Hack-Diary: Day 1
Ocean Generation in partnership with UNOPS is hosting its second innovative Dadlihack – a hackathon event in Antigua and Barbuda. ‘Infrastructure and Resilience in the Face of Climate Change’ is this years theme, and world-class computer programmers and developers will come together at the islands innovation hub to compete to win development and $5000 funding for their ideas. We are also happy to announce that participants are gathering remotely in Lund, Sweden at Sony and IDEON to run creative problem-solving techniques and idea generation methods.
Antigua is a small island vulnerable to the effects of climate change. 18 months ago Barbuda was completely devastated by the impact of Hurricane Irma and the community recognises they must build resiliently to help guard against the threats of climate change. The island is experiencing more frequent natural disasters, intense weather patterns, and rising sea levels are a daily threat to Small Island Developing States.
In a wider effort to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship on the island of Antigua, we hosted a kick-off event on Thursday February 7th, at the Antigua and Barbuda International Institute of Technology (ABIIT). Joined by Ministers from the Antigua and Barbuda Government, stakeholders from large international corporations such as SONY and Royal Mail, academics from MIT and Sweden. The event coincided with the opening of a UNOPS science and innovation centre to combat climate change and develop clean technology in Antigua and Barbuda and the entire Caribbean region. The new science and innovation center is about bringing young people into the conversation about climate change, by providing them with the tools and inspiration to develop a dedicated solution that suits the needs of their community.
Through a combination of speeches, lectures, and discussions we sparked the interest of regional young professionals eager to be part of such a unique opportunity on the island. The reason Ocean Generation are so passionate about hosting Hackathons in Antigua is to create and deliver real-world solutions to changing climates. Therefore the emphasis this year through partners like UNOPS and the government is to see the ideas from this weekend come to life.
A key theme for the evening was the importance of fostering an entrepreneurial spirit, thinking big and working smart. Headed by Donna Levin, Executive Director, Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Senior Lecturer at MIT. Entrepreneurship is a journey and the hardest part is taking an idea to market and delivery. It is imperative to know your customer, research your market and build a passionate and varied team.
This coming weekend is welcoming many teams both from the Caricom region and local educational institutions and teams in Europe – remote teams from Lund University, IDEON and Sony HQ that will be participating despite the time difference, and sending video pitches for the judging ceremony, evening Sunday 10th February.
As we move into the weekend and the launch of our second Dadlihack, we will be delivering a daily Hack-diary to our readers and wider network. This tool will be used to share highlights from the events along with education on hackathons, innovative solutions and also the region we are hacking in. We encourage our readers to get in contact with us across our Ocean Generation social channels with any question you have for our participants or special guests.
This event is about local and global collaboration because ultimately climate change affects all of us and it is all of our responsibilities take action.