The Graduate Consulting Club promotes strategic and analytics consulting industries at ETH and University Basel. In the Data Science Division of the Club, we build a bridge from academic to industrial data science to facilitate the transition of our members into the analytics consulting industry. We help our members develop their career by providing pro bono practice and workshops in data engineering, analytics, machine learning, data visualization, and strategic case solving.


What is Hack4Good?

Hack4Good is a 8-week long pro-bono program that matches Data Science talents from ETH Zurich with organisations (NGOs) that promote social causes. In close collaboration with such a NGO, small teams of 3-4 students develop and implement data-driven solutions to increase these organizations' impact.

Why NGOs?

NGOs frequently lack the time and resources to implement analytics projects. However, such projects can often greatly contribute to the ultimate goal of the organization and thereby produce a positive impact on society. They either help beneficiaries directly or augment the reach of NGOs.

What is in for students?

Hack4Good enables students to simultaneously gain professional work experience in Data Science with high-profile organisations and to support a social cause. As a student you will engage directly with NGO representatives to get to know one of their pressing challenges and decide with your team how to solve the problem at hand. In doing so, you will be able to learn not only coding but also project management!

The Project:


Hack4Good begins on October 2nd with a kick-off event at the Student Project House. At the kick-off, the participating NGOs will present selected challenges and the ensuing projects they host with Hack4Good. The students then form a team around each project. After the team-formation, workshops on project managment specifically tailored to the context of Data Science will prepare you and your team for solving the challenges. While enjoying some snacks and drinks, you will also get to meet your teammates and make some first exploratory steps to understand your challenge and the data available.

During the project

For eight weeks you and your teammates will work in the manner that you deem best for your project. Over the entire course of the project, you will have a direct contact person on the side of the NGO whom you can ask questions on the relevant data and discuss ideas with. Also, mentors coming from a project management background are there to support you with inputs, tools and feedback. You will be able to use the facilities of the Student Project House as meeting areas and for work.

Project closing

After eight weeks, you and your team will present your solutions with an ensuing Apéro at the Student Project House. Each of the participants will receive a certificate from the Social Innovation Lab at ETH which testifies your work and the skills you acquired.


Is my organization eligible to participate in Hack4Good?

If your organization serves a social or environmental cause that benefits humanity, you are in principle eligible for participation in Hack4Good. We would be delighted to discuss a potential collaboration in your specific case. Simply shoot us an email and we will help you find out what possibilities there are for you:

What is the expected skill level of participating students?

Participating students are typically in their Master’s or PhD studies in a STEM field. They come from rich backgrounds spanning for instance Computer Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Environmental sciences. All participating students are required to have taken courses in Data Analytics, Statistics or Machine Learning and are fluent in at least one programing language (typically Python).

What is the time commitment from participating students?

Hack4Good is designed to allow students to participate in parallel to their studies. The students commit to 6 hours of project work per week for the 8 week duration of the program. In addition to this weekly commitment, they participate in two Hackathon-style days hosted on a weekend at ETH Zurich. The Hack-days are designed to accelerate their progress and momentum on the project.

How much time commitment is expected from participating organizations?

Participating organizations are expected to commit:

at least 1 representative for the Kick-off event (3h on October 2nd)

2h per week for communication with the students in the form of office hours

at least 1 representative at the Final event (3h on November 20th) 1h for a follow-up and evaluation call three and six months after the program.

This totals a commitment of about 24h over the duration of the program.

Are participating organizations required to be within Switzerland?

No. All meetings for Hack4Good can be conducted online. That being said, from our experience so far, occasional in-person meetings between students and a representative of the organization, allow for an enhanced level of cooperation and synergy.

What does participation in the program cost?

Participation in the Hack4Good program is free of charge for all participating organizations and students. Travel expenses for representatives of participating organizations are reimbursed by Hack4Good if they stay within reasonable bounds.

Why Hack4Good?

Of all data in the history of humankind, 90% has been generated in the last few years. With sensors in smartphones and numerous other devices, satellites observing earth from space and social networks connecting billions of people there is ample opportunity to create data-driven solutions to our most relevant problems. However, many organizations that work on these important problems do not have the time, budget or staff to take full advantage of this wealth of data and most becoming data scientists do not realize just how valuable their skills can be to humanity. Hack4Good aims to fill this void by connecting tomorrow’s data scientists with the problems that truly matter today.

How are participating students selected?

Participants for Hack4Good are selected by a rigorous application process that checks their motivation, personal drive and adeptness in data science.

Key Facts

Project start (Kick-off): 2nd of October, 2019

Project end (Final presentation): 20th of November, 2019

Project duration: 8 weeks

Venue: Student Project House, ETH Zurich

Estimated time commitment: 6h / week

Team size: 3-4 people