Biggest ever global climate hackathon turns grassroots activism into action


Climathon 2019 in Zürich, Switzerland

This October, Greenhouse helped to launch EIT Climate-KIC’s global Climathon, the biggest ever global climate hackathon.

Global Climathon Day 2019 saw over 140 city hackathons taking place in 56 countries around the world. More than 6,500 participants gathered to generate innovative climate change solutions to address some of the most pressing challenges faced by cities across the globe. City challenges ranged from mobility and energy issues, to air pollution and water management.

Climathon, a year-round programme, is part of EIT Climate KIC’s ambition to decarbonise 100 cities by 2030. The innovative climate change solutions born at Climathon are crucial in tackling the climate crisis, as Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme explains:

“The science is telling us that the climate crisis is accelerating, and cities must adapt. Innovation will be a powerful tool to address climate change and fast-track the decarbonisation of cities.”

Some winners worked with local authorities and will now continue to do so to turn their climate hackathon solutions into reality. The next step for all winners is to enter the inaugural Climathon Citizens Award (open until the 17th of November) for the chance to win funding and expert support.

Cities are an increasingly important focus for environmental concerns and Climathon can play a huge role in their transformation, as Kirsten Dunlop, CEO of EIT Climate-KIC explains: “By 2050, more than two-thirds of the global population will live in cities, while climate change is expected to affect every country in the world”

“Climathon is an empowering movement that offers people the opportunity to work directly with their cities to address the climate emergency. We need radical and transformative ideas – made by people, for people and for the places they live in – that have the power to change the world and prepare cities for the challenges ahead.”

Planting trees in Reykjavíc for Climathon 2019
Planting trees in Reykjavíc for Climathon 2019

Greenhouse worked with EIT Climate-KIC to launch Climathon day 2019 to global media, developing messaging which focused on the need for innovation in cities to tackle climate change. Media coverage of Climathon included; the Daily Star in Bangladesh and CNN in Turkey, as well as a summary in BusinessGreen and an op-ed in Reuters. The team also ran Climathon’s social media channels throughout the course of the day, live tweeting and highlighting Climathon successes and grassroots activism around the world.

Winning solutions from Climathon 2019

Dhaka, Bangladesh

The winners in Dhaka solved energy problems through a climate change hackathon idea using solar power and sensors for creating an intelligent energy-efficient lighting system, which can be controlled long-distance.

Tallinn, Estonia

The winning solution, GreenRoof, involves smart greenhouse solutions installed on residents’ roofs. Hydrophonics solutions provide favourable growth conditions to plants and leftover heat from the buildings is used in a circular way.

Zurich, Switzerland

Winners in Zurich created a platform, closeBy, showing Swiss alternatives to known tourist attractions worldwide to reduce emissions caused by travel.

Senftenberg, Germany

Climathon in Senftenberg, Germany
Climathon in Senftenberg, Germany

Winners here wanted to create fast methods of re-cultivation by producing a carpet with humus soil to cultivate plants with. The carpet would be able to restore itself at the same time to create a circular system. Winners here also received an invitation to work with the company LEAG to make this idea a reality.

Pasig, Philippines

Here, the winners’ environmental hackathon solution was a social upcycling enterprise, encouraging neighbourhood ‘sari-sari’ stores to participate in waste segregation, whilst helping women and people with disabilities.

How can you get involved with Climate-KIC?

Tell your city mayor and local authority to enter their ideas into Climate KIC’s City Awards. Winning cities will receive seed funding, expert advice and a trip to the ChangeNOW summit in Paris for implementation training.

Greenhouse PR specialises in working with the innovators, entrepreneurs and businesses developing the solutions to tackle the climate crisis. Take a look over these innovative campaigns that had a real impact, such as accelerating the smart energy grid with Moixa and future-proofing energy and EV networks with Pivot Power.

If your organisation is implementing climate solutions and looking for help to get the word out, please get in touch with the Greenhouse team on 0117 214 1250 or email