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Announcing the winner of the Net Zero Challenge 2021

- April 27, 2021 in Net Zero Challenge, News, Open Data

Net Zero Challenge logo
Three months ago, the team at Open Knowledge Foundation launched a new project – the Net Zero Challenge – a global competition to identify, promote and support innovative, practical and scalable uses of open data that advance climate action.
We received over 80 applications from 40 different countries. Many of them were excellent.
From the applications, we chose a shortlist of five teams to compete in a live pitch contest event. Each team had three minutes to explain their project or concept, and up to seven minutes to take questions from the Panel of Experts and the live audience.
Watch the recording of the live event here.
Today we are pleased to announce the winner of the Net Zero Challenge 2021 is CarbonGeoScales – a framework for standardising open data for GHG emissions at multiple geographical scales. The project is built by a team of volunteers from France – supported by Data for Good and Open Geo Scales. You can check out their Github here.
The winning prize for the Net Zero Challenge is USD$1000 – which, we are told, will be spent on cloud storage.
A few days ago, we caught up with the team from CarbonGeoScales to learn about who they are, what they are doing and how their project uses open data to advance climate action.
Watch our interview with the CarbonGeoScales team here.
We would like to thank all the teams who competed in the Net Zero Challenge 2021 – especially the four other teams who were all shortlisted for the pitch contest. We are grateful to the Panel of Experts to taking the time to judge the contest – especially to Bonnie Lei from Microsoft’s AI for Earth – who joined at the last minute. Thanks also to Open Data Charter and the Open Data & Innovation Team at Transport for New South Wales for their strategic advice during the development of this project.
The Net Zero Challenge has been supported by our partners Microsoft and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

Watch the Net Zero Challenge pitch contest

- April 19, 2021 in Events, Net Zero Challenge, Open Data

This week, five shortlisted teams took part in the final stage of the Net Zero Challenge – a global competition to identify, promote and support innovative, practical and scalable uses of open data that advance climate action. The five teams presented their three-minute project pitches to the Net Zero Challenge Panel of Experts, and a live audience. Each pitch was followed by a live Q&A. The winner of the pitch contest will be announced in the next few days. If you didn’t have the chance to attend the event in person, watch the event here (46.08.min) or see below for links to individual pitches. A full unedited video of the event is at the bottom of this page. Introduction – by James Hamilton, Director of the Net Zero Challenge Watch video here (4.50min) // Introduction Slide Deck  Pitch 1 – by Matt Sullivan from Snapshot Climate Tool which provides greenhouse gas emission profiles for every local government region (municipality) in Australia. Watch pitch video here (10.25min) // Snapshot Slide Deck Pitch 2 – by Saif Shabou from CarbonGeoScales which is a framework for standardising open data for green house gas emissions at multiple geographical scales (built by a team from France). Watch pitch video here (9.07min) // CarbonGeoScales Slide Deck Pitch 3 – by Jeremy Dickens. He presents Citizen Science Avian Index for Sustainable Forests a new bio monitoring tool that uses open data on bird observations to provide crucial information on forest ecological conditions (from South Africa). Watch pitch video here (7.03min)  // Avian Index – Slide Deck Pitch 4 – by Cristian Gregorini from Project Yarquen which is a new API tool and website to organise climate relevant open data for use by civil society organisations, environmental activists, data journalists and people interested in environmental issues (built by a team from Argentina). Watch pitch video here (8.20min) Pitch 5 – by Beatriz Pagy from Clima de Eleição which analyses recognition of climate change issues by prospective election candidates in Brazil, enabling voters to make informed decisions about who to vote in to office. Watch pitch video here (5.37min) // Clima de Eleição – Slide Deck Concluding remarks – by James Hamilton, Director of the Net Zero Challenge Watch video here (0.46min)
A full unedited video of the Net Zero Challenge is here (55.28min)
There are many people who collaborated to make this event possible. We wish to thank both Microsoft and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office for their support for the Net Zero Challenge. Thanks also to Open Data Charter and the Open Data & Innovation Team at Transport for New South Wales for their strategic advice during the development of this project. The event would not have been possible without the enthusiastic hard work of the Panel of Experts who will judge the winning entry, and the audience who asked such great questions. Finally – to all the pitch teams. Your projects inspire us and we hope your participation in the Net Zero Challenge has been – and will continue to be – supportive for your work as you use open data to advance climate action.

Launching the Net Zero Challenge: a global pitch competition about using open data for climate action

- January 28, 2021 in Net Zero Challenge, News, Open Knowledge Foundation

Net Zero Challenge logo Open Knowledge Foundation is excited to launch the Net Zero Challenge, a global pitch competition about using open data for climate action.  With a new administration in the USA and the COP26 meeting in the UK, 2021 will be a crucial year for the global climate response. Let’s see how open data can play its part.  Tell us how your idea or project uses open data for climate action – and you could win a $1,000USD in the first round of the Net Zero Challenge.  Full details about the Net Zero Challenge are available at netzerochallenge.info This project is funded by our partners at Microsoft and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. We are extremely grateful for their support.  How are you advancing climate action using open data? To be eligible for the Net Zero Challenge, your idea or project must do one or more of the following:
  1. Understand climate risks
  2. Track climate progress
  3. Enable informed climate action, or
  4. Evaluate climate impact.
Some ways in which you might do this include:
  • Making climate relevant data easier to discover, view and understand by the general data user
  • Creating a useful passthrough tool or API for climate-relevant data in any country or jurisdiction
  • Organising climate data so that potential data users (including those who are less data-literate) can see what’s available, and make use of it
We are very open minded about your approach and methodology. What we care about is the outcome, and whether you answer the question. You might consider whether your idea or project is:
  • Technically achievable
  • ​Easy to use
  • Easily integrated or can be provided as a tool
  • Scalable
  • Good value for money
  • Published under an open licence which allows free use by others 
  • Explainable (this is the key test of the Challenge. Can you pitch your project in three minutes to a general audience?) 
How do I apply? Apply now by filling out this form. All applications must be received by 6pm Pacific Standard Time on Friday 12th March 2021. Late submissions will not be accepted.  Applications will be reviewed and a short list invited to pitch their idea to a panel of experts at a virtual pitch contest.   Pitches will take the form of a public three-minute presentation via video conference, followed by a question and answer session with our panel of climate data experts. ​ Pitches can be live, or prerecorded but the Q&A will be live.  Expert guidance for the Net Zero Challenge is provided by our advisory committee: the Open Data Charter, the Innovation and Open Data Team at Transport for New South Wales and the Open Data Day team at Open Knowledge Foundation.  Need more information? If you have any questions about the Net Zero Challenge, please check out the FAQs on the netzerochallenge.info website. To contact the Net Zero Challenge team directly, email netzero@okfn.org.