TheClimateChallenge: unser Hackathon in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Goethe Institut

Unser Hackathon ist nun schon vor einer Woche zu Ende gegangen und so langsam realisieren wir, was wir als Team geschafft haben. Seit April 2020 war unser Montagabend fest verplant und es hat sich gelohnt. Aktivismus lohnt sich!

In der Abschlussveranstaltung war all die Arbeit vergessen und wir waren unglaublich glücklich über die Resultate. Zu unserem Hackathon haben sich rund 250 Menschen aus 25 Ländern angemeldet – aktiv waren ca. die Hälfte. Die Teilnehmenden wurden von 23 ExpertInnen aus der (Umwelt-)physik, Politikwissenschaft, Psychologie, Geo- und Kommunikationswissenschaft betreut. Dies folgte der Idee, dass bei begrenzter Zeit Datensätze, methodische- und technische Ansätze den Teilnehmenden schnell verfügbar gemacht werden müssen. Ein Austausch fand außerdem zwischen den ExpertInnen statt, wovon die Teilnehmenden zusätzlich profitieren.

Christoph Schönherr und Thomas Loew haben im Namen des S4F Kernteam ebenfalls an unserem Hackathon teilgenommen. Beide saßen zusammen mit Dr. Kira Refeld und Dr. Sanam Vardag in der Jury und konnten so aus erster Hand die eingereichten Lösungen beurteilen. Insgesamt wurden 28 Projekte eingereicht, von denen wir vier Projekte als Gewinner küren konnten. Jedes Projekt erhält eine projektgebundene Förderung von 3.000 EUR, welche durch das Auswärtigen Amtes im Rahmen der deutschen EU-Ratspräsidentschaft möglich gemacht wurde. Des Weiteren bekommen die vier Projekte die Möglichkeit, ihre Fortschritte in 6 Monaten erneut zu präsentieren und dort eine weitere projektgebundene Förderung von 5.000 EUR zu erhalten.  

Nun möchten wir euch kurz die Projekte vorstellen, die zum größten Teil bereits ihre Arbeit wieder aufgenommen haben. Jedes Projektteam hat ein Video zu seiner Lösung gedreht und dieses auf Youtube hochgeladen. Weiteres könnt ihr gerne den beigefügten DevPost-Links entnehmen:



„It can be difficult for the average user of a social media platform to identify if a post on the climate crisis is based on a reliable source or misinformation. As a consequence, erroneous ‘news’ are reproduced or go viral. Some users even intentionally mislead the internet community. This behaviour can cause confusion in raising awareness and taking action on climate crisis. IsThisAnExpert is a Twitter bot that helps users see the credibility of another user on the climate crisis. Retweet a post on climate change to @IsThisAnExpert and it will run an assessment on the credibility of the user and their expertise on climate change.“

We think that “Is this an expert” addresses a pressing challenge. Social media communication is fast, it’s in our present and everyday life, it reaches a wide audience, but the credibility of sources and the validity of the statements cannot be quickly judged. So the “Is this an expert”-team made an impressive progress over the course of the Hackathon. It came from an idea to the first implementation, which is accessible to everyone on Github. And we found that this is innovative, creative, really well presented and a scalable solution to the communication aspects of climate change.

Dr. Kira Rehfeld (Jury, Institut für Umweltphysik der Universität Heidelberg)



„To aid climate change communicators, we developed the vision for a software tool that identifies problematic language in social media posts and suggests possible improvements. With this tool, we want to reduce further polarization of opinions on climate change and lead to a more inclusive language through which people that did not identify with the movement feel respected and invited to join in action against climate change. Posts are evaluated based on the tone and sentence structure and polarizing language of „us“ versus „them“ is then suggested to be replaced alongside an explanation for that reason. While social media is frequently used to communicate with supporters it is read by and affects other, often unknown people. Our tool checks posts considering this and encourages the use of more inclusive and motivating language that can win over more supporters.“

CeCeCe got its highest ratings in creativity and innovation. There are many ideas and solutions in this Hackathon which either tackle data issues or which try to connect people. CeCeCe is different. It addresses Climate Communication, how to improve it and – which is most important – the idea is how to engage people who are not yet active in the climate movement, how to address people who are not really bothering about the climate, but should be bothering more. So this was a very innovative idea.

Thomas Loew (Jury, Scientistss4Future)



„Raising awareness for climate change ultimately aims at encouraging people to act against its adverse impacts. Responsibility is often directed towards all individuals equally, nudging them to act more sustainable in their everyday behaviour. Still, only a hundred international companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions. Even though individual actions are desirable, those with the greatest potential impact need to be addressed more effectively. During this Climate Challenge hackathon, onedoesnotsimplyclimatechange developed a methodology to verify whether specific persons in charge (PIC) can be held accountable for a misuse of their power.“

What impressed us most, first of all was the presentation. It was clear and precise just like the concept of what the project will actually do. Secondly, the impact – it spells out the real truth, based on facts of who has how much impact on the climate. Like, for example, 38 million people going vegan versus switching of one coal power plant – that was a very impressive number. And thirdly: it is creative. The project itself is creative and it also encourages other people to be creative to collaborate and engage.

Christoph Schönherr (Jury, Scientists4Future)



In academia, recent studies show that the research-related greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) alone are substantially higher than those of the german average, let alone the german targets for the Paris agreement. Quantifying and visualising these emissions are the first steps to then propose and take measures for reduction. We want to create a web tool and mobile application in form of a questionnaire where institutions and individual employees can insert their emissions in different categories to get a total and per-employee carbon footprint estimate.

The Web App proposed by “WePledge” allows to collectively assess a business’ or institution’s carbon footprint. It empowers the individuals and facilitates action at the level where high emissions are created with an aspect of gamification. Thank you for this creative and innovative solution that we would love to see employed widely.

Dr. Kira Refeld (on behalf of Dr. Sanam Vardag, Jury, Institut für Umweltphysik der Universität Heidelberg)

… und zum Schluss

Eine Playlist zu allen eingereichten Projekten kann hier gefunden werden:

Wir sind mehr als glücklich über die Ergebnisse und spielen schon mit dem Gedanken nächstes Jahr einen weiteren Hackathon zu veranstalten.

Liebe Grüße

Noemi, Felix, Sarah & Julius

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