Water and Climate Change Entrepreneurship e-Hackathon
Solutions for the Mediterranean Region
In the framework of the World Water Day organized annually by the Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI), the CMI’s Regional Knowledge Program on Water in collaboration with the Mediterranean Youth for Water Network (MedYWat) and cewas Middle East invites you to attend the Water and Climate Change entrepreneurship e-hackathon.
We are looking for solutions to the most pressing challenges related to water and climate change in the Mediterranean Region.
Our goal is to motivate and encourage innovative idea generation among young Mediterranean water entrepreneurs.
Join us in this 2-day
e-Hackathon and share your ideas, skills and experience with other young entrepreneurs to bring about a positive change to our environment and communities! The winning teams will get invited to an immersive one-week bootcamp in Tunisia to take their business off the ground!
The e-Hackathon forms part of the 2020 e-World Water Day. Every year, the World Water Day draws the world’s attention to key water challenges. The CMI’s World Water Day 2020 focused on the theme of “Water and Climate Change – and how the two are inextricably linked”.
During our e-Hackathon we aim to create entrepreneurial solutions for real-life problems and challenges in the Mediterranean Region. While we will focus on developing corresponding approaches to solve water and climate change-related issues, it is essential that the solutions are actually needed, and able to benefit a customer/beneficiary base. Therefore, we have asked members of the Mediterranean Youth for Water Network (MedYWat) to submit challenges related to water and climate change that they have witnessed.
The following three challenges have been selected to be developed during our e-Hackathon:
Mitigation solutions for climate change impacts on water resources and food security
With population growth all across the region, technology is struggling to keep up with the rising demand for food. Many countries along the Mediterranean thus face severe food security issues, caused by the detrimental effect of climate change on water resources, outdated irrigation methods such as furrow irrigation, strip irrigation and check basin irrigation, and mismanagement of resources. Besides putting natural resources at risk, food insecurity also forces many people, especially youth, to pursue opportunities abroad as their livelihood in their countries of origin is at risk. This issue is evident across the region, but particularly in more arid areas of North Africa, including Tunisia and Morocco. New, sustainable approaches and shifts in agricultural practices are needed to contribute to better irrigation management and thus stimulate agricultural production and food supply in the region.
Urban waste (water) management
Unsustainable land usage, deforestation and air pollution have rapidly been driving climate change, with its effects often most evident in the waters surrounding densely populated urban hubs such as Beirut in Lebanon or Tirana in Albania. Urban waste and wastewater are badly managed and allowed to flow into the ecosystem uncontrolled, from rivers, lagoons and streams all the way to the ocean. Pollution endangers and kills millions of sea creatures and destroys underwater assets like Posidonia oceanica. Solid and liquid wastes pollute the air, water, and soil and leaves numerous environmental impacts – not to mention the health risks caused by improper treatment. The solution is not just large infrastructure such as an incinerator, landfill or a huge wastewater treatment plant. Solutions must be long-term and sustainable. Everyone is affected by this problem, from a simple individual who accumulates household waste to the country’s prime minister.
WASH and COVID-19
Frequent and proper hand washing and sound hygiene practices are some of the most critical measures that can be taken by each citizen to prevent infection with the Corona virus. However, education about proper techniques is minimal, people often do not have access to adequate facilities, and, on top of this, dozens of litres of water go to waste with each handwash, especially if the tab is not properly closed. While handwashing and hygiene are crucial to fightinig diseases, this runs the risk of exacerbating water scarcity. Every individual, but especially large public facilities including restaurants, schools, hotels and co-working spaces, could benefit from solutions to prevent over-consumption, which in turn prevents competition for water with less advantaged, rural populations.
MedYWat members and Water Heroes who apply will have guaranteed access. Furthermore, we call young entrepreneurs aged 18 to 35 with ideas, enthusiasm and interest to join us developing innovative ideas for the water and climate challenges. Regardless of their place of residence, applicants must be nationals from one of the following Mediterranean countries: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Montenegro, Palestinian Territories, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey.
You can participate as an individual or as a team. However, everybody needs to register individually. Just make sure to indicate the names and e-mail addresses of your team members in your own application form. If you already have an idea, you can develop it during the e-Hackathon, but we encourage you to be open to new members and mentors to support your effort. You can also apply without an idea, and we will connect you with a team of entrepreneurs.
Because the winning ideas will be further developed in a Bootcamp in Tunisia, and the groups will be supported and coached during the months after the e-Hackathon, we will prioritize candidates who show an entrepreneurial spirit and are willing to implement their ideas into actual businesses.
All you need to participate is internet connection, an e-mail address and preferably a laptop and computer to actively work in groups.
Also, keep in mind that the
e-Hackathon will be held in English and you will need to actively participate (probably non-stop) for 48 hours.
So, reserve Wednesday 24th and Thursday 25th June completely! Make sure you have a good internet connection, enough food and tons of motivation!
Once you are assigned to a group, we will send you and your team members a link to your solution board. You will be filling it in and uploading deliverables throughout the Hackathon.
In the early morning of Friday, 26.06, your team needs to submit the solution board containing:
• A short description of your idea and a cool name/logo
• A 2 min video
• Support material, including pictures of your prototype and a pitch deck (6 slides), and proof of validation (letter of intent, phone protocols, confirmation emails)
• Profiles and pictures of the members of your team
More information will be provided during the e-Hackathon.
A jury, composed of 6 specialists from the Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI), cewas, the World Bank, MEDREC, GWP-Med and Clean2O, will evaluate the solutions considering the following criteria:
• Relevance of the solution to the specific challenge in the Mediterranean Region
• Potential for long term impact / sustainability
• Added value for the customer
• Financial viability
• Entrepreneurial spirit of the members of the team
• Progress achieved during the e-Hackathon
The jury will select the most promising solutions who will be announced in the award ceremony on Friday 26th. We are looking for impactful, sustainable entrepreneurial approaches to water and climate change-related challenges. And we want to help you take your solution off the ground after the e-Hackathon – the best teams will be invited to join us in Tunisia (dates subject to travel regulations) for a one-week bootcamp! Once there, you will benefit from a tailored advanced support programme. Our experts will be present to offer insights, coaching and training every step of the way.
Key Dates to Remember
Application of participants
• From Monday 19th of May 2020
• Until Friday 12th of June 2020
Announcement of selected participants and groups
• Thursday 18th of June 2020
• Participants need to confirm until 20th of June (12m CET)
First day of the Hackathon
• Wednesday 24th of June 2020 at 9:00am CET
Second day of Hackathon
• Thursday 25th of June 2020 at 9:30am CET
• Submission of projects until 9:00am CET on June 26th
Announcement of winners
• Friday 26th of June 2020
• Ceremony at 4:00pm CET
Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI) of the World Bank
The Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI) is a multi-partner platform where development agencies, Governments, local authorities and civil society from around the Mediterranean convene in order to exchange knowledge, discuss public policies, and identify the solutions needed to address key challenges facing the Mediterranean region. Members of the CMI include Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestinian Authority, Spain, Tunisia, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region, City of Marseille, the European Investment Bank and the World Bank Group, and the European External Action Service (EEAS) as an observer.
Mediterranean Youth for Water Network – MedYWat
Mediterranean Youth for Water (MedYWat) is a network of young water professionals from across the Mediterranean region, supported by the Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI), working together to create a youth platform for knowledge sharing and capacity building. The network encompasses over 192 young Mediterranean water researchers, entrepreneurs, and activists working on solving the water challenges in the region.
This E-Hackathon, as part of a regional Water Security Nexus study, is co-financed by the UK Government under the Conflict Stability and Security Fund (CSSF). The CSSF was established in 2015. It provides a cross-government platform for the integrated delivery of government policy across conflict and security priorities contributing to both UK national security and aid objectives.
cewas Middle East
Founded in 2010 in Switzerland, cewas is the world’s first dedicated water and sanitation incubator, offering dedicated water and sanitation entrepreneurship programmes and tailored support for innovators. cewas’ core activity is to support entrepreneurs in identifying opportunities in the water and sanitation sector, giving them guidance to develop a strong and sustainable business model and opening doors to access to finance, customers and networks. So far, cewas has worked with over 300 entrepreneurs, including nearly 100 MENA entrepreneurs at all development stages through the regional programme cewas Middle East.
We want to make sure that we create a safe, comfortable and inclusive environment and an enjoyable experience (without nuisance) for everyone. Therefore, we require all participants to agree with the terms and conditions, which includes a code of conduct of our e-Hackathon.