Hacking Social Challenges For Sustainable Development

The country’s largest hackathon, Impact Hackathon, served as a platform for over 1,700 innovators from across the Philippines who tried to come up with tech-enabled solutions to some of our country’s challenges.

 

Using the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as lens, participants hacked agriculture, health, education, smart cities, and climate change through the 24-hour programming marathon. 

 

28 finalists emerged from the 186 projects generated from Metro Manila, Vigan, Pampanga, Baguio, Batangas, Palawan, Cebu, Ilo-ilo, Bacolod, Catbalogan, Dumaguete, Davao, and Iligan. Finalists flew in to Manila for the 2050fest, the culmination and pitching day held during the Philippine Startup Week 2019. 

 

From the 15 finalists, 5 winners raked in up to 10 million pesos worth of prizes. This includes seed funding,  mentorship, and a year-long incubation with hackathon organizer and global entrepreneurs network, Impact Hub Manila, to help the project proponents further develop their prototypes and create sustainable solutions.

TransFarm: Hacking agriculture

Grand winner, TransFarm, got the jury’s nod as they pitched how consumers could have quicker and more affordable access to fresh produce straight from the farmers, using the Transfarm mobile application. 

 

Customers can simply place orders through the app, then wait for the door-to-door delivery of natural-grown produce straight from TransFarm’s partner farmers. 

 

By taking out the middlemen, consumers also get to trace where their food really comes from, and in the process help farmers reap more profits through the direct selling platform. 

TrashCash and Agua Meter: Hacking climate change  

2 of the winners, TrashCash and Agua Meter, hoped to address problems brought about by climate change. 

 

TrashCash seeks to improve waste management, increase recycling rates, and help families in the small communities to earn more. Through machine learning, the mobile application allows users to easily assess the value of the plastics and other recyclables they have on hand. TrashCash also aims to convert trash into cash for communities, by partnering with brands who are considered great contributors of plastic waste. 

 

Agua Meter, on the other hand, develops a way to monitor water consumption, and even control it, to help address water shortages. 

 

Kugel and Crimera: Hacking education and smart cities 

 

 

Other winners, Kugel and Crimera are also mobile applications developed by young innovators who wish to help cultivate safer communities and smarter cities through informative tools that allow greater citizen participation.

Kugel is a german word that means “bullet.” Through augmented reality and physics formula, the mobile application can plot the trajectory of the bullet and aims to provide a more accurate and precise projection than the traditional methods used in ballistics.

The team behind Crimera hails from Bacolod and is composed of students, one of them as young as 9 years old. “What if you can help in solving crimes and get justice?,” they asked. The Crimera mobile app makes it possible for citizens to quickly report crimes and other concerns in their communities by capturing photos and data using their smartphones. Through a reporting system, Crimera hopes to aid organizations to be more efficient in responding to issues reported by the members of their communities.

Impact Hackathon is the highlight of Impact Hub Manila’s ‘Impact 2050,’ a multi-year program designed to enable, equip, and empower innovative individuals who want to create positive impact through technology. 

 

Today, as the world faces the deadly spread of a virus that is shaping the world and changing our lives, how can we leverage technology and thought-provoking ideas to come up with solutions to the pandemic’s social and economic consequences? 

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