What is EcoHack?

Solve Local Environmental & Sustainability Problems

We know that the best solutions to almost any problem come from multidisciplinary and diverse teams...so why not reframe the traditional hackathon model to reflect this?

EcoHack is an immersive multi-day experience where innovators, tinkerers, and makers from various degree programs collaborate using a rapid-iteration design model to generate viable solutions to a problem of their choosing, that fits within the sustainability theme.

These solutions can take many forms: a marketing plan, an innovative business idea, software development, a physical product idea, etc. The varied solutions from multiple industries/disciplines highlight the intersectional nature of environment and sustainability challenges.

By the end of the event, our participants will have collaborated with community partners to solve a tangible real-world problem by leveraging the skills and abilities of their interdisciplinary colleagues. With the opportunity to take part in immersive experiential learning, network with relevant organizations in their community, and gain insight into how their academic disciplines can translate into real-world businesses and solutions, EcoHack is the perfect match for any student looking to make a difference.

Need more information? Read our extended info sheet below.

2021 Challenge

The theme for EcoHack 2021, as provided by our organizing partners at the City of Saskatoon, is:

Sustainable Development Goal 11: Inclusive, Safe, Resilient, and Sustainable Cities

This year’s topics build on the City’s existing work in this area, which includes:

  • Incorporating social, economic, and environmental outcomes in decision making.
  • Waste and GHG emission reduction efforts and water conservation.
  • Long-term community, green space, and transportation planning.

Example Problems

Some example problem statements might include:

  1. How might we improve food security for vulnerable populations as global food prices increase?
  2. How might we preserve the ecological services provided by public green spaces in the City of Saskatoon?
  3. How might we encourage and support further development of local and circular economies that benefit local citizens and economies?
  4. How might we celebrate our local heritage and support reconciliation within our community?
  5. How might the City of Saskatoon increase engagement of citizens in sustainability planning and climate adaptation discussions?
  6. As the number of extreme wind and storm events increases, how might we protect vulnerable populations from the health and safety impacts of these natural phenomena?
  7. How might we conserve water resources within our community as precipitation events become more unpredictable?
  8. How might we ensure that all residents benefit from efforts to transition to low emissions energy in our community?

Who Can Participate?

EcoHack will be open to anyone who wants to innovate, tinker, and make things! Both undergraduate and graduate students are invited to participate, and we are excited to get students involved from a wide variety of disciplines. The broader the experience at the table, the better the possibilities for solutions.

Schedule

EcoHack 2020 Schedule Image

Professional Development

EcoHack isn't just a fun design challenge. We offer many opportunities for professional development during the week. In addition to our organizing partners at the City of Saskatoon being available for questions, we'll be offering the following interactive PD sessions over the course of the week:

  • Design Thinking and Creative Ideation
  • Communications and How to Pitch
  • Teamwork and Facilitating Constructive Disagreement
  • Video Communication and Production

Our facilitators will be there to offer their expertise and advice, in addition to being open to any and all of your questions.

Location

EcoHack 2021 will primarily be hosted online.

All plenary sessions will be hosted online, but working groups will have the option to meet and work in person or online as they wish.

Register

EcoHack 2021 registration is now open at the Eventbrite link below.

Partners

Organizing Partners

Our primary Organizing Partner for EcoHack 2021 is the City of Saskatoon, who has provided the following theme for our design challenge this year:

"Sustainable Development Goal 11: Inclusive, Safe, Resilient, and Sustainable Cities"