Climate Hack officially launches with a nine-month programme aimed at accelerating innovative solutions to address climate change.
The Singapore International Foundation (SIF), together with Code for Asia and SAP, officially launched Climate Hack at a virtual event on 23 April 2022.
Officiating the launch was guest of honour Mr Desmond Tan, Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment, Singapore. At the event, he commended the effort put into organising this year’s programme.
He said: “Climate Hack offers a platform for youths to contribute, particularly through developing digital skills, promoting exchange of ideas, as well as accelerating innovative solutions for climate action.”
He underscored that climate change is a global existential challenge that can only be effectively addressed through collective action. This is where technology and the people sector play important roles as key enablers.
The launch event also comprised a fireside chat themed “Hacking the Climate”. The panel included six industry experts from the sustainability and climate tech field, namely:
Ms Abby Ng, Independent Consultant; Former Deputy Director, National Parks Board
Mr Szue Hann Tan, Chairman of Sustainability, Singapore Institute of Architects; Co-founder, IxSA (Innovation x Sustainability Alliance)
Mr Aaqib Alvi, Country Programme Manager, Sustainable Living Lab
Ms Tamara Singh, Strategic Advisor, Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum; Board Member, People Centered Internet
Mr Yang En Tan, Co-Founder and Venture Builder, AUDACITY
The speakers shed light on the pressing challenges brought on by climate change on topics such as – City in Nature, Sustainable Living, Energy Reset, Green Economy, and Resilient Future – which echo the agenda of the Singapore Green Plan 2030. This Plan charts concrete targets and plans to advance Singapore’s national agenda on sustainable development and positions Singapore to achieve its long-term net zero emissions aspiration as soon as viable.
The speakers also cited examples of how technology can be leveraged to address these challenges and contribute towards climate action. For instance, alternative approaches to energy production, such as nuclear and hydrogen, which are from natural or renewable sources.
Ms Ng said: “There is a huge potential in using hydrogen as fuel. This allows us to ‘harvest’ energy from solar or wind and convert it to hydrogen as a viable renewable energy export to the masses.”
In the area of agri-food and food waste, Mr Yang En Tan brought up regenerative agriculture as a way forward, which marries technology and age-old farming philosophies to improve agricultural land management and processes.
Citing an example, he said: “Fertilisers are often used to provide nutrients for soils used for farming, but a lot gets washed away. Furthermore, the process of applying fertilisers emits large amounts of greenhouse gases. There are now natural alternatives which include microbes-based solutions to bring nitrogen directly into the soil sustainably.”
At the end of the fireside chat, the speakers encouraged the participants to think out of the box, make the most of the programme’s network and activities, and not to be afraid to take the first step in taking action.
“What I would like to encourage is to collaborate and listen. A lot of times great solutions do not get delivered in isolation. Do build your collaboration networks and get insights from others,” said Ms Singh.
Watch the fireside chat here:
Climate Hack is an e-volunteering programme designed by the SIF to help raise regional capacity in digital skills, especially in its use for positive social change. The programme is powered by volunteers from Singapore who will work alongside participants from Asia to share digital skills, knowledge, and expertise, as well as develop innovative solutions for climate action.
This year, the programme comprises a virtual hackathon; mentorship by industry experts; and Climate Lab – an intensive line-up of activities curated for select teams to bring their winning solutions to a Minimum Viable Product and pre-incubator stage.
If you are keen to create positive action for climate change, we want to hear from you! Submissions for Climate Hack are open until 15 May 2022. Join us to develop digital skills, learn from mentors, and create innovative solutions for climate action.