Call for Code Global Challenge 2021: How innovators can help combat climate change with IBM's open source-powered technology


Over the last 130 years, the temperature of the planet Earth has risen by 0.85 degree Celsius, and each passing decade over the last 30 years has been warmer than the previous decade. Climate change is considered to be one of the gravest threats that the planet is facing today. Its effect on weather events, sea levels, and human health and natural ecosystems are already being felt across the world and has spurred a dialogue about the way forward.

While the startup ecosystem has been leveraging technology and innovation over the past few years to build impactful solutions, there’s a long way to go. To that end, the 2021 Call for Code Global Challenge aims to galvanise use of innovation to discover potential solutions which can mitigate the effects of the climate crisis.

Technology to address concerns over climate change

The Call for Code Global Challenge was conceived in 2018 by David Clark Cause and is supported by IBM, United Nations Human Rights and the Linux Foundation. Now in its fourth year, the challenge aims at tapping into the collective expertise of millions of developers, data scientists, technologists and problem solvers by giving them tools to create solutions that can drive social change. Over the years, the initiative has grown to include over 400,000 developers and problem solvers in its ambit across 179 nations and has generated more than 15,000 applications.

"We are strong believers in tech for social good. Through the Call for Code Global Challenge, we're trying to tap into the talent of 24 million developers and data scientists out there across the globe. This year, we're focused on climate change and it's more than just writing a cheque. We're going to take their solutions, incubate them, make the code available, sustain and deploy them," says Arvind Krishna, Chairman and CEO, IBM.

With the initiative, software developers and innovators have the opportunity to build and contribute towards sustainable open-source technology projects that address social and humanitarian issues. There are many ways to get involved with Call for Code, from forming a team and competing in the global challenge to designing code for existing open-source projects. You can pick the engagement that is right for you and build skills while driving a meaningful change.

Themes for 2021 Call for Code Global Challenge

Be it a software developer, a student or an innovator, anyone can apply for the challenge. This year the focus is primarily on the three pressing issues that are related to climate change:

  • Clean water and sanitation - Intelligent solutions for small farmers, recycling showers, hygienic water distribution, etc
  • Zero hunger - Food distribution in remote areas, crop farming on the edge of drought, delivering perishables to local homeless shelters, etc
  • Responsible production and consumption - Reducing plastic waste, generating cleaner sources of energy, smart grids to reduce carbon emissions, etc

Why should you apply?

The 2021 Call for Code Global Challenge offers a plethora of benefits to participants:

  • Etch your code on a transformative solution that effectively combats climate change
  • Winner prize money of $200,000, 1st and 2nd runner up prize of $25,000, 3rd and 4th runner up prize of $10,000
  • Support from IBM and The Linux Foundation to deploy your solution
  • Build your skills and learn about industry-leading, open hybrid cloud technologies
  • Contribute to projects that address the most pressing humanitarian and societal issues of our time
  • Collaborate with passionate developers outside your area of technology to build a team
  • Transform your codes into innovative solutions that have the potential to create impact
  • Apart from a global winner, a standalone award of $5,000 will also be awarded to an India-specific team.

Don't miss the chance to use tech for social good

The registration window opens on April 22, 2021 and the last date to apply is July 31, 2021. Meanwhile, you can register and join the Call for Code community, where you will get access to a free IBM Cloud account with credits worth $200.

The winners will be announced in November 2021. In the previous editions of the challenge, Project OWL, Prometeo, Agrolly and Safe queue took home the award for their meaningful contributions in addressing problems like damaging effects of natural disasters, climate change, racial injustice and the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, you could be one among them. Answer the Call today!


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