Impact Hackathon Fights Climate Change With Sustainable Solutions

Impact Hackathon Fights Climate Change With Sustainable Solutions

Our world is currently facing an unprecedented global crisis that is ravaging peoples and economies around the world. While the Covid-19 pandemic may quickly spring to mind, climate change poses even more disastrous consequences for our future. So what could be the vaccine for climate change?

 

From July 15 to 17, participants from around the country dared to tackle issues of climate change with the Impact Hackathon Online 2021. Powered by Smart Communications and PLDT, the Impact Hackathon is the longest- and widest-running 5G hackathon in the Philippines, running until December 2021.

 

For this most recent vertical, teams coded and collaborated over 48 hours to create impactful and technology-enabled solutions. The goal? To save our environment.

 

“Given the reduced mobility of people due to the pandemic, pollution has significantly decreased around the world,” Ces Rondario, founder and CEO of Impact Hub Manila, stated in her opening remarks. “However, the issue of the climate crisis still remains. As people slowly return to a new normal, it is expected that climate change will not be resolved.”

 

“It’s time to take affirmative action,” she added, “and invest in sustainable solutions that can make an impact on environmental solutions.”

 

Committed to long-term, sustainable development for the country, Impact Hub Manila provided curated support for the innovators. There were insightful talks from highly sought-after resource speakers. After the 48-hour code sprint, selected teams presented their ideas to an esteemed jury.

 

Up to Php35,000  worth of prize money and entrepreneurial support from Impact Hub Manila and their community partners were awarded to top teams. This includes an incubation with Impact Hub Manila, as well as a one-year subscription with employment site Bossjob.

 

Opening Ceremony

 

For the opening ceremony, over 100 participants, along with many more viewers, heard from changemakers in climate change.

 

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) undersecretary for climate change and mining Analiza Rebuelta-Teh and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines executive director Katherine Custodio informed and inspired with their speeches. They highlighted the extreme biodiversity and natural wealth of the Philippines, all of which are threatened by climate change. And as one of the most natural disaster-prone countries in the world, the Philippines is right in the rocky and dangerous path that climate change is creating.

 

Chris Morris, who heads the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) NGO and Civil Society Center, followed. He reflected on the youth’s role in combating climate change. In particular, through his role in ADB and in his speech, he promotes meaningful youth engagement through active participation.

 

“Youth hackers, with your bright minds, as well as energy and focus on climate change issues, are essential in developing solutions to deliver on the Paris alignment that the planet and people sorely need,” Morris concluded.

 

All that information and motivation gave the participants much to think about. And at exactly 12 n.n., the Hackathon was on.

 

Pitching and Awarding

 

After 48 hours, Impact Hub Manila announced the code freeze. The finished teams submitted their work to be judged by the initial jury.

 

The initial jury comprised Lawrz Libo-on and Jason Bruno of Impact Hub Manila; Ryan Canlas, chief technology officer of Abakada Studios; Ruel Nopal of Accenture; and Prof. Arne Barcelo, of the University of Sto. Tomas. The jury would choose the top contenders, who would then conduct a live pitch.

 

While the initial jury was out, participants listened to an arresting panel discussion with local environmentalists and leaders in the field. Panelists included Carmela Ellaga of the Philippine Reef & Rainforest Conservation Foundation (PRRCFI); Kimberly Casipe of the Danjugan Island Environmental Education Program (DEEP); and Crispian Lao, founder and president of Philippine Alliance for Recycling and Materials Sustainability (PARMS).

 

That was followed by an inspirational talk from Sustainable Alternative Lighting Corp. (SALT) co-founder and CEO Aisa Mijeno. She shared her story, a daring one at the intersection of environmentalism and technology, grounded in the needs of the most vulnerable people.

 

A fireside chat with the Climate Reality Project’s engagement officer Ferth Manaysay and youth cluster coordinator Danielle Madriaga energized and encouraged hackers’ and viewers’ commitment to tackling climate change.

 

The initial jury submitted their decisions before the talks had ended. The selected teams prepared to give their 10-minute pitches to the final jury. After each pitch, there were 5 minutes for questions.

 

The final jury comprised the previously introduced Ces Rondario and Crispian Lao. Joining them was Moncini A. Hinay of WWF-Philippines; Director Emmy Lou Versoza-Delfin of the Department of Information & Communications Technology (DICT); and Albert Albert Magalang, chief of the climate change service at the DENR. They covered a range of fields, from entrepreneurship to the environment, with innovation underscoring it all.

 

All the presentations were astounding, especially given that each was created in a mere 48 hours. But three, in particular, stood out and were announced winners by the end of the event:

 

Team Idiyanale: Larang

 

Team Idiyanale developed an app that connected consumers to local producers. Ultimately, the goal is for Filipinos to make low-carbon food choices over industrially produced foods. But the app doesn’t just stop there. The team used A.I. to enhance the consumer experience, enabling them to make healthier, more efficient, and more environmentally friendly choices.

 

Team MC Envi: LoCal

 

Also tackling the problem of the high carbon emissions of food production and distribution, Team MC Envi worked to create the low carbon lifestyle app LoCal. Users can use the app to discover the carbon footprint of each of their food purchases. To encourage users to minimize their carbon footprint, LoCal incorporates an in-app rewards system for both consumers and producers.

 

“The Impact Hackathon opened us up to a different side of innovative solutions to environmental issues,” said Team MC Envi.

 

Team Phoenix: EcoKidz

 

“We aim to educate the next generation and enable them to take action,” said Team Phoenix, starting their pitch with a powerful hook. That same energy translated to their app, which had a clever hook of its own: education through gamification.

 

Their EcoKidz app targets Gen Z users. The app uses characters with backstories, positive reinforcement through a progress tracker, as well as user badges and rewards, to motivate the youth to learn more about the environment and ultimately take action.

 

“We are the youth, for the youth,” they said, ending their pitch with just as much intrigue as they began.

 

But this is far from the end for our Hackathon winners. They now begin their incubation with Impact Hub Manila, working with industry leaders to scale their ideas and effect positive change.

 

The Impact Hackathon is part of Impact 2050, a flagship program of Impact Hub Manila to create large-scale economic progress through the activation of groundbreaking events and curated support for innovators. This multi-year program will equip, enable, and empower innovative individuals who want to affect change through technology.

 

Interested in participating in the next Impact Hackathon? Be part of Impact Hackathon for Health on August 26 – 28. For updates, follow the Facebook Page: facebook.com/impact2050. Learn more about the program at www.impact2050.com.

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Impact Hub Manila logo

With the vision of providing a platform that will allow innovation to solve social challenges, Impact Hub Manila launched an annual code fest called Impact Hackathon in October 2019.

In the past 2 years, it has brought a combined number of 2,300 participants from all over the Philippines and attracted over 350 mentors and experts to the event.

The Impact Hackathon remains to be the largest hackathon in the Philippines.

25th Floor, Picadilly Star, 4th Avenue corner 27th Street, Bonifacio Global City

Headquarters Impact Hub GmbH Lindengasse 56 / 18-19 1070 Vienna, Austria UID : ATU66357747 FN : 358967v

25th Floor, Picadilly Star, 4th Avenue corner 27th Street, Bonifacio Global City

Headquarters Impact Hub GmbH Lindengasse 56 / 18-19 1070 Vienna, Austria UID : ATU66357747 FN : 358967v

With the vision of providing a platform that will allow innovation to solve social challenges, Impact Hub Manila launched an annual code fest called Impact Hackathon in October 2019.

In the past 2 years, it has brought a combined number of 2,300 participants from all over the Philippines and attracted over 350 mentors and experts to the event.

The Impact Hackathon remains to be the largest hackathon in the Philippines.

Impact Hub Manila logo

July 15-17, 2021

Good Governance 

    Youth involvement in promoting transparency, empowering citizens, fighting corruption, and harnessing new technologies to strengthen governance 

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