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Products for the Planet: wrap-up from our climate change hackathon

Watch the highlights video here, or scroll down for the link to the full presentations!
COP26 has dominated the headlines for the past 10 days, with all eyes on Glasgow as our World Leaders agree on key outcomes and steps needed to protect the future of our planet. It has been said time and time again that change needs to happen from an individual and local level to achieve these outcomes, and that is why we created Products for the Planet; a hackathon to educate, empower and inspire action for climate change.
From 5th-7th November, five teams of (for the most part) strangers with a shared ambition to make an impact, came together for a weekend of collaboration and innovation, and what a weekend it was! Choosing between two challenges, our teams worked tremendously hard to develop and prototype exciting new products, with one chosen at the winner at the end of the weekend. Read on to find out what ideas our teams had and who was crowned our winner!

Challenges to inspire public action for climate change

In case you missed any of the information prior to the event, here is a short synopsis of the two challenges set to our teams:
Challenge 1: Global problems on a human scale
Products for the Planet challenge 1
"What does 1 tonne of CO2 look like? How about 70 million tonnes? We've evolved to think on a human scale, but we're facing a global, species level challenge with numbers that are incredibly hard to conceptualise. How can we effectively communicate CO2e (CO2 equivalent impacts) to mobilise support and help communities make meaningful, tangible decisions?"
When Bright Purple approached Pawprint to help set this challenge, we asked what they envisioned to be one of the biggest challenges to them as a business. While we brainstormed many ideas together, one problem that stood out was just how people actually understand and visualise their carbon footprint. Does saving 1 tonne or 1kg of carbon mean anything to anyone? It was up to our teams to decide if there was a better way to do it.
Challenge 2: Local Logistics
Products for the Planet challenge 2
"We're ordering more goods online than ever before. How can we reduce the number of repeated courier visits to each address, with a particular focus on residential locations? There are a variety of approaches that could be taken to this problem, and you could focus on changing consumer behaviour or streamlining city-wide logistics."
How many packages have you had delivered to your house this week? Ever ordered from Am*zon and wound up with three deliveries for items you ordered at the same time? This challenge sponsored by Sestran and Surflogh gave our teams the task of how they might resolve issues such as this, either by focusing on the logistics side, or by encouraging a change in behaviour from consumers and their spending habits.

Ideas to inspire action for climate change

After a long two days developing and refining an idea, building prototypes, designs, presentation slides and practising their pitches, our event culminated in some fantastic presentations from our teams with some innovative ways to educate and empower action for climate change based on the two challenges set to them. Here's a short low down of some of the product ideas developed at the event.

"Good Neighbour" - Team Awkward

Our first team to present their idea was Team Awkward - Taylor, Adam, Juan and David.
Products for the Planet, Good Neighbour appTeam Awkward
The team came up with Good Neighbour: an app that incentivises people to accept parcels on behalf of others in order to reduce the amount of re-deliveries for missed parcels.
Good Neighbour screenshotTaylor presenting at Products for the Planet
In the Good Neighbour app, individuals can be filtered by rating, distance to you or by pickup time, so that you have control as to who your package is delivered to and when you are able to go and collect it. 
The team estimated that the app could save courier companies up to £250 million per year, as well as the most important saving - CO2 impact!

"Green Locker" - Team Lion

Our second team to present were Team Lion - Claire, Jorge, Ebtehal, Sachin and Chris (who was a remote participant!)

Green LockerClaire, Team Lion

Their solution to the logistics challenge was Green Locker: a smart locker system strategically placed in local transport hubs around the city.
Team Lion identified the existing growing market of smart lockers and developed the idea into a more sustainably focused solution, where if multiple couriers could consolidate many packages in one place, then this would significantly reduce the number of home deliveries needed, saving couriers money and of course reducing the emissions impact on the environment.

Team Lion, products for the planetGreen locker

The team suggested that additional income could be created via advertising on the lockers and within the app, and that by having the lockers conveniently placed at transport hub, consumers would be able to collect parcels while on existing commutes or journeys without going out of their way.

"CO2-nect" - Team CO2-nect

The first team to take on our CO2e conceptualisation challenge were team CO2-nect - Marise, Thomas, Sharif and Najmi.
Team CO2nectCO2-Nect hub
The team identified that transport accounts for 28% of overall greenhouse gases and corporate travel accounts for 53% of emissions caused by businesses. Their solution to this is their product CO2-nect: a platform that helps employees track their emissions and make better travel choices.
CO2nect hubMarise, team co2nect
The CO2-nect hub allows individuals to search a journey and compare the emissions caused by each journey, as well as usual factors such as price and duration. As part of their product idea, the CO2-nect hub would also help businesses to understand where to focus to reduce emissions by using analytics.

"Get Shifty" - Team Techtonics

Also taking on the CO2e conceptualisation challenge was Team Techtonics - Tandy, David, Abdul, Andrew and Dami.
Team TechtonicsTeam Techtonics
Team Techtonics decided to focus on education, and developed an interactive game "Get Shifty" - designed to educate young people (and adults!) on climate change and their own CO2 impact.
Get Shifty
Get Shifty aims to create a fresh mindset: to shift the negative narrative to the positive narrative and inspire change in local communities. The team also mentioned how CO2 emissions would be visualised using familiar, more tangible images such as blue whales or swimming pools to quantify CO2 volume in a way that resonates with users.
The game would utilise leaderboards, reward points and prize incentives to encourage learning more about CO2 impacts and climate issues.

"NoBlah" - Team NoBlah

Our final team to present were Team NoBlah - Lloyd, Phil, Jalal and Paulina (who was also a remote participant)
NoBlah teamNoBlah slides, products for the planet
Team NoBlah designed a personalised web app of the same name, which utilised character recognition technology so that users could upload supermarket receipts and find out their total emissions for their shop. Over time, the collected data would allow the app to give more personalised recommendations to help reduce their carbon footprint.
Lloyd presentingNoBlah prototype
The NoBlah app would also allow for people to form groups, so that you could see the actions of other users and be inspired by the actions each person is taking to reduce their own footprint.
Scroll down to find out who won, but first, some other highlights of the event!

Workshops and Speakers

Our teams enjoyed a Saturday afternoon workshop around "Encouraging climate action in your organisation" with special guest speakers Anna and Erin from Pawprint, and Norma Gray from New Norm.
Erin, Anna and Norma
Erin and Anna talked our participants through how Pawprint works - an app that allows employees to track their carbon footprint and actions to reduce it, along with the benefits for businesses as to how encouraging employee action on climate change can help towards the environmental goals of the business.
Norma discussed the benefits of sustainable plant-based eating, with her plant-based meal delivery service New Norm. Norma explained how a plant-based diet is one of the single biggest ways an individual can reduce their carbon footprint, and that if businesses implemented small changes such as meat-free Mondays, that it could make a significant collective impact over time.
On Saturday evening the teams enjoyed another talk, this time a fireside chat with Elaine Ford, founder of Project Rewild and Electrek Explorer.
Elaine Ford, Electrek Explorer
Chatting to Bright Purple's Abby who hosted the interview, Elaine talked the teams through her entrepreneurial journey as founder of two businesses with environmental missions at their core. Elaine is also a UN COP26 Ambassador, and discussed what Electrek Explorer have been doing in this important role during COP26.
Elaine, Erin and Anna also provided their expertise as mentors throughout Saturday, giving insight to our teams as they worked to refine their ideas before prototyping!

And the winner is...

After combining the points from mentor scores across the weekend and the top picks from our judges, the results were calculated and verified, and the winner was...
Winning team NoBlahTeam NoBlah winners
A massive congratulations to Lloyd, Phil, Paulina and Jalal! NoBlah have pushed their prototype live online, so you can check it out here!
If you missed the presentations and would like to watch them, you can do so on Youtube here.

Small steps can have a big impact

At the heart of our hackathon was the theme of public education and empowerment for climate change, and we feel our hackathon exemplified how small steps can have a big impact. Whether it's small daily choices that accumulate in a larger impact over time, or whether it's the fact that your one single action could inspire or influence those around you to do the same.
With COP26 bringing the issues of climate change to the front of everyone's minds, we hope that events such as ours can act as example of how local communities can come together to play their part in inspiring action for climate change.
A massive thank you again to every sponsor, speaker, mentor, guest and participant, and of course to the fantastic Allan Lloyds of Product Forge for bringing Products for the Planet to life.
Team photo, Products for the PLanet


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