Citizens across globe eager to contribute to a post-COVID recovery

Over 4,500 citizens from around the world will join forces and take action this week-end as part of EIT Climate-KIC’s Climathon 2020. The programme unites policymakers, entrepreneurs, youth, business leaders, hackers, academics, students and professionals in tackling the defining climate challenges of their cities– from urban planning to waste, circular economy, green infrastructure, sustainable food and mobility.

This year’s edition of Climathon will be hosted completely online and will be made up of 100 ideathon events lasting from eight to 72 hours happening simultaneously across five continents. Many of the teams are determined to bring to life ideas that can contribute to a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. In Zurich, Switzerland, for instance, teams will try to answer the question “In the context of COVID, what can we do tomorrow?”. Whereas in Cali, the most populous city in southwest Colombia, participants will create concepts on how to better manage the waste generated by COVID-19 such as gloves, face masks and eye protection.

Kirsten Dunlop, CEO, EIT Climate-KIC said: “Cities and their citizens are already experiencing the devastating and damaging effects of climate change. As centres of scientific, technological, cultural and social identity and innovation, cities are also the places and spaces where opportunities for creating change can have the greatest impact. Climathon is designed to empower citizens to make change in their own cities. By offering people a platform where they can come together in their own community to put forward innovative ideas to local decision-makers, Climathon provides citizens with an opportunity to design the future. Climathon 2020 will once again bring together extraordinary and courageous minds, determined to make change happen, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the ideas that emerge from this collaboration.

Since the first Climathon, which took place in the run-up to the historic COP21 negotiations in Paris in 2015, the event has grown to be the world’s biggest international climate change ideathon. In 2019, a record-breaking 6,500 participants took part in the events in 56 countries spanning six continents. A number of cities will participate for the first time this year including Accra (Ghana), Bogota (Colombia), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Islamabad (Pakistan), Lima (Peru), and Montevideo (Uruguay).

Gabriela Gandel, Executive Director of Climathon co-organiser Impact Hub said: “Our global community and support programmes have shown us how the post-pandemic world can address the two most urgent global issues of our time: inequality and climate change. By partnering with EIT Climate-KIC and having 19 Impact Hubs running Climathons in 2020, we are supporting and empowering the critical work of impact-driven entrepreneurs and citizens who are focusing on solutions to climate issues. We believe that strong cross-sector collaboration, funding, and joint action are how we will accelerate solutions and reach the impact that the world needs to see.

Last year’s winning team was led by Estonian entrepreneur Anna-Liisa Palatu, who took on the issue of e-commerce packaging. As online delivery services have grown over the years, so has the plastic waste. Her concept: To replace e-commerce packaging with otherwise disposed-of sheep wool. The idea became a start-up, Woola, which is now about to deliver its first commercial order.

The Climathon programme, organised by EIT Climate-KIC in partnership with Impact Hub, WWF, Makesense and the European Student Union, is a one-year programme. While most events will be hosted over the coming weekend, the first ideathons took place in February in Belgrade and New York, and the Climathon Awards will take place in January 2021. The full list of participating cities and challenges is available here.

More information about Climathon is available at climathon.climate-kic.org.

 

Media contact
Anne-Sophie Garrigou, Media Relations at EIT Climate-KIC
Anne-Sophie.Garrigou@climate-kic.org

About Climathon
Climathon is a city-based programme that offers a clear pathway to action and interaction — an opportunity for cities and citizens to co-create local ideas to shared climate challenges.  The global Climathon movement comes together within their own community to build the foundations for tangible projects, impact-driven start-ups and long-lasting conversations with decision-makers around city plans and policies.

About EIT Climate-KIC
EIT Climate-KIC is the EU’s climate innovation initiative, working to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon and resilient world by enabling systems transformation. Headquartered in Amsterdam, it operates from 13 hubs across Europe and is active in 39 countries. EIT Climate-KIC was established in 2010 and is predominately funded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.

As an EIT Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC), it brings together more than 400 partners from business, academia, the public and non-profit sectors to create networks of expertise, through which innovative products, services and systems are developed, brought to market and scaled-up for impact.

 
Location
Related Focus Area
Urban Transitions
Articles you may be interested in
In The News
In the face of complex challenges, Europe stronger together, says EU President...

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen outlined her...

In the face of complex challenges, Europe stronger together, says EU President von der Leyen
In The News
New IPCC report reveals urgent need for climate innovation

The IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report has launched. The report...

New IPCC report reveals urgent need for climate innovation
In The News
Moving beyond ‘brown coal’ in Europe’s rural regions

Together with Partners, EIT Climate-KIC is leading a process...

Moving beyond ‘brown coal’ in Europe’s rural regions
In The News
EU’s “Fit for 55” to spur policy innovation for climate action

The European Commission has released its “Fit for 55”...

EU’s “Fit for 55” to spur policy innovation for climate action
In The News
Munich Re and ERGO invest in EIT Climate-KIC carbon removal programme

Major German corporate group sets the ambition to accelerate...

Munich Re and ERGO invest in EIT Climate-KIC carbon removal programme
In The News
23 pilot projects selected by EIT to unlock higher education’s innovation po...

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has...

23 pilot projects selected by EIT to unlock higher education’s innovation potential in Europe
In The News
Investing in start-ups scales the offering of climate adaptation solutions in ...

A partnership between EIT Climate-KIC and CDC Group, the...

Investing in start-ups scales the offering of climate adaptation solutions in African and South Asian countries
In The News
Irish Aid extends support for innovation and development from the ground up

The Government of Ireland’s development assistance programme, Irish Aid,...

Irish Aid extends support for innovation and development from the ground up
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC showcases climate innovation at R&I Days

EIT Climate-KIC participated in the European Commission’s Research and...

EIT Climate-KIC showcases climate innovation at R&I Days
In The News
Branch Magazine wins Ars Electronica Award for Digital Humanity

Branch Magazine, a collaboration between EIT Climate-KIC, Mozilla Foundation...

Branch Magazine wins Ars Electronica Award for Digital Humanity
In The News
Cross-KIC project to boost circular economy in Western Balkans

The circular economy concept is of crucial importance to...

Cross-KIC project to boost circular economy in Western Balkans
In The News
Exploring new horizons with Pioneers into Practice

Enrolment is now open for placement hosts and participants...

Exploring new horizons with Pioneers into Practice
In The News
Circular bioeconomy start-up receives €2 million from European Innovation Co...

EIT Climate-KIC supported Lixea (formerly Chrysalix Technologies) has received...

Circular bioeconomy start-up receives €2 million from European Innovation Council Fund
In The News
Embracing a new approach to climate change in Moldova

Moldova is one of Europe’s most modest contributors to...

Embracing a new approach to climate change in Moldova
In The News
Krakow: transforming the city towards climate neutrality

Poland’s former capital and one of its oldest cities,...

Krakow: transforming the city towards climate neutrality
In The News
Is Europe doing enough to tackle climate change?

On 23 April, EIT Climate-KIC CEO Kirsten Dunlop spoke...

Is Europe doing enough to tackle climate change?
In The News
EU Commission publishes sustainable finance taxonomy

The European Commission has published its EU-wide classification system for...

EU Commission publishes sustainable finance taxonomy
In The News
New European Bauhaus: what kind of future do you want to live in?

On 22 and 23 April, the first conference dedicated...

New European Bauhaus: what kind of future do you want to live in?
In The News
Estonian innovation to help stabilise grid as renewables increase

EIT Climate-KIC supported Estonian start-up Sympower has raised €5.2...

Estonian innovation to help stabilise grid as renewables increase
In The News
Five EIT Climate-KIC community members in Forbes 30 under 30 list

Twelve entrepreneurs from across the EIT community have been...

Five EIT Climate-KIC community members in Forbes 30 under 30 list
In The News
These eleven organisations are building a greener Europe

Google, in partnership with EIT Climate-KIC, launched the €10...

These eleven organisations are building a greener Europe
In The News
New equity crowdfunding programme unearths cleantech start-ups

Found by us, funded by you, a new start-up...

New equity crowdfunding programme unearths cleantech start-ups
In The News
From start-up to 100-person industry player in 18 months: air up is launching ...

It’s a beverage revolution: Healthy hydration while fooling your...

From start-up to 100-person industry player in 18 months: air up is launching in new markets
In The News
#TurnItAround: an event for all climate solutions seekers, suppliers and enabl...

As part of the fifth SDG Global festival of...

#TurnItAround: an event for all climate solutions seekers, suppliers and enablers
In The News
New EIT initiative to boost innovation in higher education

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is...

New EIT initiative to boost innovation in higher education
In The News
Just transition within reach for Polish coal city Rybnik

“We are preparing plans for the next decade. Mentality is...

Just transition within reach for Polish coal city Rybnik
In The News
Inclusive guide helps communities build urban resilience

The new Urban Action Kit, launched by the International...

Inclusive guide helps communities build urban resilience
In The News
Climate app among DigiEduHack 2020 global finalists

The DigiEduHack, supported by EIT Climate-KIC as well as...

Climate app among DigiEduHack 2020 global finalists
In The News
GreeMko receives Climate Reality Project Award in Spain 

GreeMko (for Green Management Technology), a Spanish start-up that...

GreeMko receives Climate Reality Project Award in Spain 
In The News
What’s the future of trade in a climate crisis?

EIT Climate-KIC Chief Executive Officer Kirsten Dunlop addressed the...

What’s the future of trade in a climate crisis?