Impact Hub Houston Puts Houston on the Global Climathon Map with First Climate Action Hackathon October 25

For Immediate Release:  October 7, 2019
Contact: Grace Rodriguez
Email address: grace.rodriguez@impacthub.net

HOUSTON, TX – Houston is no stranger to extreme weather and disasters due to climate change, with three 500-year floods—and the destructive Hurricane Harvey—in recent years. The “Energy Capital of the World,” Houston has one of the highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions in the country, emitting over 34 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in 2014 alone. To spark sustainable solutions to these challenges,  Impact Hub Houston is excited to announce it is organizing Houston’s first Climathon on October 25, 2019, with partners that include global organizer EIT Climate-KIC, the City of Houston, Citizens’ Environmental Coalition, Houston Community College, Sketch City, January Advisors, Bunker Labs, WeWork Labs, Syzygy Plasmonics and GoodFair. All designers, developers, entrepreneurs, students, policymakers, and people wanting to improve Houston’s quality of life are invited to participate.

“During Hurricane Harvey, we saw Houston’s talent rise to these challenges and develop solutions that not only helped rescue, feed and shelter local Houstonians, but went on to help people in Florida and Puerto Rico,” says Grace Rodriguez, CEO/Executive Director of Impact Hub Houston. “We’re excited to join the global Climathon challenge in order to give Houston’s changemakers a platform to develop sustainable air, water, energy, etc., solutions and take them to the next level. In such a diverse city with so many resources, it seems only natural that Houston can help lead the way in developing local solutions that can scale to other contexts.”

Lara Cottingham, Chief of Staff & Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Houston, references the Mayor’s recently-announced Climate Action Plan and acknowledges that to scale the plan’s impact, “We must engage local citizens and the startup and entrepreneurship community in developing innovative solutions towards climate action.”

“Houston has a lot to lose as the weather changes,” said Jeff Reichman, founder of January Advisors and Sketch City. “We should be using our talents to elevate good ideas for our region, and to connect with one another for long-term collaborations.”

Houston’s biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions are transportation (47%) and commercial and residential buildings (49%). Other sources of emissions include manufacturing, waste, and fugitive emissions (4%). The Climathon Challenges address these problem sources, encouraging people to develop solutions in the areas of mobility, retrofitting, circular economy, food, climate finance, human behavior, water management, energy, extreme weather, waste management, and air pollution.

The Climathon is Houstonians’ opportunity to connect with leaders and subject experts for guidance in developing viable solutions in any of the challenge areas. Local judges will select the most promising ideas to submit to the Climathon database, for consideration to present at the Global Awards in Paris. The best may go on to win support from the global community!

For more information, please visit https://houston.impacthub.net/climathon2019.

To register to participate, go to https://climathon.climate-kic.org/en/houston

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About Impact Hub Houston (https://houston.impacthub.net)

Impact Hub Houston is a locally rooted, globally connected, nonprofit startup development organization that aims to make Houston a role model for how the world solves its most pressing issues. A member of the Impact Hub global network—the world’s largest community recognized by the United Nations for accelerating entrepreneurial solutions towards measurable and scalable impact for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—Impact Hub Houston intentionally designs places, platforms and programs to build an inclusive innovation ecosystem and empower diverse changemakers, social entrepreneurs, and impact supporters to create the change they wish to see in the world.

About EIT Climate-KIC (https://www.climate-kic.org/)

EIT Climate-KIC is a European knowledge and innovation community, working to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy. Supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, they identify and support innovation that helps society mitigate and adapt to climate change. EIT believes that a decarbonised, sustainable economy is not only necessary to prevent catastrophic climate change, but presents a wealth of opportunities for business and society.

Impact Hub Houston Proudly Endorses the 2030 Global Agenda for Sustainable Development

We, the participants of the 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference, adopt this document to advance the 2030 Global Agenda for Sustainable Development as it builds on the education and global citizenship focus in Gyeongju (2016) and the focus on people-centered multilateralism in New York (2018). This year we concentrate specifically on Sustainable Development Goal 11: “to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable by 2030.” We do so by highlighting inclusivity, climate change, peace, economic opportunity for our youth, and the development of infrastructure and technology needed to support sustainable growth. For each of these we affirm our beliefs, urge others to partner with us, and commit to action.

Without active recognition of the challenges facing sustainable societies, we will accomplish nothing.

Therefore, we affirm:

  • The importance of inclusivity, recognizing that sustainable societies must provide opportunities for all human beings to succeed regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic status, disability, or any other social or cultural backgrounds or associations.
  • The reality of climate change, acknowledging that it poses a grave threat not only to the sustainability of human society but to life itself.
  • The need to understand peace, a necessary component of sustainable societies, as not just the absence of war and civil strife, but as the active presence of justice, security, inclusivity, and lives lived in harmony with one’s neighbor and the earth’s ecosystems.
  • The obligation for societies to provide their youth with the skills and opportunities to sustain themselves individually while also contributing to the health, well-being, growth, and sustainability of the overall society, thus also enabling successive generations to thrive.
  • The importance of infrastructure and governance to the connectedness, commerce, and public health of a sustainable society.
  • The potential for wisely-chosen technology to address many of society’s problems.

Without stakeholders actively working toward solutions, simple problem recognition goes nowhere. Stakeholders can be individuals, NGOs, corporations, educational institutions, faith communities, governmental units, or other organizations, so actions need to be tailored to each goal and stakeholder group. We encourage all stakeholders to formulate individualized and organizational action plans to achieve the global goals.

Therefore, we urge all:

  • To apply inclusivity, striving to remove systemic barriers of bias and discrimination that too often marginalize large segments of society.
  • To protect our environment and the planet, working to reduce the destructive impact of our human footprint by powering our societies with clean, renewable sources of energy; to protect our air, our water, and our ecosystems in order to sustain biodiversity; and to replace unfettered consumerism with a conscious ethic of balanced production, consumption, reuse, and recycling.
  • To build and sustain safe and peaceful societies, free from war, civil strife, and rampant crime, by working to establish equal justice and opportunity for all regardless of ethnicity, culture, language, gender, and minority or other status.
  • To ensure a vibrant and sustainable future for our youth through educational opportunities that develop the skills needed to grasp economic opportunities.
  • To invest in infrastructure that enables the growth and sustainability of our societies, ensuring that development minimizes environmental harm and focuses on those regions and societies currently left behind.
  • To use appropriate technology, whether old, new, or future, to address the broad range of challenges to sustainable societies, including climate change mitigation, communication, education, commerce, human security, public health, and sustainable development.

As stakeholders, our affirmations and commitments need to be embodied in concrete actions ordered toward economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable cities and communities.

Therefore, we commit individually and collectively:

  • To apply conscious inclusivity in our daily lives, our corporate and organizational efforts, and our governmental laws, regulations, and practice.
  • To practice care for our environment by taking steps individually and collectively to mitigate climate change and its adverse impact.
  • To promote sustainable peace as the presence of harmony and inclusive collaboration.
  • To inspire, encourage, and support our youth in their visions and ensure that they are prepared for, and have access to, a sustainable future.
  • To urge governments at all levels to build, upgrade, and repair infrastructure in ways that maximize sustainability, minimize adverse environmental impact, and ensure its ability to withstand the impact of climate change and other natural disasters.
  • To use appropriate technologies to develop sustainable societies characterized by inclusivity, peace, and human and economic security while mitigating climate change and other adverse environmental effects.

Therefore, be it resolved:

We, the participants of the 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference, will continue to work to further the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as we move toward the United Nations’ 75thAnniversary in 2020.

We thank the people and the Government of the United States of America, the State of Utah, and the City of Salt Lake City for the kind welcome and gracious hosting that they have given to the 68thUnited Nations Civil Society Conference and for their efforts to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

For the original draft, visit https://outreach.un.org/ngorelations/content/uncsc2019-outcome.

Climathon 2019: Hacking Solutions to Houston’s Climate Challenges!

Bring Your Climate Action Ideas to Life at Climathon 2019!

Oct 25, 2019 | Impact Hub Houston @ HX

Climate change is at our doorstep.

Literally.

Houston has been flooded by three “500-year” storms in just three years.

Our homes and communities can’t take another 497 years of this.

It’s time for action.

RSVP NowLearn More

Houston, “The Energy Capital of the World,” has experienced three 500-year-flood disasters—including the destruction from Hurricane Harvey—in the same amount of years. We’ve seen local talent rise to these challenges in the past, and want to give them a platform to take their solutions to the next level. In such a diverse city with a tremendous amount of resources, it seems only natural that Houston can help lead the way in developing local solutions that can scale to other contexts…especially in light of the Mayor’s recently-announced Climate Action Plan

Climathon 2019 is Houston’s opportunity to:

  • Engage the nonprofit, startup and entrepreneurship communities to develop innovative solutions towards climate action
  • Build stronger relationships among impact-oriented organizations and communities
  • Connect thought leaders and subject matter experts with designers, developers, entrepreneurs, policymakers and activists for more creative, effective, and viable solutions
  • Send talented Houstonians to present their solution at the Climathon Global Awards in France!

What happens during Climathon?

Presenting the Challenges: Entrepreneurs, students, developers, and more are invited to come up with innovative solutions to Houston’s climate challenges.

Creating Solutions: You’ll connect with city officials and partners around a shared vision for a healthier city. You’ll help bring this vision to life by participating in the hackathon October 25, 1pm-10pm: You can bring an existing idea to work on, or develop a new solution with an inspiring team. Coaches and experts will be on hand to help you develop promising solutions to Houston’s climate challenges. Participants can win passes to the Wild and Scenic Film Festival, courtesy of the Citizens’ Environmental Coalition!

What happens after Climathon?

You can continue working on your solutions on October 29 at Open Project Night and over the next two weeks. For those serious about turning their ideas into viable businesses, we’ll help you prepare to pitch to our panel of judges, who will evaluate which ideas move on to the next phase. The highest scoring team will be awarded the opportunity to work with Topl to build a customized Impact Tracker for their solution: This Tracker will give the winners the opportunity to turn their sustainable solution into verifiable action by creating, analyzing, and eventually exchanging Impact Credits on Topl, the impact blockchain!

The top three solutions will be submitted for a chance to go to the Climathon Global Awards in Paris and win a Citizens Award and cash prizes: 1st) EUR 10,000 / 2nd) EUR 5000 / 3rd) EUR 2500

Finalists selected to move to the next phase will receive:

  • An invitation to the Climathon Global Awards Ceremony on January 31 in Paris during the ChangeNOW Summit
  • A dedicated one-day bootcamp to grow your idea, on January 30 in Paris
  • Free entrance to the 3-day ChangeNOW Summit
  • Travel and accommodation for one person per team of semi-finalists is complimentary (additional team members are more than welcome to join at their own expense!)

VOLUNTEERING FOR CLIMATHON 2019

We welcome YOUR ENGAGEMENT for the Houston Climathon!

As we will need all hands on deck that day, we are looking for around 8 volunteers to support the event during different shifts, including a couple of people to help capture this very special event with photography and filming. Are you the one?

Find more information, contact us at houston@impacthub.net!

Climathon Houston Challenges

Challenge #1: Crowdsource Solutions for the City of Houston

Stakeholder and citizen engagement are an important part of solving Houston’s climate challenges. The City seeks solutions towards multiple goals from the Mayor’s Climate Action Plan, which guide the strategies and actions that the City and community can take to reduce our GHG emissions and help prepare for a changing climate

Challenge #2: Better Decisions from Better Carbon Visibility

By giving consumers visibility to the carbon footprint of different energy sources, which companies utilize these sources, and the degree to which they utilize these sources, we can empower consumers to make informed purchasing decisions about their energy supply.

Challenge #3: Impact Climate Awareness and Action

When sustainability is taken into account, not every action carries the same weight. How can we motivate people to adopt a new, sustainable lifestyle and act in meaningful ways in their everyday lives in order to address the main causes of climate change?

Challenge #4: Houston Electric Vehicles (EV) Challenge

For a developing EV market to thrive it is important that would-be adopters have awareness of and convenient access to options that suit their needs and preferences.

Climathon Houston Schedule

October 25, 2019

1:00 pm
Check-In

 

Participants check-in and get situated

1:20 pm
Welcome!

 

Welcome, Introductions and Instructions

1:40 pm
Team Formation

 

Innovators present ideas, and teams form around them

2:00 pm
Get Hacking!

 

Teams start working on solutions

6:30 pm
Break for Dinner

 

Teams break for dinner. Everyone is welcome to order in and stay to continue to work, though!

10:00 pm
Wrap Up!

 

Teams wrap up for the evening. We’ll share next steps with all participants. If you’d like to continue working on your solutions among peers, join us at Open Project Night on October 29!

Experts

Meet Our Coaches, Judges and Experts

Jeff Reichman
Jeff Reichman

Founder, Sketch City & January Advisors

Kevin Doffing
Kevin Doffing

Houston Lead, Bunker Labs

Lara Cottingham
Lara Cottingham

Chief Sustainability Officer, City of Houston

Rachel Powers
Rachel Powers

Executive Director, Citizens' Environmental Coalition

Carlos Estrada
Carlos Estrada

Labs Manager, WeWork

Grace Rodriguez
Grace Rodriguez

CEO, Impact Hub Houston

Trevor Best
Trevor Best

CEO, Syzygy Plasmonics

Ravi Brahmbhatt
Ravi Brahmbhatt

Director of Student Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Houston Community College (HCC)

Topl Tech Team
Topl Tech Team
Support Solutions to Houston's Climate Challenges!

Where It’s At

Impact Hub Houston @ HX
410 Pierce St, Suite 215
Houston TX 77002

This Event is Free, But There’s Only Room for 60!

Partners & Sponsors

Many thanks to our partners and sponsors for spreading the word and making this event FREE to participate in!

Entrepreneurial Networks are Driving Global Change, According to Impact Hub Network’s 2019 Global Impact Report

Ahead of this year’s Global Climate Strike (20-27 September) and the Global Goals Week (21-30 September), the Impact Hub network is launching its 2019 Global Impact Report. The report features details of how communities of entrepreneurs globally are creating significant change in combating the world’s most challenging problems and are contributing significantly to achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

The report marks Impact Hub network’s role as an industry thought leader in the impact sector, utilizing a local community-based, yet globally connected model. Impact Hub’s report demonstrates how such communities are offering viable solutions towards sustainable development, with statistics in the report showing that 60% of members are putting ‘impact-first’.

The 2019 Global Impact Report is the culmination of gathering relevant data from a number of their 16,500 members of 100+ locations in over 55 countries around the globe. The members surveyed said that being part of such a network had helped them to:

  • Feel part of a larger community: 84%
  • Gain access to a better working infrastructure: 78%
  • Strengthen their motivation: 77%
  • Partner and collaborate with other members: 76%
  • Connect to advisors and experts: 68%
  • Develop skills and capabilities: 65%
  • Come up with new ideas: 65%

The report also highlights how Impact Hub members are encouraging economic growth, especially in the social impact sector, with 10,000+ new ventures and 29,000+ net new jobs created since 2012. Collaboration also permeates the report as one of the primary benefits for change-makers working in our network, with the members who made many connections ending the following year with a total of 17,300 USD more investment than their peers who made fewer connections.

The data shows the impact that tailored support programs can have for entrepreneurs looking to develop an idea or scale a venture. In 2018, the Impact Hub network ran over 100+ successful entrepreneurial support programs and 100+ collaborative innovation programs focused on SDGs and ecosystem development globally. The results show program participants attributing 40% of their professional success to Impact Hub. Here are some examples of Impact Hub’s programs:

My life in my hands

Run by Impact Hub Caracas, ‘My Life in My Hands’ tackles early pregnancy, violence and drug use among youth: crucial topics in the country with the highest rate of teen pregnancy in Latin America. Through a holistic range of methodologies, it has improved the quality of life of 280 children in slums, providing 7,500+ meals, and teaching them how to lead a worthy life.

Startarium

Impact Hub Bucharest and ING Romania created Startarium, a program supporting entrepreneurs by using mentorship, online courses and networking in three areas:  learning, testing and financing. With a total of 35,000+ community members, 60+ mentors, 400 learning materials and 3,500+ business ideas, Startarium is unique in combining the mechanisms of incubators and accelerators to assist entrepreneurs.

The network also fosters a society that promotes innovation, education, and gainful employment, among others. Notable works in 2018 include Impact Hub San José’s efforts with the vice president of Costa Rica in enabling 20 farms to export to the United States; Accelerate2030, where 16 Impact Hubs are working with the United Nations Development Programme to identify and scale innovative ventures tackling the SDGs; and Impact Hub Amsterdam’s partnership with the World Wildlife Fund on the Plastics Free Ocean Accelerator, which in turn garnered environmental business, ‘Ioniqa’, a €12 million investment and a partnership with consumer goods giant Unilever.

Interested parties may visit local Impact Hubs to learn more about Impact Hub network’s commitment and programs under the 17 SDGs. Know more about how you can make a change by using #bepartofthechange#networksforchange#scalingimpact on social media.

Visit www.bepartofthechange.impacthub.net for more information and to download the full report.


About Impact Hub Network

Impact Hub is a global network focused on building communities for impact at scale. With 100+ communities of 16,500 change-driven entrepreneurs in more than 55 countries across five continents, Impact Hub is one of the world’s largest communities and accelerators for positive change. We build ecosystems to drive collaboration and entrepreneurial innovation around the Global Sustainable Development Goals through locally rooted Impact Hubs, as well as with partners and allied networks.

Media contact:
Edilaine de Abreu
Global Communications Lead
edilaine.deabreu@impacthub.net