Technology creates new solutions to global issues through the Call for Code Challenge

Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 6:05 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The everyday effects of climate change and especially COVID-19 have revealed the limits of the systems we take for granted. How can technology be used to find new solutions to current problems? Through Call for Code, IBM and its partners are working to unite developers to create applications powered by open source technology that can tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges.

The 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge is addressing the world’s reaction to COVID-19 in addition to climate change; two pressing issues that have the power to compromise our health, our planet and our survival. Now in its third year, the global Call for Code Challenge has generated more than 15,000 solutions built using Red Hat OpenShift, IBM Cloud, IBM Watson, IBM Blockchain, data from The Weather Company and APIs from ecosystem partners like HERE Technologies and IntelePeer. Since its launch in 2018, this movement has grown to over 400,000 developers and problem solvers across 179 nations. Through Call for Code, developers connect, learn, share their expertise and build open source solutions that can scale around the world and be deployed in individual communities.

This year’s top five finalists include:

  • Agrolly: a free app that is designed to support and connect small farmers around the world but particularly in emerging countries, where farms are suffering from reduced crop yields due to climate change;
  • Business Buddy: a solution that aims to provide a one-stop-shop that delivers personalized and responsive updates to small businesses and helps determine businesses' eligibility for support from governmental programs, and guides them through the application process via an easy-access portal;
  • OffShip: an easy-to-use browser plugin that educates consumers on the effect their online purchases have on the environment, providing an estimate of the carbon dioxide footprint of their purchases so they can consider alternatives or purchase and donate carbon offset credits seamlessly
  • Safe Queue: a community-driven mobile app that replaces physical lines with on-demand virtual lines at stores, restaurants, and polling places, to help promote social distancing;
  • SchoolListIt: an app which was created by a working mother of three children to help families successfully manage schoolwork and information from teachers, while students are learning remotely.

The winning team for 2020 was Agrolly, that received a cash prize of $200,000 and support from IBM, The Linux Foundation and other partners to expand the open source community around their solution and to deploy their solution in areas of need.

On Thursday, Chief Technology Officer of Call for Code, Daniel Krook, joined NewsChannel 7 at 4 to discuss the finalists and winner of the third annual Call for Code along with what this means for the developer community and the future of humanitarian response. Daniel also broke down how listeners can get involved in the developer community and use these same technologies to create their own apps and solutions to everyday challenges.

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