Global hackathon will see the region's young people helping to tackle the world's biggest challenges

Briefing note on the global hackathon in May 2022 being organised to address some of the planet's most pressing challenges

At the Forum for Global Challenges Hackathon in March this year, young people from around the world will receive dedicated support and mentoring as they tackle some of our planet’s most significant challenges in the Global Hackathon.

  • Ahead of The Forum for Global Challenges, a major international conference at the ICC Birmingham from 3-5 May 2022, a Global Hackathon is being organised to address some of the planet’s most pressing challenges
  • Like-minded young people aged 18-25 will work together to develop solutions for challenges focused on the Green Economy, Future of Cities, and Education and Employment.
  • Participants in the Hackathon will receive support and mentoring from global experts, including academics, Forum partners and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
  • The results will be presented at the Forum, and the work will contribute to the Forum’s legacy.
  • MPs are encouraged to share this opportunity open to young people in their constituency.

The Global Hackathon is a key part of the Forum for Global Challenges. From 3 to 5 May this year, some of today’s most influential thinkers and doers will gather in Birmingham for the Forum – a major international meeting to showcase and generate solutions to some of the most pressing challenges faced by the planet and its people.

A 3,000-delegate event, combining a face-to-face conference at the ICC Birmingham with a fully online interactive format, the Forum’s hybrid design means that people from around the globe can take part with low-carbon impact.

It brings together world leaders, business and thought leaders, policy makers, practitioners and academics from around the world to find solutions to problems in the following areas:

  • Green Economy
  • Food & Nutrition Security
  • Education & Employment
  • Gender Equality
  • The Future of Cities
  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Restoring Nature
  • Mobilities & Migration

In the post pandemic period, the Forum for Global Challenges comes at a crucial moment of global change and will build on and leverage the legacy of the G7, COP26 and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. The impact and reach of these solutions identified at the Forum will be delivered, sustained and developed further through the agendas of the partners involved in the Forum; through the deep involvement of policy makers in co-creating and delivering the Forum; and through new collaborations between industry, policy makers, academia and NGOs to deliver these solutions.

The Forum aims to create a far-reaching legacy in five main areas:

  • Helping to create better policy and practice locally, nationally and globally
  • Discovering effective partnerships that focus on solutions
  • Educating the next generation of leaders, practitioners, policymakers and the public
  • Developing international initiatives
  • Inspiring young people to get involved in overcoming these challenges

Notable speakers taking part include: Dr Dhananjayan (Danny) Sriskandarajah, CEO Oxfam GB; Liv Garfield, Severn Trent CEO; Professor Sir Charles Godfray, Director, Oxford Martin School; author and broadcaster Professor Alice Roberts; World Bank Senior Vice President, Group General Counsel, and Vice President for Compliance Sandie Okoro; and former UK Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell.

The Forum has been established by the University of Birmingham in collaboration with The World Bank, UNESCO, The Association of Commonwealth Universities, UNDP, CBI, West Midlands Combined Authority, UK Research and Innovation, Thomson Reuters Foundation and the West Midlands Growth Company.

Teams of up to five young people, aged between 18 and 25, from Birmingham and beyond will have the opportunity to take part in the Global Hackathon to crack a challenge related to future cities, education and employment or the green economy. They will use the circular framework methodology – a means of creating sustainable solutions that are good for business, people and the environment. The winning solutions will be chosen by the team of experts behind May’s Forum for Global Challenges, with teams then presenting their solutions to the main conference and up to 3,000 high profile, international delegates.

In this structured Hackathon, participants will be supported to collaborate and develop their team’s solution, preparing a proposal and video to be shared with conference delegates.

Amongst a range of partners, academics and speakers supporting the Hackathon, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation will be providing dedicated mentoring to teams throughout, as well as advising them as they develop their solutions.

With the support of their mentors, it is hoped that participants will come up with novel solutions to critical issues that others won’t have thought of before.

Young people looking to find out more and enter the Hackathon can register online. Teams will be allocated when the Hackathon commences in March. The team at the Forum for Global Challenges will then assign individuals to teams to ensure they get the most out of the experience and work with a diverse range of people.

Taking part in the Hackathon will give participants the chance to:

  • Receive support and mentoring from global experts, including academics, Forum partners and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation
  • Collaborate with four other young people around the world to develop solutions
  • Develop proposal writing and creative skills
  • Have their work presented to up to 3,000 conference attendees
  • And a range of other benefits

The Hackathon will culminate in a final presentation at the Forum to an audience of global experts, which will be a call to action from young voices.