This is an abridged version of the OpenSUTD Origin Story, which can be found here.


OpenSUTD began as a movement in April 2018.

The original mission of OpenSUTD was to develop a culture of design-driven policy solutioning and collaboration in the SUTD community.


We wanted to be different.

We all joined SUTD excited to be part of a world-class, collaborative community of learners, innovators, and explorers.

As the University grew, it became more organizational, more hierarchical.

Somewhere along the way, I’d seen even the best and brightest lose their spark; jaded, exhausted, and tired for a number of reasons.

We lost some of the best people.

@joel, ISTD Class of '19

Back in 2018, Joel started a simple repository on GitHub. The idea was for students to collaborate and share knowledge with each other on a public platform.


GitHub was chosen as the primary platform for OpenSUTD as an open organisation.

The reasons for choosing GitHub are as follows:

  • Allows team formation
  • Models that of a loosely aligned organisation, we simply fork repositories and maintain them with ‘fork bot’.
  • Functionalities that greatly lowered the technical debt. eg. static site hosting, apps.


Open regulation of SAC

OpenSUTD has taken over management of the Student Activities Centre (SAC). The rules and regulations of the SAC can be found here.

Fifth row guides

To pass on knowledge between batches of Fifth Row leaders, OpenSUTD has documented the pulsecheck process and finance guidelines.

Course notes

OpenSUTD has built a GitHub repository where SUTD students can freely share notes on SUTD's modules.

We also have student contributed material:

  1. Pengfei’s programming, machine learning notes
  2. Brandon’s linux, opencv, coding notes