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Developers taking on climate change and COVID-19


2020 Call for Code regional finalists

Today, I’m excited to announce the Regional Finalists for the 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge. Since its launch in 2018, this movement has grown to over 400,000 developers and problem solvers across 179 nations. Through Call for Code, developers connect, learn, share their expertise, and build open source solutions that can scale around the world and be deployed in individual communities.

After much deliberation, our judges have identified the top solutions from Asia Pacific, Europe, Greater China, Japan, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, and North America. Congratulations to all these teams, and thank you all for your time, commitment, and ingenuity!

The everyday effects of climate change and especially COVID-19 have revealed the limits of the systems we take for granted. That’s why Call for Code is focused on these two unprecedented challenges in 2020. Because these issues are experienced differently by local communities, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. We learned this in the first two years of Call for Code, creating solutions to mitigate the effects of natural disasters. We need solutions that work on the local level but also have the ability to scale and help any community, anywhere. Now in our third global competition, we’ve seen thousands of solutions built using Red Hat OpenShift, IBM Cloud, IBM Watson, IBM Blockchain, data from The Weather Company, and APIs from partners like HERE Technologies and InteliPeer.

While technology is key to removing those limitations and creating better systems, we also need the expertise of scientists, first responders, teachers, and community leaders. Together with those experts, IBM, along with participants from the Call for Code ecosystem, created starter kits to help developers focus on the kinds of problems that tech and community cooperation can address very quickly and scale solutions to where they’re needed most.

What they built is extraordinary. The developer community answered the call, three years in a row now, and has created more than 15,000 applications through Call for Code. From farming and education, to volunteering and supporting small businesses, this year’s regional finalist solutions are inspiring. We’ve encountered teams of seasoned coders who collaborated across geographic borders to build solutions, and passionate teams of newcomers that learned to code specifically for this Challenge. Change isn’t just possible — it’s happening here.

Large problems require large thinking — and a collective response to drive meaningful change. That’s why Call for Code Founding Partner IBM and Creator David Clark Cause have convened a unique ecosystem of diverse experts with technology, emergency response, and humanitarian backgrounds, including United Nations Human Rights Office, The Linux Foundation, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative University, Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Verizon, Persistent Systems, Arrow Electronics, HERE Technologies, Ingram Micro, IntelePeer, Consumer Technology Association Foundation, World Bank, Caribbean Girls Hack, Kode With Klossy, World Institute on Disability, and many more.

We are honored that some of the most eminent leaders in human rights, disaster risk reduction, business, and technology are serving as judges to decide the winners, including President Clinton, Mark Cuban, Mami Mizutori of United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Laurent Sauveur of United Nations Human Rights, Dr. Irwin Redlener from the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Janti Soeripto from Save the Children US, Brian Gallagher from United Way Worldwide, and Dr. Julie Pullen from Jupiter Intelligence.

In the weeks ahead,we look forward to announcing the global finalists, the University Edition finalists, and this year’s winners. But Call for Code doesn’t end with a check. Each year, we work with the top teams to bring their open source solutions to life through real-world deployments. We’ve done this with Project Owl and DroneAid in hurricane-hit Puerto Rico, and with Prometeo on the ground with firefighters in Spain. This year’s global winner will be announced on October 13 and will receive hands-on support from IBM, The Linux Foundation, and other partners to deploy their solution.

I invite you all to join us for the 2020 Call for Code Awards: A Global Celebration of Tech for Good on Tuesday, October 13 at 7:30 p.m. ET.