SAP, IBM and UNESCO launch CodeTheCurve Hackathon to counter COVID-19

April 6, 2020

SAP Africa Code Week, in partnership with IBM and UNESCO, will launch the CodeTheCurve Hackathon today to encourage youth to use digital innovations to address the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In its effort to support youth engagement in driving social innovation and change, SAP is joining forces with IBM and UNESCO in reaching out to young developers and data scientists to team-up, unleash their ideas and propose groundbreaking approaches for todays’ societal issues. The two-week hackathon calls for young developers and innovators, data scientists, and designers from all over the world to use their digital skills, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit to join forces to develop digital solutions to counter the outbreak of the pandemic.

“Times of crisis create opportunities to rethink our daily lives and how we live together. We must give ourselves the means to achieve our common objectives and vision of the world”, said Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, “More than ever, Technology a global tool and every young person should be equipped with the necessary skills to participate in rethinking our world”.

Over the years, UNESCO has engaged with thousands of youth to create change, built solid youth networks, and reached young people to work on many different societal issues. The organization is fully committed to empowering youth. In this spirit, SAP Africa Code Week and UNESCO will work together to foster the development of digital skills and professional development competences of youth, with a focus on female software developers and designers. CodeTheCurve uniquely addresses young developers, data scientists, educators and trainers, inviting them to look at our future, post-COVID19 - society as it will have changed after the current pandemic.

“We have to act now,” says Claire Gillissen-Duval, Director of EMEA Corporate Social Responsibility and Africa Code Week co-founder at SAP. “We need to empower our young innovators in finding solutions to this crisis, and true to SAP’s vision of helping the world to run better and improving people’s lives - our devoted and knowledgeable colleagues will support CodeTheCurve by providing expert mentorship to all participants throughout their innovation journey.”

The online and immersive hackathon is designed to encourage young digital developers and data scientists to imagine and develop online and offline apps, data models, and digital tools to address current and future issues linked to the current healthcare emergency. The teams participating in the CodeTheCurve learning journey and hackathon will work on one of three main themes: 1) Ensure continued learning, 2) Data management and information, and 3) The present and the future: societal and health issues.

“With 1.5 billion young people currently at home due to COVID-19 school closures, 183 countries impacted, and a need for practical, fun, and virtual education, the IBM Z team is incredibly excited to launch CodeTheCurve with UNESCO, SAP, and our collaborators. Empowering youth with tech skills, entrepreneurial zest, professional development, and mentorship is really the secret sauce for inspiring the world to transition from consumers of technology into creators, makers, and doers empowered by technology“, says Melissa Sassi, Global Head – IBM Z Global Student Hub & IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator.

The CodeTheCurve Hackathon will be organized in two phases, a first video competition for submitting teams and ideas and a hackathon with 40 selected teams. The hackathon will close 30 April 2020.

Participating ‘hackers’ will receive experience pitching their innovative solutions from relevant and supportive organizations that have been brought together under the umbrella of CodeTheCurve. The selected teams will be able to benefit from a series of webinars, activity kits and expert support offered by partner organizations, such as SAP, IBM and iHackOnline.

Youth ideas and innovative spirit need to be heard in order to reach UNESCO’s common goals inscribed in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, one of its greatest prospects to build more inclusive and fair societies for all.

The initiative is supported by UNESCO, IBM and SAP, and the generous contribution of TruChallenge.co.uk, AngelHack, iHackOnLine and with the collaboration of Pamplemousse Communication.

Your ideas can change our future, participate in the CodeTheCurve hackathon. Register on codethecurve.org or visit www.africacodeweek.org