Climate Change News South Africa

Tackling climate change through innovative tech solutions

Innovative ideas to solve climate change were the currency of a virtual hackathon held by Silicon Cape and the US Consulate General in Johannesburg on Saturday, 19 and Sunday, 20 March 2022.
Source: Supplied
Source: Supplied

The hackathon, under the theme of “Changing Climate Change”, looked to create solutions to real-world climate change challenges that South Africans face, with emerging software developers, IT professionals and trainers, civil society organisations, academics and professionals in relevant fields of climate change and technology participating.

The hackathon is the fourth and final of the Build Community Hackathon series held across Cape Town and Johannesburg. These hackathons focussed on solving real-world challenges that South Africans face today like gender-based violence, rising unemployment among youth, mental health, and most recently, climate change.

The event allowed participants to meet new people, learn more about design thinking, service design and come up with innovative and socially impactful services and products.

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Rewarding innovative solutions

Taking home the R25,000 prize money was Team Disruptors, who pitched their idea of an IoT system to the panel of judges during the finals on Saturday, 26 March. The team designed an IoT system that uses moisture sensors to irrigate plants only when moisture levels are significantly low to help farmers reduce freshwater wastage and the cost that comes with it.

The winning team will also have access to the low-cost, easy-to-use infrastructure needed to scale and grow, through the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Activate Programme. This includes $10,000 worth of AWS Promotional Credits, valid for two years, AWS Business Support valued at $5,000, valid for up to one year and a solution architect technical whiteboarding session.

Runner-up Team Katapao received R15,000 after pitching an omnichannel food sharing app that helps tackle the issue of food wastage in households and helps vendors/retail maximise profits from their surplus.

Silicon Cape co-chairperson, Dr Sumarie Roodt, commented: “Not only are the hackathons great ways to develop skills and mental models, which they can apply in other areas of their lives.

“Silicon Cape is an ecosystem enabler for tech-enabled startups. This means that our winners will be able to connect with accelerators, mentors, developers, angel investors, and venture capitalists to bring their solutions to life.”

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