Climathon, a free, annual hackathon-style event, will take place in 59 cities in 36 countries simultaneously on 28 and 29 October.
This year the Wellington event will challenge participants to come up with practical solutions for the city to adapt to climate change issues like rising sea levels, extreme weather events and coastal erosion.
The possibility of businesses surviving or even finding value from a warming planet could prove controversial, but Councillor David Lee from Wellington City Council says it’s crucial.
“Climate change will have significant impacts on the way we work and play in Wellington. Understanding the challenges we face and being early to see the opportunities they present right now will give us significant advantage in not only looking after our environment and people, but also on the world stage in the market place.”
Participants come with their ideas and develop them during the 24 hour event with the help from experts. The best ideas from each city will be selected by a panel of local judges.
In 2015, a Wellington team was selected as one of the best in the world, and presented its idea at the United Nations climate action conference in Paris last December as a result. Another top Wellington team won Best Building Project, and is currently pitching its idea to investors and accelerators in Berlin and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The organisation behind the global Climathon, Climate-KIC, is Europe’s largest climate change-focused public-private innovation partnership.
The Wellington Climathon event is sponsored by Victoria University and Wellington City Council and delivered by ethical business advisory and investors MOTIF and Enspiral company EXP. Supporting partners include the Deep South National Science Challenge, the Royal Society of New Zealand, Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association and Viclink, Victoria’s commercialisation arm.
Top teams can win spots in Victoria University’s summer entrepreneurship accelerator, Victoria Entrepreneur Bootcamp, valued at $7,500, supporting them to develop their idea further, or up to $5,000 in seed funding from the Deep South National Science Challenge that deliver on their engagement objectives.