#Hack4Good -The planet’s biggest ever global hack against climate change goes live this Friday

Hack 4 GoodApple have just launched their new iPhone 6 and watch and the world is alive and buzzing with the news. Am I the only one wondering about the origins of the raw materials for these super impressive new gadgets – have all the elements within the phone and watch been sourced sustainably and responsibly?

But maybe that’s just me, I care about these things and the huge impact technology has on the world’s resources. And that’s why I was intrigued to find out about #Hack4GoodThe planet’s biggest ever global hack against climate change.

It was my dear friend Jaki Bent who alerted me to this a few weeks ago. Jaki is a pioneer, creating the most amazing resource to bring people who need help within their own community and connecting them with services that provide them. A Google map for community services you could say entitled If Everyone Cares

Anyway I digress as I often do. Back to #Hack4Good.

Can we use technology as a force for good?

Well this weekend we’re going to find out.

Uniting globally 12-14 September 2014, 3,000+ leading software engineers, hackers, ui/ux designers, product makers, founders, thought leaders and civic-minded organisations will gather in over 40 global cities to hack against climate change, building projects and prototypes of technology solutions that address 15 global climate change challenges.

So how exactly does #hack4good work?

Teams respond to problem statements and challenges by NGOs, government organisations and subject matter experts, collaborating intensively over a 48-hour period. The result is 100s of prototype projects that demonstrate innovative technology solutions to have a positive impact for humanity.

In each location, a judging panel made up of technology leaders and subject matter experts will select the most promising teams in terms of their potential impact. These go forwards into global judging. The teams selected by the global judging panel will present their projects as part of Climate Week NYC alongside the UN Climate Summit in New York in September.

So just what are the challenges that the global technology community will be getting to grips with this weekend?

15 Global Climate Change Challenges

1. Public Awareness

How might we increase overall understanding of the science and facts of climate change, to gain a critical mass of public awareness and support for strong action on climate change?

2. Personal Impact

How might we help individuals and families understand their personal impact and carbon footprint, shift to climate-friendly behaviours and reduce carbon-intensive consumption?

3. Digital Activism

What digital tools can we give to savvy activists and campaigners that will unlock the potential to create powerful movements for climate action?

4. Compelling Visualisation

Create compelling visualisations of climate models and climate impacts

5. International Negotiations

What tools might we build to better facilitate effective international negotiations towards creating strong international agreements and commitment?

6. Resilient Communities

How can we empower communities to be strong, prepared and resilient to natural disasters?

7. Extreme Water Impacts

How might we improve our response and preparedness for flooding, tropical storms and sudden onset extreme weather events?

8. Intense Heat Impacts

How might we help communities, farmers, governments, public health organisations and NGOs respond to the agricultural and human impacts of heatwaves, drought and wildfires?

9. Ecosystems and Nature

How might we ensure the protection and restoration of natural, resilient ecosystems and conserve biodiversity in the face of climate change?

10. Collaboration

How might we facilitate more effective collaboration and communication between NGOs, public sector, private sector and communities in sudden onset disasters?

11. Consumer Behaviour

How can we influence and encourage climate-friendly consumption choices at all levels of society?

12. Energy production

How might we stimulate and support a rapid transition to a low-carbon energy production and distribution system, whether at the international, national or community level?

13. Responsible Finance

How might we encourage responsible finance: investment into renewable energy and divestment from fossil fuels?

14. Sustainable Business and Energy Efficiency

How might we encourage a step change in how businesses use resources throughout their supply chain and accelerate the transition to a circular economy?

15. Reforestation

How can we reduce deforestation and stimulate massive reforestation?

What is so exciting about the run up to the People’s Climate March on September 21st and the UN Climate Summit in New York on September 23rd is just how many different individuals and organisations are joining forces to present positive solutions – and that in itself gets us closer to the magical tipping point where change becomes possible.

And so this weekend, the baton of change is handed over to the tech community; notoriously resourceful and imaginative, this global collective have already transformed our lives in so many ways.

So just what life changing solutions will come out of this weekend’s #hack4good? I can’t wait to find out.

Technologically minded and want to produce the next big thing which will transform lives? Then get yourself signed up to your local hackathon at http://hack4good.io/ 


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    • Hi Aaron, thanks so much for reading my blog and for your thoughtful comment. I love the ethos of Fairphone, they definitely deserve to be more widely recognised for the amazing work they do. I can’t wait for my contract to expire in December so I can get one myself!


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