Learn about the first Fixathon: A hackaton to help fix the climate

Today we are excited to feature an interview with Steven (@shylands) from Impact Makers, about how he decided to start a hackaton focused on solving climate change problems.

Please tell us a bit about yourself and what is The Climate Fixathon?

For most of my career, my main focus has been on product design and development, but from working in startups, I've been able to wear many other hats. Everything from filmmaking to content writing.My most recent project is an online hackathon for makers to help #FixTheClimateThe Climate Fixathon.

I’ve noticed you also run Impact Makers, Why did you decide to focus on apps that can have an impact?

Last year I decided that I want to focus on solving problems which benefit humanity. After reading the Uninhabitable Earth book, I realised the one problem we have to fix above all others is climate breakdown. We must reach net zero carbon emissions ASAP, and find a way to remove carbon from the atmosphere or the future is going to be one disaster after another.

I setup Impact Makers to give tech workers motivated by the climate issue a place to communicate and find collaborators to take action.

Who can participate in The Climate Fixathon and what are going to be the rules?

Anyone from around the world can participate as an individual or as part of a team. It will run for 4 weeks from 2nd August. At the beginning of September our judges will review entries and decide which projects they feel are most like to:

  1. Raise awareness of climate breakdown.
  2. Help people take action against climate breakdown.
  3. Make climate breakdown related tech projects easier to create in the future.

Cash prizes will be given out to the winners of each of these categories.

Fixathon website

Do you believe developers can have an impact on climate issues with a Hackathon?

This is a question that comes up a lot. I absolutely believe we can have an impact on climate issues.

As developers, we are first and foremost problem solvers. While the climate emergency may seem like a problem we can’t impact, when you drill down, you discover that it’s a wide-ranging issue composed of hundreds of smaller contributing problems that we can help with. The key is to understand why the climate emergency is happening. Once you do it’s much easier to work what you can do to have an impact. Check out my latest article - Can indie makers help fix the climate for more on this.

What are some of the APIs you recommend that can help develop apps to solve or bring awareness to climate issues?

While I don’t have any specific API recommendations. I’d like to draw attention to existing dev projects aiming to help with the climate issue which require volunteers to help out. You can find a list of climate tech projects here along with details on how you can help. Getting involved in an existing project is a great way to start helping with the climate emergency.

A note from API List: We created a Help fix the climate collection with APIs that might help you develop an app to tackle climate change.

Do you have “open ideas” of apps to potential participants that might want to participate but can’t come up with ideas?

Absolutely. The Impact Makers community has a climate project ideas board with ideas that anyone can pick from should they be stuck for something to work on. We will also be posting more inspiration on The Climate Fixathon Blog.

How can people join The Climate Fixathon?

Our registrations will open on 10th July. For now, you can sign up to get notified about our launch on fixathon.io.

I’d also suggest you follow @fixathon on Twitter for updates. If you’d like to try and form a team to compete, tweet at us with the hashtag #fixathonteamup and we’ll spread the word!

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