Climathon: Major cities across 6 continents unite for 24-hours to find climate change solutions

LONDON, UK, 15 JUNE – Major cities across six continents including national capitals such as Beijing, Washington DC, New Delhi, Addis Ababa and London will unite for 24 hours on 18 June. Entrepreneurs, students and policy makers will work together to find new solutions to local climate change problems ranging from sea-level rise to the conservation of biodiversity.

Map indicating the 17 cities participating in the 18 June 2015 Climate-KIC Climathon

Map indicating the 17 cities participating in the 18 June 2015 Climate-KIC Climathon

As diplomats around the world work feverously towards a global deal for the UN’s COP21 climate change summit in December, participants around the world join together to find innovative solutions to climate change as part of a Climathon organised by the EU’s main climate innovation initiative, Climate-KIC. The best solutions will be presented during the COP21 in Paris.

Ebrahim Mohamed, Climate-KIC’s Director for Education, said: “At Climate-KIC, we constantly look for the best ideas. We then focus on training the talent to scale those ideas up to solutions with high impact. With governments from around the world scheduled to meet at the COP21 summit here in Europe, now is the time to empower citizens to take action and find solutions. We also need to find new ways to deal with the climate change that is already occurring.”

The Climathon is set to coincide with the much anticipated environmental encyclical by Pope Francis. Climate-KIC Chairman John Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), is the only scientist to join Cardinal Peter Turkson for the presentation in the Vatican on 18 June and will give a speech.

The Climate-KIC Climathon is an official partner of the former US Vice-President Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, which runs a global series of “Road to Paris” events in 2015 under its Live Earth banner, in collaboration with the United Nations. The Climate-KIC Climathon aims to connect and empower citizens around the world to take direct climate action in their cities in the run up to COP21.

Global hackathon

Ebrahim Mohamed, Director for Education, Climate-KIC

Ebrahim Mohamed, Director for Education, Climate-KIC

The focus in each city is on predefined local climate change challenges, ranging from finding ways to counter threats posed by sea-level rise in Boston, USA, to developing the best solutions to find ways to empower the citizens of São Paulo, Brazil, to improve the conservation of its biodiversity. A full overview of all challenges is available on

In Washington D.C., Meghan Chapple, Director at Office of Sustainability at the George Washington University said this about the local Climathon challenge: “In our nation’s capital we still have work to do to turn local waste into resources. Solid waste contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. We are inviting students, professionals, designers, and entrepreneurs to develop inspiring solutions that we can put into practice.”

In Brazil, Jose Ripper Kos of the Federal University of Santa Catarina said: “Rio de Janeiro has a unique urban configuration, squeezed by the sea and mountains which contains significant natural parks. In this context, transportation is a major ecological, social and economic issue.” Ripper Kos is head of the university’s Architecture and Urban Studies Programme.

The best teams go to Paris

In every city, the teams will engage on social media to exchange and cross-pollinate ideas with participants from around the world. The best team in each city receives coaching and support from Climate-KIC after the Climathon to move their idea forward together with the city itself. The best teams globally will go to Paris to present their ideas on the world stage during the summit.

The intercontinental hackathon-style event will take place at well-known universities, research centres, government facilities and corporate offices in Africa, Asia, North and South America, Oceania and Europe. 



Climathon Cities

In Africa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia takes part. In Asia, Beijing and New Delhi join the event. In North America, Washington D.C. and Boston join. South America is represented by Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo in Brazil. Oceania takes part from Wellington – the New Zealand capital and Perth, Australia. Europe is represented through Copenhagen, Birmingham, Frankfurt, Gothenburg, Helsinki, London, Winterthur and Wałbrzych in Poland.

About Climate-KIC

Climate-KIC is the EU’s main climate innovation initiative. It is Europe’s largest public-private innovation partnership focused on mitigating and adapting to climate change. Climate-KIC consists of companies, academic institutions and the public sector.

The organisation has its headquarters in London, UK, and leverages national and regional centres across Europe to educate students and professionals, to support start-up companies and to bring together partners on innovation projects to bring about a connected, creative transformation of knowledge and ideas into products and services that help mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Climate-KIC is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.

About the Climate-KIC Climathon

Visit for an overview of partner organisations and the climate change challenges per city.

Follow the Climathon on 18 June on social media via the #Climathon hashtag, and the Climate-KIC channels and


Climate-KIC Climathon Media Contacts

Climate-KIC Headquarters
Angela Howarth
Head of Communications, Climate-KIC
+44 (0)20 7492 1972 / +44 (0) 7872 850 084 (British Summer Time / UTC +1)

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Sara Groenendijk
Ethiopia Innovation Centre
+251 9859 6861 

Beijing, China
Changhua Wu
Climate Group 

Birmingham, UK
Claire Spencer
Climate-KIC Communications Officer West Midlands
+44 121 250 3527
+44 7887 050 757

Boston, USA
Theresa Silver
Program Coordinator, Water Diplomacy, Tufts Civil & Environmental Engineering Department, Tufts University
+1 617 627 5522 

Copenhagen (Denmark), Gothenburg (Sweden), Helsinki (Finland)
Line Gry Knudsen
Education Lead Climate-KIC Nordic
+45 4525 1107
+45 2515 0127 

Penny Schmith
Communications Officer Climate-KIC Nordic
+45 4525 1257 

Frankfurt, Germany
Christoph Auch
Education Lead Climate-KIC Regional Implementation Centres
+49 69 305 25746
+49 163 257 49 76 

Anne Bartens
Climate-KIC Education Manager Regional Implementation Centres
+49 69 305 45721
+40 173 699 22 17 

London, UK
Mike Tennant
Climate-KIC Education Lead UK
+44 79 44 32 48 61 

Catherine Oriel
Climate-KIC Communications Officer UK
+44 20 7594 58 55

Matt Mellen
Climathon Coordinator London
+44 78 11 20 55 10 

New Delhi, India
Virendra K Vijay
Climathon Coordinator
Professor at the Centre for Rural Development and Technology, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
+91 11 265 963 51/11

Shashank Misra
Climathon Facilitator

Sao Paulo, Brazil
Daniel Dias
USP Innovation Agency
+55 11 3091 2932

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
James Miyamoto
Graduate Program in Urban Studies (PROURB), Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)

Jose Ripper Kos
Graduate Program in Urban Studies (PROURB), Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)
Head of the Architecture and Urban Studies Program, Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC) 

Walbrzych, Poland
Sebastian Puculek
Climate-KIC Education Manager Lower Silesia, Poland
+48 71 734 7008
+48 727 660 226

Hanna Domagala
Climate-KIC Climathon Project Manager
+48 71 734 7008
+48 727 660 154

Climathon Wellington

Anthony Cabraal
Victoria University of Wellington
+6422 0766 169        

Silvia Zuur
Victoria University of Wellington 

Climathon Washington D.C.
Meghan Chapple
Director of Sustainability, George Washington University
+1 202 994 6297
+1 202 277 2353 

Climathon Winterthur
Regina Vogel
Climate-KIC Education Lead Switzerland
+41 44 633 85 56
+41 79 102 60 67

Melanie Müller
Climate-KIC Communications Officer Switzerland
+41 44 633 93 41
+41 (0) 79 401 0401

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