Climate Hackathon – a success story.

Climate Hackathon was a great success, with a lot of amazing solutions built by hackathon participants. We believe these solutions will not only inspire and help non-profit or non-governmental organizations that submitted the challenges, but also many other organisations.

Climate Hackathon, organised and hosted by Stratiteq in partnership with Microsoft, took place online from 22nd to 26th March 2021. What made this Hackathon unique, is that all the challenges were provided by non-profit or non-governmental organizations that have a key role in solving some of the climate challenges but might not have enough resources or technical competencies.The challenges were defined in 4 tracks: carbon, ecosystem, waste, and water. The hackathon was organized via Devpost, a platform that helps software engineers to participate in software competitions, and on the Devpost platform the hackathon had 420 registered participants from 51 different countries.

 

The hackathon was kicked off with a welcome stream on Monday at 9am and followed through the week with daily streams at 5pm (daily stream recordings can be found here: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, ThursdayFriday). The Winner announcement stream took place on Sunday at 5pm, when the best projects were announced.

During the week the teams worked on solving challenges and coordinated with mentors from Stratiteq via Discord, our main communication tool. Beside the daily streams, we also had several coffee video chat sessions where we met a lot of interesting people around the world.

The solutions built by the participating teams were reviewed by the hackathon council: Asim Hussain, Christopher Maneu, Erik Wilson, Florian Georg, Laurence Benjamin, Lisa Mallner, Plamena Cherneva, Razvan Suta, Sanjana Paul and Yves Fontana. The hackathon judges Baroness Bryony Worthington (Crossbench member of the House of Lords), Jamie Alexander (Director, Drawdown Labs), Hampus Jakobsson (Climate Venture Capitalist) and Sanjay Podder (Managing Director and Global Lead- Technology Sustainability Innovation at Accenture) had a tough job to select the best solutions based on the criteria of solution impact, feasibility, implementation, and innovation.

The winner of the Carbon track “”Methane Leaks – Unit8 Climate“” worked on a solution that uses satellite data from Sentinel 5P and other sources, to automatically detect new potential methane leaks by clustering abnormal emissions and linking them to the fossil infrastructure.

 

The runner up to the Carbon track “”LandPRO“” made a solution that combines image segmentation with near-real time satellite data to give a quick evaluation of any vegetated area by examining the spatial and temporal variability of vegetation.

The winner of the Ecosystem track “”Purple Penguins“” built a solution for Intelligent Data Exploration Platform for laws and policies doing similarity matching based on entity recognition and topic extraction powering a graph-based interface.

 

The runner up to the Ecosystem track “”IoT for Biodiversity and Sustainability“” built a solution based on the power of the internet of things, that supports a Swiss biodiversity project to gain new insights into their biodiversity measures like nesting boxes for local species.

The winner of the Waste track “”Eruza – Waste Automation & Management System“” worked on the Waste Automation & Management System that automates the end-to-end process of waste collection and aims to consolidate all the data required for the generation of impact report in one place.

 

The runner up to the Waste track “”Team Platypus“” worked on a solution for the challenge provided by Buy Food With Plastic that helps the world in two ways at once: collecting plastic, and handing out meals.

The whole hackathon was a great experience, with a lot of amazing solutions built that are open sourced. Hopefully, these solutions will not only inspire and help non-profit or non-governmental organizations that submitted the challenges, but also many other organisations.

To offset the carbon footprint made by this event Microsoft planted 1000 trees.