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IBM announces 2021 Call for Code Global Challenge Regional Finalists


The climate crisis has become one of the most pressing issues of our time, so critical the United Nations’ Secretary-General labeled it as “code red for humanity” in response to a recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. With the report predicting dramatically rising temperatures and sea levels, and more frequent drought and fire weather over the next 20 years, change and collaboration are needed to make both an immediate and lasting difference.

Because of this urgency and consistent with IBM’s long commitment to environmental leadership, this year’s Call for Code Global Challenge invited the world’s software developers and innovators to come together to combat climate change with open source-powered technology. In particular, participants were asked to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2 (Zero Hunger), 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), and 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), and through them help to halt and reverse the impact of climate change.

After months of work by teams around the world and much deliberation by our distinguished judges, we’re excited to announce the regional finalists for the global competition. Our judges have identified the top solutions from Asia Pacific; Europe; Greater China; India; Latin America; the Middle East and Africa; and, North America. Congratulations to these teams, and thank you all for your time, dedication, and ingenuity!

Since Call for Code launched in 2018 by David Clark Cause and IBM, with the support of the Linux Foundation and United Nations Human Rights, more than 500,000 developers and problem solvers across 180 nations have joined the movement and built 20,000 applications to help address some of the world’s most pressing issues, including natural disasters, COVID-19, racial injustice, and climate change. These applications were built using open source-powered software, such as Red Hat OpenShift, IBM Cloud, IBM Watson, IBM Blockchain, data from IBM’s Weather Company, and developer resources and APIs from partners like Esri and Twilio. Fourteen Call for Code projects to date have been adopted into open governance by the Linux Foundation.

Each year, we collaborate with the top teams to help bring their open source solutions to life through real-world deployments. For example, since winning the Call for Code Global Challenge in 2019, Prometeo – which uses wearable IoT devices to monitor the health of firefighters in the field based on critical safety variables – has further developed its innovative solution while working with the volunteer IBM Service Corps and leading ecosystem partners like Samsung, Arrow Electronics, and others. Recent advancements made by Prometeo include incorporating feedback from firefighters, integrating with mobile phones and watches, and making the technology available as an open source project called Pyrrha through the Linux Foundation.

Regional winners, among whom the Global and University Challenge winners will be chosen, will be selected by each region’s panel of judges that includes local leaders in business, academia, government, and NGOs. Regional winners will be announced along with the Global Challenge winner and the University Award winner at the 2021 Call for Code Awards on November 16, will receive $5,000 USD, and can continue to receive guidance from IBM and mentors in the Call for Code Community.

The Global Challenge winner will be selected by a broader panel of some of the most eminent worldwide leaders in sustainability, business, and technology, including Bill Clinton, Founder and Board Chair, Clinton Foundation and 42nd President of the United States; Peter Bakker, President & CEO, World Business Council for Sustainable Development; KC Choi, EVP, Head of the Global Mobile B2B Team, Samsung; Jacob Duer, President & CEO, Alliance to End Plastic Waste; David Katz, CEO, Plastic Bank; James McMahon, CEO, The Climate Service; and, Dr. Dawn Wright, Chief Scientist, Esri.

As Call for Code has expanded over the past four years, so has the ecosystem of experts, companies, foundations, universities, and celebrities who support it in various ways. The ecosystem now includes Arrow Electronics, Black Girls Code, Caribbean Girls Hack, Clinton Foundation, Clinton Global Initiative University, Ingram Micro, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Intuit, NearForm, Slack, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, and World Institute on Disability. This year, to help take on climate change, Heifer International, charity: water, and The Nature Conservancy joined the Call for Code movement and contributed their expertise in sustainability and how it relates to humanitarian efforts including hunger, poverty and access to clean water to help build starter development kits and judge submissions.

Stay tuned for announcements of our global top five and grand prize winners. To learn more about the finalists and the solutions they’ve developed, visit IBM Developer.