

Anoushes Ansari, X-PRIZE; Konstantina Rappou, Technical Director Camper & Nicholsons Marinas; Minister for National Development Planning/head of the National Development Planning Board (Bappenas) Bambang Brodjonegoro; Adi Neuman; Hugo Shelley; Charly Karamanian; Cherie Nursalim Vice Chairman GITI; Elena Crete Manager UNSDSN; Anna Miles of Team 2; I  Gede Ardhika, President Director of Kura Kura Island; 

Please stay tuned as we will post more exciting updates on the two team's journey in Bali.

Introducing the latest update on the finalists team!

Aug. 9, 2018, 3 p.m. PDT by Stefania Brandner

As we dive into the final round of solving the Coastal Design Competition the two teams are actively working on getting their final submission ready. Here’s the latest update:


Team 1: Adi Neuman from ECOncrete along with Hugo Shelley and the Bionspired Argentina duo: Charly Karamanian and Alejandro Bollano are a testimony to the strength of open innovation through teamwork:



Team 2 : Anna Miles and Mario Valente during a work session unlocking sustainable sea wall edge treatment.



We look forward to welcoming both teams to Kura Kura, Bali!

Meet the Winning Teams

May 24, 2018, 10:33 a.m. PDT by Kyla Jeffrey


We are proud to announce details on the two teams who have advanced into the prototype-final stage-of the island of Happiness Coastal Design Competition. Among the competing teams are marine engineers, landscape architects, top-tier innovative companies, and startups—all who are working toward a breakthrough in the seawall design. The two winning teams are one step closer to having the prototype development of the ecological sea wall ready.  Both teams comprise professionals with a passion for environmentally friendly solutions to seawall designs. Team 1 has three industry professionals Adi Neuman ECOncrete (Israel), Hugo Shelley (UK) and  BioInspired Argentina duo: Alejandro Bollano and Charly Karamanian.  Team 2 has a landscape engineer and civil engineer, both from UAE and Power Cem Technologies a company from The Netherlands that specializes in sustainable materials. 

We look forward to their groundbreaking solutions and the journey ahead.


Team 1  Introduction:


  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Tel Aviv, Israel
  • London, United Kingdom

The team got its start in March this year when the ideation phase of the Coastal Design Challenge was announced. Adi Neuman from ECOncrete along with Hugo Shelley and the Bionspired Argentina duo: Charly Karamanian and Alejandro Bollano together have a diverse background and expertise in different industries.

About the team leader: Adi Neuman

Adi Neuman is the Designer & Project Coordinator of ECOncrete, a company that develops, produces and supports the implementation of innovative concrete products designed for enhancing the biological and ecological value of coastal and marine infrastructure. Adi is an industrial designer with over 7 years of experience in large-scale design projects in the public domain. In the past 5 years, Adi has worked on the design and implementation of environmentally friendly marine and coastal infrastructure, adapting mass manufacturing processes to specific biological and ecological needs. Adi is a lecturer at the Industrial Design bachelor’s program at the Holon Institute of Technology. Adi holds a B.Des. in Industrial Design from Hadassah College Jerusalem and a Masters degree in Environmental Studies from Tel-Aviv University.

About Hugo Shelley

Originally from Scotland, Hugo studied Physics and Philosophy at Oxford University and Kings College London. He completed his postgraduate at St Andrews and is the recipient of a NESTA award for creative entrepreneurship. After leaving university he worked as a prop designer for some of the world's leading illusionists before founding Iota Technology, a design and prototyping company in London. Since then he has worked on a diverse range of projects, from industrial sensors to educational robots for children. He is especially interested in the application of new technology to ecological and humanitarian challenges.

About Charly Karamanian and Alejandro Bollano (co founders of Bionspired Argentina):

Charly Karamanian is the  Director of Entrepreneurship at Buenos Aires Province Government, Argentina. Charly is Certified Public Accountant with a master in communications management and information technologies. Charly is a Postgraduate degree in Innovation strategies and technology foresight. Member of the first cohort of The Exponential Foundation Series at Singularity University. His expertise is focused on open innovation, positive impact business development and sustainability. He excels in leading and mentoring of individuals and multidisciplinary teams. Creative thinker, serial entrepreneur, and speaker. Finding simple solutions to complex challenges is his drive in life. He is passionate about solving the global grand challenges: Energy, environment, food, shelter, space, water, disaster resilience, governance, health, learning, prosperity & security. 

Alejandro Bollano is an industrial designer that graduated from the Facultad de Arquitectura Diseño y Urbanismo (F.A.D.U.) of the Universidad de Buenos Aires (U.B.A.) – 2008. Alejandro is an entrepreneur, passionate about innovation and evolution. Understanding the problems deeply, approach them with solid concepts and delving into the details, are my premises for the search for innovation and value.

Together with Charly Karamanian, we formed BIO Inspired, a strategic innovation and research team. We apply biomimicry as a disruptive tool to approach responsible solutions with the environment.

Alejandro is associated with several companies, startups and independent researchers in the strategic planning of projects of high innovative impact (social, economic and environmental) with the aim of creating the most diverse R + D + i services network on the region. He worked for the Undersecretary of Innovation and Smart City of the Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires as a project manager in the development of predictive solutions and connectivity.


Team 2 Introduction:


  • Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • Rotterdam, The Netherlands

With combined experience in civil engineering, landscape architecture and environmental solutions in construction materials, Team 2 has joined forces to push the innovation towards a concept that will provide a truly ecological sea wall prototype.

About the team leader: Anna Milles

Professionally, Anna Miles is a Chartered Landscape Architect specializing in public realm and landscape design for urban, commercial and residential projects of all sizes around the world.  She improves outdoor environments through creative and sustainable design solutions to design briefs; or establishes the project brief and vision based on the parameters and problems of different project sites and different stakeholder requirements.

Personally, Anna is a fierce and (mostly) fearless globe trotter and passionate wildlife photographer who needs to be outdoors.  She has a passion for self-development by experiencing the unknown, confronting unforeseen challenges, getting to know unfamiliar cultures and ways of life, getting lost in wilderness; and creating memories from travel. 

In addition to being a UK Chartered professional, Anna holds a BSc in Landscape Design and Ecology from Sheffield University in the UK; has over 16 years of experience in the field of landscape design, planning, management and urban design; and is a trained Pilates instructor.

About Mario Valente

Mario Valente is a Civil Engineer with 17 years of experience. As a Projects Director based in the Middle East for the past 10 years, Mario has developed a broad understanding of multiple engineering disciplines specializing in engineering and design management of coastal development projects from feasibility stage up to construction. 

About PowerCem Technologies

PowerCem Technologies (PCT) is a company that specializes the modification of cement bound materials and as such participates in complex projects worldwide as an invisible but technical key component in cement based materials and constructions. PowerCem Technologies was established in 1996 an is situated in Moerdijk near the port of Rotterdam in The Netherlands. The company has executed successful projects in more than 40 countries, and has proven its ability to provide for infrastructural constructions and environmental solutions that are in line with the demands of the 21st century, with continuous scientific exploration for the future.

The company is an expert in sustainable and economic in-situ soil stabilizations for road infrastructure, ports, storage- parking areas, container terminals, windmill parks etc., and immobilization of (severely) contaminated soils so these do not constitute any danger anymore for the environment and population.


Team Members Announcement

April 3, 2018, 2:08 p.m. PDT by Kyla Jeffrey

It is with great excitement that we are announcing the teaming structure of the Coastal Design Challenge - Final Prototype Stage:

Team 1:

  1. Adi Neuman
  2. Hugo Shelly
  3. BioInspired Argentina
  4. Arjen Luijendijk, Deltares


Team 2:

  1. Anna Miles
  2. Giles Sarrailhé, PowerCem Technologies
  3. Mario Valente

We are thrilled the prototype development and testing has started and we look forward to October 2018 when we will announce the winners of the Prototyping Phase.

Congratulations to our winners!

March 15, 2018, 8 a.m. PDT by Kyla Jeffrey

What an amazing Ideation phase journey we have had so far! Teams from 24 countries across continents have competed to develop a solution for sustainable sea walls, which can be created first for the Island of Happiness, and potentially become the new standard for sea edge treatments in Bali for the world!

We are grateful to have received 42 submissions. We were so impressed with the calibre of submissions and shortlisting the entries was such a challenge that we are awarding a total of 7 prizes – 4 more prizes than originally planned for appreciation of the high calibre of participants!

We are awarding three winners of the ideation phase and four additional prizes.  Two teams will be assembled to collaborate for the next phase of PROTOTYPE DEVELOPMENT AND TESTING. They will be encouraged to collaborate combining aesthetics, technical expertise, and material science to achieve a prototype ready for implementation in the spirit of SDGs 17 Goals. Kura Kura Bali will allocate a total of up to $140,000 to cover all prototypes development and building costs in addition to travel, accommodation, food etc. and a $25,000 Tri Hita Karana Coastal Design Grand Prize for the successful solution.


After careful review by our international judging panel, we are proud to announce the 3 prize winners for the Ideation phase as follows:


Anna Miles - The Living Edge

(United Arab Emirates)

Conceived through a process of understanding Cultural and philosophical traditions; inspired by the ubiquitous ‘hexagon’ found in Nature; and Creating a solution that becomes a living part of the environment… “The Living Edge” is more than a wall that protects the coast line from coastal erosion; it creates an environment that can be physically accessed and explored. Designed first and foremost as a visually attractive, permeable and interactive edge that prioritises habitat creation and increases biodiversity; it also stabilises and protects the coast line from erosion.


ECOncrete - Gateway to Happiness

(Israel, USA)

Team members: Ido Sella; Andrew Rella; Shimrit; Perkol-Finkel; Adi Neuman

Gateway to Happiness bridges the gap between development and sustainability by providing a robust coastal defence solution, which revives ecology while inviting and connecting local communities to the shoreline. Rather than building a massive wall between people and the water, our project embraces the water, facilitating public engagement with the marine ecosystem, and providing enhanced physical and visual access to the water.



Hugo Shelley- The world's first carbon-neutral seawall

(United Kingdom)

The extruded profiles appear as a series of columns, supporting a lower promenade that echoes the curved roofs of traditional Balinese architecture. Downlighting can be used to accentuate these features, giving the impression of a walkway suspended on columns of light. The wall is composed of 50% sengon sawdust and 50% biopolymer. Sengon sawdust is a byproduct of the Indonesian plywood industry. HDPE biopolymer is derived from sugarcane, a renewable raw material. This composite material is extruded to form an interlocking profile that has been developed specifically for the Kura Kura Bali project.



Impressed by the other great submissions, Kura Kura Bali Island of Happiness has decided to award four additional Kura Kura Bali Coastal Design Honourable Mentions:

Arjen Luijendijk, Deltares (The Netherlands) - The Green Lagoon- $1,000

A creative submission following the Balinese culture of “harmony with nature”

BioInspired (Argentina) - KLS: Kehidupan Laut Seawall, inspired by Nature - $1,000

A marine life friendly, biomorphic seawall design with jetting assisted technology, inspired by Nature: razor clam, coral reef and sea turtle.

Team members: Charly  Karamanian and Alejandro Bollana

Gilles Sarrailhe's Team,PowerCem Technologies (The Netherlands) - Integral solution to connect Bali with the Sea - $1,000

A Seawall solution that proves a symbiosis between “enjoying” and “preserving”  nature for generations to come

Mario Valente ( United Arab Emirates) - 2,000 year design life Roman seawall -- $1,000

      A solution used 2,000 years ago, when Romans recycled natural volcanic pozzolans to build seawalls that still stand  strong today.


We would like to take this opportunity to thank Peter Diamandis and the HeroX team, Quincy Jones and Figueres Christiana, ICC  Secretary General John Danilovich; all of the community innovators; our judges: Ridwan Djamaluddin and the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs’ team; Andrew Potts and Amin Rasidi, Bali Turtle Island Development; Konstantina Rappo, Camper & Nicholsons; Lim Kok Kim, KK Lim & Associates PTE LTD; Mark Chambers, New York Mayor's Office of Sustainability; Patrick C Augustin, Perunding FAISAL, ABRAHAM dan AUGUSTIN sdn. Bhd.; our partners UN SDSN; United in Diversity; GITI; Business & Sustainable Development Commission; International Chamber of Commerce, and our colleagues who contributed to the challenge.

Without you, we would not have begun on this global crowdsourcing journey to Happiness, one challenge at a time.

Stay tuned for more details on the teams' assembly will follow.

Later edit: We really appreciate all the innovators submissions and we would like to thank them again for sharing their ideas with us:  Aghilan Mayan- India; Andra Cretu- Romania; Arwin Abaigar AJA's team- Philippines; Alberto Martorana- Hong Kong; Chris Williams- USA; Chri M- Tanzania; Daryl Procinsky's team: Curtis Hrdlicka &Daryl Procinsky- Canada; George Bigger- USA;  Jeffery Bird- USA;  Kaiming She- United Kingdom; Keith McCormic- USA; Kamal Farzaneh- Iran; Kris Buote’s team: Victor Ivan, Allier Ortiz, Jared Holitski, Kris Buote, Ty Hartwig- Canada; Kityue Kan- USA; Kashyap Gohel's team- Kenya; Kelly Thomas- United States;  Luis Humberto Vanegas Niño- Columbia; Matias Alejandro Ruiz Muñoz- Argentina;  Md Mahfuzar Rahman- Bangladesh; Manuel Muñoz Saiz-Spain; Michael Godden- Grenada; my181iq.; Naturale Desalination- USA; Nagendra Kumar Bhoopanam- India; Nishat Meeran- India; Nishan Vijayaratnam-Switzerland; Pablo Vallejo-Costa Rica; Robert Sweeney-Canada; Robens Molaire- Dominican Republic; Rolly Alvarez- The Philippines; Sami Ellafi- Germany; Shahrooz Guilani-USA; Shane Ferkovich-USA; Vu Quang Thanh-Vietnam; Weny Sihombing- Indonesia;  Yutaka Tengan- Japan.


Forum 23
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Brief in Chinese