204 participants gathered at the UNESCO Hackathon over the weekend of October 13 – 14 in Ho Chi Minh City to develop digital applications that tackle climate change and sustainable development challenges in Vietnam and the Mekong region. The event was a great success thanks to support from the Government of Malaysia, UNESCO YouthMobile Initiative and Officience.
24 project teams were formed during the Hackathon. With the dedication of team members and mentorship from facilitators, all teams managed to complete their hacks. It was challenging for the judges to make their final decision as all proposed solutions appeared to be innovative and applicable. The three winning teams were Klima Kage, Climap & Bird’s Eye View. Additionally, the judges also selected three runner-ups ThreeWolves, DBTFC & GreenELF, whose projects directly address the issues related to climate change in the country.
Winning Projects: Klima Kage, Bird’s Eye View and Climap
Klima Kage is a website application which consists of two parts: main page and community page. The main page contains data from open source database and tutorials extracted from the UNESCO handbook for journalists on climate change and sustainable development in Asia Pacific, which directly assist journalists in selecting data to monitor.
On the community side, there is a forum for discussion and a news section where relevant articles will be published. The team decided to give priority to female journalists (ration 6:4) in reviewing and releasing news articles on this page, as a way to raise public awareness on gender dimension. SUSI.AI was also integrated into the web app to record users’ behaviour and offer suggestions for their next visits.
Bird’s Eye View is a mobile game built in unity with an objective to educate people about the impacts of climate change on all kind of creatures under the sea. In each level of the game, players are brought into a different coastal city in Vietnam, where they learn about the real problems which are happening to the regional aquatic animals.
The game was designed to target on younger age groups, who generally have less awareness on environmental issues, yet are expected to create big differences in the community once they grow up. In the future, the development team hopes to expand the application, to include more terrains and other kinds of animals in order to provide players with a more overall image of the situation in Vietnam and the region.
Climap is the last project selected as a winner of the hackathon. Proposed and developed by a team of young developers from Ho Chi Minh City, Climap acts as an EXIF based Image Sharing System that enables users to to collect and instantly share data/images of places before, during and after disasters happen (due to the impacts of climate change).
By using Climap, users can view all relevant data from the uploaded photos including: its location, weather index, and the occurred events/incidents, etc. They can write tags for each picture to label what was happening at that moment so the data can be further analyzed by local authorities or responsible institutions.
Talks and Workshops
Alongside with the hacking competition, tech talks and workshops were hosted to support the participants and provide them crucial knowledge of the topics.
Panel Discussion: A Green Planet for All
At the beginning of the hackathon, Hong Phuc Dang (FOSSASIA Founder) led a panel discussing featuring Misako Ito (UNESCO Advisor for Information and Communication), Pham Lan Phuong (Author Khai Don) and Tran Le Thu Giang (Youtuber GiangOi) to uncover the concepts of climate change and sustainable development under the own perspectives. The conversation offered the audience specific answers on how they can practice sustainable development in every aspects of their daily lives.
Workshops: Working with Git/Github and Doing Electronics Experiments with PSLab
PadMal M, FOSSASIA/PSLab Lead Developer delivered two workshops, when he showed participants how contributors can effectively work together on an open source project using Github and what electronics experiments can be performed using PSLab (Pocket Science Lab – a hardware device by FOSSASIA). Together with FOSSASIA robotics expert, Marco Gutiérrez, the two successfully developed and integrated a robot into the PSLab device, which amazed participants and audience alike.
Experience the world’ first portable CO2 Laser Cutter by LionsForge
Kee Wee Teng, Founder at LionsForge is a maker at heart, he always felt that the laser cutter, being such a useful tool, should be more accessible. He believed this type of machine should be safer so that everyone can use it for their own needs. After two years working on several designs and samples, Kee Wee and his team finally introduced to the world the CraftLaser laser cutter, a portable yet powerful machine that can be safely use at home, in the schools or even in public places.
Video Footage of UNESCO Hackathon Vietnam 2018
Hackathon Photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/tJRN2b3mayNy6FcE6
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Posts on the Web
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