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Coders invited to tackle climate change in global challenge

The IBM-led Code for Global Challenge is inviting practical applications built on open source software to employ technology to help create a better world for future generations.

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Prometeo's wildfire field test which took place during a controlled burn near Barcelona
Prometeo's wildfire field test which took place during a controlled burn near Barcelona

The 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge, a competition inviting the world’s software developers and innovators to help fight climate change with open source-powered technology, has been announced.

 

The five-year, $30 million initiative urges developers to use their skills and mastery of the latest technologies, and to create new ones, to drive positive and long-lasting change across the world.

 

Returning for its third year, it is led by founding partner IBM along with creator David Clark Cause, and in partnership with United Nations Human Rights and the Linux Foundation.

 

Practical applications

 

According to IBM, the challenge “encourages and fosters the creation of practical applications” built on open-source software including Red Hat OpenShift, IBM Cloud, IBM Watson, IBM Blockchain and data from The Weather Company.

 

“There is an urgent need to take action against climate change, and IBM is uniquely positioned to connect leading humanitarian experts with the most talented and passionate developers around the world,” said Bob Lord, senior vice president of cognitive applications and developer ecosystems, IBM.

 

“[We are] determined to identify, deploy and scale technology solutions that can help save lives, empower people and create a better world for future generations.

 

On its 75th anniversary, the United Nations is demanding a “global reality check” and has launched the “biggest-ever global conversation” on how to address the world’s most pressing issues such as climate change.

 

The campaign will see the UN spark dialogues throughout 2020 in diverse settings across the world. For the reality check, four innovative data streams will build the first-ever repository of crowd-sourced solutions to major global challenges, including climate change.

 

Prometeo's wearable device that helps to monitor firefighter safety
Prometeo's wearable device that helps to monitor firefighter safety

“Over these past two years through Call for Code, UNDRR has seen the potential for developers to tackle major societal challenges, and developers will have a crucial role in our response to the climate emergency,” said Mami Mizutori, special representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Disaster Risk Reduction.

 

“Climate change is the most critical issue of our time, with a multitude of localised contributing factors and cascading effects that cannot be solved by a single organisation. We need a global network to fight this together.”

 

More than 180,000 participants from 165 nations took part in Call for Code in 2019. They created more than 5,000 applications focused on natural disaster preparedness and relief.

 

On its 75th anniversary, the United Nations is demanding a “global reality check” and has launched the “biggest-ever global conversation” on how to address the world’s most pressing issues such as climate change.

 

Last year’s Call for Code Global Challenge winning team, Prometeo, created a wearable device that measures carbon monoxide, smoke concentration, humidity and temperature to monitor firefighter safety in real-time as well as to help improve their health outcomes in the long-term.

 

The solution has since been developed further through IBM’s code and response programme and has completed its first wildfire field test.

 

Visit CallforCode.org to join the community and learn more about the challenge, which will open for submissions on 22 March, World Water Day 2020.

 

 

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