UNESCO Open Data and Science Hackathon at FOSSASIA 2018 Summit in Singapore

10 April 2018

92 participants from open source community across Asia joined on 24 and 25 March the UNESCO Open Data and Science Hackathon at the FOSSASIA Summit that took place at the Life Long Learning Institute in Singapore, within the framework of UNESCO’s YouthMobile Initiative.

Over two days and supported by seven mentors, the participants teamed-up into 14 groups to develop open source applications that address climate change and environmental challenges for sustainable development. The developed applications range from flood prediction models using open datasets on rainfall, to application for tracking the carbon footprint and game to gain knowledge on environment by typing.

At the end of the hack days, three projects were selected by the Hackathon jury comprised of the representatives from Google Open Source Office, Ministry of Education in Singapore, Daimler AG, UNESCO, FOSSASIA as well as the founder and software architect of SUSI.AI. The winning apps include the Restro Machine, designed to collect waste and provide incentives for people to recycle domestic waste; an app to help detect polluted water areas in cities in Vietnam and provide information to authorities to take action; and an app that provides data, statistics and knowledge to farmers to help increase agricultural output.

The submissions were assessed on the extent to which they leverage open data and knowledge to respond to the pressing environmental issues. They were also judged on other criteria such as their technical implementation; scalability and replicability in the region; benefit to society and market opportunity; usability and gender-sensitivity.

The hackathon was for UNESCO an opportunity to raise awareness on the importance of open data, open source software and community to address the ambitious goals of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. The FOSSASIA Summit is the premier annual event for free and open-source technology community in Asia.

UNESCO and FOSSASIA share a belief in the tremendous potential of free and open-source software and community to share ideas, create knowledge and develop innovative solutions to advance peace and sustainable development. This aligns with UNESCO’s mandate to build inclusive knowledge societies and empower people though access to information and knowledge. 

All submissions to UNESCO Open Data and Science Hackathon are available at: https://fossasia-unesco.devpost.com/submissions

At FOSSASIA, UNESCO also participated in sessions dedicated to open source and the future of Education, and to the latest developments of its YouthMobile Initiative. Finally, UNESCO presented its work in the area of software preservation and its collaboration with France’s National Institute for research in informatics and automation (INRIA) in the Software Heritage project.

This event was organized with the support and participation of the UNESCO Regional Office in Bangkok.