The world is going green. As humanity faces problems of ecological degradation due to energy guzzling machinery and gadgets, and a piling mound of discarded ones, it makes sense to mend old ways and reinvent the ways we do things.
It is also time to fundamentally rethink the role of agricultural knowledge, science and technology in achieving equitable development, and sustainability. Today’s world is a place of uneven development, unsustainable use of natural resources, worsening impact of climate change, and continued poverty and malnutrition.
During Editions Month, we will host some themed Startup Weekends that aim to solve environmental and sustainability issues through startups focused on eco-technology, as well as products and processes that help this green wave grow further. The areas of focuses varies from waste management to eco-tourism, to organic farming, and so on. On the weekend of May 6th, Melbourne’s organizing team will host Startup Weekend Sustainability Edition and Beirut’s on May 13th, Startup Weekend Environmental Edition, you can learn more about both events below:
What makes this Edition interesting?
Melbourne Team: Bringing all things awesome about Startup Weekend to people who want to make a difference in the area of sustainability but who have no idea where to begin. The original motivation for such an event was created to address the issue of providing people a platform to realise these ideas and to be a part of something bigger than themselves. The spirit and entrepreneurial style of Startup Weekend mixed with the “I want to make a difference but don’t know how” is a perfect match.
Beirut Team: This edition is one of the most interesting subjects on earth at all times. Our environment is nothing to be taken lightly and the planet is in rem need for help from all of us, entrepreneurs first. It is a subject that not only concerns Beirut, it concerns everyone. On a note, it specifically touches Beirut as our country is currently in a waste crisis and on the verge of becoming toxic to live, so we are hoping the lovely green entrepreneurs help us prevent this from happening.
What are you most excited about for your upcoming event?
Melbourne Team: The event is an opportunity for people to come together to create the possibility of making a real difference in sustainability and the environment. Not only does this particular event stand to provide all of the normal awesome things of Startup Weekend, but it has the potential to really make a difference in one of the major issues facing the entire planet today. We hope that participants get all of the great things they usually get out of Startup Weekend and leave empowered and inspired to make a real impact in the world through a sustainability based business or project. It is these people that will make the difference, we’re just providing the structure and access for them to be able to realise their own possibilities.
Beirut Team: The thing I’m most excited about is the startups that will come to life, I can’t wait to see the ideas they have, those that will solve waste problems and help the environment become better. I’m interested in seeing how they’ll tackle the challenges to go from ideas into a working model, and how they’ll incorporate and optimize those startups in their communities.
Any final thoughts?
Melbourne Team: We hope that we can cause other “Sustainability” themed Startup Weekends throughout the world as we know there are so many people dying for an opportunity to be a part of something like this (and if anyone wants to help us cause a sustainability based Startup Weekend, please be in contact so we can help!)
Beirut Team: The thing making this event special is that the EU is sponsoring and facilitating environmental solutions and impact on the society will happen because of it. The EU’s goal is to help the entrepreneurial scene in Beirut, Lebanon. On the other hand, the entire startup, entrepreneurial and green ecosystems are all on board for this event which makes it rich in content and relevance.
For more information about these Startup Weekend events go to:
A machine that repurposes plastic byproducts. A platform that lets you earn rewards and gift cards by using less energy at home. An app that lists plant-based recipes.
These are just a few of the groups that competed at this weekend’s Startup Weekend event in Seattle, one of the first worldwide to focus on clean tech and making the world a more environmentally friendly place.
Winning first place was Canairy, a company looking to spread awareness of toxic air quality by crowdsourcing real-time data. The idea is to gather enough information about location-specific air quality with a device that measures toxic air pollution, analyze that data and then help people make decisions about their health.
Bring Your Plate, an online community for people with dietary restrictions to organize potluck events, won “Best Technical Education.” Eneract, which lets you earn rewards, credit toward your energy bill and donations to your favorite causes for conserving energy at home, won “Best Design.” Meanwhile, RiDAR, a community sourced ride-share network, won the award for “Greenest.”
The next Startup Weekend event in Seattle will take place March 21 and is geared toward design. Below is a rundown of the other participating teams this weekend:
- ReCYCLOPS: The Seattle-based company buys plastic bottles from people and converts them into printable filament for 3D printers, which are then sold at below-market costs.
- Recipeas: Plant-based recipes.
- Bikealot.co: An online event management platform for bicycle clubs aimed at helping bicycle clubs get more butts on bikes for fewer bucks.
- Watt Swap: A service to find power charging stations for electric vehicles. This service ensures quality and availability of the power stations it recommends.
- Ecometrix.co: An app that determines how “green” an individual is, allowing them to compete with not only their friends, and community, but with others across the country. Questions are asked in a fun and engaging way to create a profile, guiding one to a lower carbon footprint. Earn points and earn rebates in sustainable products.
- WaterNation: WaterNation aims to provide resources and support to inspired and select individuals from communities around the world to enable them to create change in their local water systems.
- Twitch Is Pacman: A massively two player online Pacman game where many people control the movement of the same character (Pacman or his foe, Blinky). This game will also be a six day campaign to support BestFriends.org, the world renouned animal welfare organization. You can donate to Pacman, which will support their Dog programs, or you can donate to Blinky, which will support their Cat programs.