Call for Code seeks to combat global climate change

Tackling global climate change is this year's Call for Code challenge. The winner gets $200,000. (Pixabay)

IBM and an array of international partners are challenging innovators globally to combat climate change by using open source software to come up with solutions. The top winner gets a $200,000 prize and support to deploy the technology.

The 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge, announced Wednesday in Geneva, is backed by the Linux Foundation and a United Nations Human Rights initiative. The concept was created by the David Clark Cause in 2018. Now in its third year, the Challenge attracted more than 180,000 developers last year who created more than 5,000 applications focused on natural disaster preparedness and relief.

This year, IBM used the results of a survey of 3,000 developers, first responders and social activists in eight countries to bolster its emphasis on this year’s topic of climate change. The survey by Morning Consult found that 77% of first responders and developers agree with the statement that “Climate change is the single most pressing issue facing my generation.”   

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The survey also found that 79% of respondents agree that climate change can be reduced or combatted with technology, while 87% said it is important that a potential employer has taken action on climate change. 

“There is an urgent need to take action against climate change…IBM is determined to identify, deploy and scale technology solutions that can help save lives, empower people and create a better world for future generations,” said Bob Lord, IBM senior vice president of cognitive applications and developer ecosystems, in a statement.

“Climate change is the most critical issue of our time…We need a global network to fight this together,” added Mami Mikzutori, special representative for the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction. The UN, now 75 years old, is building a repository of crowd-sourced solutions to confront global challenges, including climate change.

Submissions for the challenge open on March 22. On a related website, IBM urged developers to use AI, IoT, data science and IBM Cloud’s open source development platforms.

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