University Environmental Hackathons to Further the Sustainable Development Goals

  • Sanjana Paul
Part of the Sustainable Development Goals Series book series (SDGS)


Even as hackathons expand in scope and scale, participants and problems still remain primarily those within or entering the field of software engineering. To apply the hackathon innovation model, incorporating rapid prototyping and development for environmental problems, Earth Hacks was created. This chapter discusses the creation of Earth Hacks, a purpose-driven interdisciplinary hackathon focused on generating innovative, actionable solutions to pressing environmental problems. We also detail the multidisciplinary approach we integrated into Earth Hacks events from the onset of the planning and ideation processes, as well as how we structure judging criteria to be able to take into account the multidisciplinary nature of the projects. We discuss the ideation process and organizational structure of Earth Hacks events, as well as strategies to make hackathon follow-up successful. We believe that hackathons can be a powerful tool to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and hope to be able to create a global community of student leaders dedicated to breaking down barriers in tech and applying their skills to solving environmental problems.


Environment Hackathon Environmental technology Innovation Climate change 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sanjana Paul
    • 1
  1. 1.The Earth Hacks FoundationRichmondUSA

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