UN Youth Envoy Strives to Solve Climate Change by ‘Rebooting the Earth’

The UN’s Youth Envoy launched a global competition earlier this month, “Reboot The Earth”, in collaboration with the Office of Information & Communications Technology, to try and answer that question, fostering collaboration between the United Nations, academia, civil society, and young people to address the climate emergency. 

The competition is a “global hackathon”, where teams of computer programmers, scientists and others, will try to solve a local climate crisis, that may be unique to each location in line with specific community needs, by creating new software, or improving upon existing programs. 

The hackathon will take place at United Nations Technology Innovation Labs in five different countries (Malaysia, Finland, India, Egypt and Germany), during August. Through a series of Tech Challenges, one team from each country will be selected to travel to New York City to attend a “Reboot The Earth” awards ceremony, during the UN Climate Summit on September 21. 

The winner from each country will get the chance to have their solution showcased at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, in January 2020, and the overall winner has the opportunity of seeing their software proposal developed at one of the UN Technology Innovation Labs. 

UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake, said that young people are key to solving global climate challenges, and drivers of change and innovation: “With the global climate movement led by young people, the United Nations supports youth’s effort in driving climate action. 

“We’re calling the winners of this year’s hackathon ‘The #ClimateReboot Troops’, and they will be able to collaborate with the United Nations on a long-term project, to work on, and scale up, solutions that will have a real-life impact in communities.” 

Since the launch of the Youth 2030 Strategy, the United Nations has been scaling up global, regional and national actions to meet young people’s needs, realize their rights and tap their possibilities as agents of change. 

As the Youth Envoy explains, Reboot The Earth is about creating a platform for young people to share their best innovative ideas and solutions with the United Nations, making them equal partners in the global fight against the climate crisis.

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