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Cool People Doing Cool Things: DC Climathon 2018

Lucy Hummer

GW hosted the DC Climathon over this last weekend. I had the opportunity to watch and admire the teams as they developed their ideas throughout the 24-hour event. From 3pm on November 9th to 3pm on November 10th, dozens of community members from throughout the DMV came together to make change regarding issues both within the city and across the globe.

So, what is Climathon? Climathon is a variation on the hack-a-thon. This type of event brings people together from various different fields, areas of study and general interests to “hack” a climate issue. Ideas are brainstormed, teams are formed, and business plans are developed very quickly during a fast-paced, overnight model. Each year, the Climathon has a different theme. This year, the content was centered around food access. Therefore, all of the finalists came up with unique ideas for innovating solutions and supplements geared towards dealing with food insecurity in our urban setting.

This year, there were six finalists in the competition. All of these teams, in my opinion, quality as really cool people doing really cool things. It is clear that when bringing together a large group of people in an inspiring environment like this, positive things will come. The two winning teams, District Connect and Last Call (both pictured below), radiate positive energy and a fresh perspective on issues in DC, including food.

The best part is that Climathon connects GW to the broader DC area. Many of the individuals who participated did not have an affiliation with the university. The school largely operated as a medium in which the community could engage with one another more simply.

It is clear to me that everyone who participated in the event is going to make an impact on our city, especially District Connect and Last Call. I know that anyone who is willing to spend the night working in MSPH must be ready and excited to make change!

While the participants in the Climathon have of course manifested many interesting ideas for “hacking” food access, there are many, many more people in DC who are working on this as well. Organizations throughout the DMV and beyond are working every day to solve issues such as the food deserts and inequitable access to cheap and healthy food throughout the 8 Wards of the city. DC Climaton 2018 was a way to see these initiatives, recognize their successes and view how the community can help as well.

Pictured above: The teams of District Connect (left) and Last Call (right) pose with coordinators of the event after learning that they have won.

Interested in hearing the final pitches that earned them the prize? You'll be able to watch them on our Facebook Page coming soon!

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