Hacking for Climate Action
Four teams emerged as winners at the Singapore International Foundation’s (SIF) inaugural hackathon to generate innovative ideas to tackle environmental issues.
Over the past decade, the world has witnessed rapid technological advancements that have transformed our way of life. Now, from climate change to the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is facing unprecedented crises that demand a holistic approach and international cooperation.
In a bid to inspire innovations to address climate change, the Singapore International Foundation (SIF) partnered with social enterprise Code For Asia (CFA) and launched the inaugural Climate Hack 2021.
This programme leverages the power of technology and international networks to empower participants to brainstorm online and develop solutions to climate change issues.
From March to May, about 500 participants from 16 countries in Asia registered to learn digital skills such as design thinking, UX/UI design and coding.
In addition, participants engaged in discussions about the climate challenges of today and the role that technology plays. Interactive capacity-building workshops – called Skills Labs – also equipped them with relevant digital skills and tools. These workshops were led by Singaporean and international volunteers from the digital sector, who shared their experience and expertise.
Following the training series, participants submitted technology-driven solutions for a greener planet. Out of 46 submissions, nine teams from China, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines were shortlisted to compete in the finals. These teams were then mentored by designers, entrepreneurs and developers, to refine and sharpen their ideas before making their final presentations.
During the finals, held virtually on 8 May 2021, each team presented their ideas, solutions, and prototypes – covering areas such as energy, food security, waste management and sustainable living – to a panel of judges. The winning teams scored highly on impact and innovation. They received a total of S$4,000 in cash as prizes.
- 1st: Not Samsan Tech (Indonesia) for e-CO2mmurz, a browser extension that informs users about carbon dioxide consumption when shopping on an e-commerce platform.
- 2nd: MarhaEnergy Team (Malaysia) for MarhaEnergy, a community solar energy resource-pooling platform.
- 3rd: WasteBuster (Malaysia) for Raccoonia, a mobile application that encourages and helps users to recycle and manage waste through resource-sharing and community building. WasteBuster also garnered the most votes from the online community and received the People’s Choice award.
- Judges' mention: Gold Digger (Indonesia) for Agrow, a mobile application that predicts crop demand and price.
After the event, co-judge and SIF Executive Director Jean Tan said: “We piloted Climate Hack 2021 to leverage technology and international networks to work collaboratively on climate action. To me, all the participants are winners, given their passion for positive social change and commitment to using their skill sets to make it happen.
“I encourage them to press on with their endeavours. Being a changemaker or social entrepreneur can sometimes be a lonely journey and I invite them to join the community at the SIF and network with each other to make a difference. They will not walk alone.”
Mr Muhammad Dzaki Razaan Faza from Gold Digger (Indonesia) said: “We have gained invaluable digital skills and insights through the workshops as well as guidance from our mentors. It was also refreshing to hear from the other teams about how they address various environmental issues in their countries. This provided us with fresh perspectives.”
Mr Yudhishthra Sugumaran from WasteBuster (Malaysia) said: “We are honoured to be one of the winning teams and humbled by the support from the online community. We are also grateful for the opportunity to equip ourselves with relevant digital skills through the workshops and guidance from the mentors.
“Most importantly, it was great to have put what we learnt into practice to address real problems in the world today.”
Climate Hack 2021 is part of the SIF’s efforts to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), specifically SDG 13 (Climate Action) and SDG 17 which centres on the value of global partnerships and cooperation.