UNESCO: Winners of CodeTheCurve Global Hackathon find Innovative Solutions to COVID-19 Crisis

date:2020-05-07 18:29author:adminsource:UNESCOviews:

The global CodeTheCurve hackathon saw more than 165 young innovators from 26 countries hack their way through intense competition finals in search of solutions to counter the COVID-19 pandemic. After seven days of perseverance, devotion and expert mentorship, the winning teams and overall master winner have been identified. 

Launched on 6 April 2020, CodeTheCurve was developed b
y IBM, SAP and UNESCO to encourage youth to use digital innovation in response to the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. The hackathon saw this week’s finals come to a close, as nine finalists from 40 qualifying teams battled it out for the grand titles.


The final jury consisted of representatives from the organizers, experts from various fields and supporting partners from the ITU and FOSSASIA. After a rigorous and stringent selection process, the jury selected the following winners: 

Category 1 for ‘Ensuring Continued Learning’

VRoam (Canada)

The youngest of competing teams, VRoam designed their winning solution in response to the absence of social interaction and the lack motivation to exercise during the COVID-19 lockdown. This project combines Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence and 3D spatial information to navigate and explore the world and cultural sites while exercising. The project offers a combination of technology, e-learning and exercise at a time when social distancing is being implemented around the world.

Category 2 for ‘Information and Data Management’

CovidImpact (Canada, Mexico and Bangladesh)

This open source project was developed to address the pandemic’s impact on small businesses, as they face new challenges in terms of rent payment or recovery from losses. CovidImpact offers small business leaders with a care package featuring a curated list of programmes and real-time new

s, combined with a simulation tool that assesses the economic impact of the pandemic. CovidImpact currently focuses on small businesses in Canada and has plans to roll out its solution across the United States.

Category 3 for ‘Social and Health Issues’ and overall CodeTheCurve Master Winner

X-COV (Spain) 

This project was designed to address the need for doctors to analyze large amounts of medical data, such as chest X-rays, to understand the severity of COVID-19 in patients. X-COV created a data model using Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and visual imaging technology to analyze chest X-Rays using freely available data and resources. The resulting online tool helps physicians make faster, more objective decisions, thus contributing to the relief of the healthcare system.

 


A rich digital journey

Out of 199 applications, the CodeTheCurve journey for the 40 selected teams started on 21 April, when 22 trainers from UNESCO, IBM, SAP, the Internet Society (ISOC), Queen City Fintech and Microsoft delivered an intense 20+ hours of training. The real “hackathon” then started on 24 April. Teams composed of some 101 participants under 25 years of age were supported along their journey by a crew of 115 skilled volunteers acting as mentors on technical, business and gender-equality topics.

Innovative, Career-Building Prizes

All 34 teams that submitted their hackathon artefacts will receive a CodeTheCurve e-Certificate of Participation from UNESCO, IBM, and SAP. They will also be invited to an exclusive series of CodeTheCurve e-learning opportunities to further their professional development, and strengthen their coding and entrepreneurial skills. 

IBM Z awards will grant the three winning teams with one-year access to IBM LinuxONE Community Cloud and one year of quarterly mentorship calls with IBM experts to further their creative ideas. Winners will also be invited to two virtual events, allowing them to showcase their solutions and their journey to employees and IBM’s network of global collaborators. In addition, the first place ‘Information and Data’ category will also receive access to IBM Z, an enterprise-grade suite of machine learning and complex data processing solutions, for six months.

SAP will reward the winners with a six-month mentorship from a team of global experts and guided support on the ‘OpenSAP’ learning platform. In 2021, pending economic and international travel conditions, the Master CodeTheCurve winner will be able to complete an internship at SAP Labs Ireland.

CodeTheCurve, a collective effort

Organized by UNESCO, IBM Z and SAP, CodeTheCurve would not have been possible without the great support of partners such as UN EQUALS, TruChallenge, AngelHack, iHackOnline, Internet Society, Global Accelerator Network, People Centered Internet, FOSSASIA, Global Accelerator Network, Society of Physician Entrepreneurs, REDDS Capital, Village Capital, YPO, and Queen City Fintech.

Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau of the International Telecommunication Union, testifies her commitment to this joint effort: “It’s been an inspiration and a privilege to be part of the CodeTheCurve judging panel, and to see so many young men and women from all over the world join forces to confront this formidable global health crisis. Today’s youth are uniquely skilled at harnessing tech to solve the problems that are defining their world. We need to empower them and give them the chance to shape the future they want.” 

CodeTheCurve

  • The three-week hackathon called for young developers and innovators from all over the world to use their digital skills to develop solutions to counter the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Courses included three categories: professional development, entrepreneurship, and hands-on tech skills. Learning sessions included building cross-functional teams, storytelling, personal branding, data science and machine learning, media and information literacy (MIL), ethics of artificial intelligence, system architecture diagrams and tech roadmaps, and data protection, privacy, and security.

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