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Climathon is one way in which the Impact Hub network is being active in tackling climate challenges. Each year entrepreneurs, students, lateral thinkers, and policymakers in more than 140 cities across 56 countries are invited to participate locally in the global climate change hackathon “Climathon” and to develop solutions to challenges related to climate change. 

Impact Hub is partnering with Climate-KIC for the second year in a row to bring Climathons to its many locations across the globe. In 2019, 17 cities participated, this year we are expecting 19 Climathons organized by Impact Hubs. 

This partnership is transforming ideas into climate-change positive businesses. We are proud of the Impact Hubs that participated in the 2019 Climathon and as we prepare for this year’s Climathons next month, we asked 2019 organizers a series of questions to give better insights into what drives them to host this initiative. Let us introduce you to Lina Adil, Climate Action Program Manager at Impact Hub Khartoum, who has shared her insights into why they organized the Climathon and what her biggest takeaways and learnings from it are. 

Why did you decide to run the Climathon, and how do you see it relating to the Impact Hub Climate Commitment?

With the forecast of Sudan being rendered uninhabitable, it became direly urgent to engage the diverse sectors working in climate change in Sudan. This means having to all work collaboratively to find contextualized, effective, and efficient solutions to the extreme climate events facing Sudan, whilst leveraging entrepreneurship. 

The vision for Climathon Khartoum was to connect the academicians, entrepreneurs, city officials, private sector, and civil society organizations with youth. The goal was to all sit in one room and exchange knowledge and experiences, with the aim of constructing implementable on the ground solutions to the climate challenges facing Sudan. Moreso, we added an awareness-raising element to the program to bridge the language gap between the academicians and scientists and between citizens.  This was achieved through public symposiums prior to the Climathon and it tackled different topics such as “Climate Change Adaptation in Sudan” and “Climate Change and Peace”. 

What topics did you pick and why did you choose them?

The challenge for Climathon Khartoum 2019 was Extreme Weather events with a special focus on energy efficiency, water infrastructure, and efficient use of private and public spaces. The challenge was curated according to a set of consultations with our partners, and with environmental experts, academicians, and policymakers, aided by information and Statistics from the National Adaptation Plan 2016. And the areas of focus have shown to be the most pressing areas that needed immediate action.  

What was the process of deciding the winner? Who were they and why?

For Climathon Khartoum 2019, we received 212 applications, and we had to undergo a pre-screening process. This process was mainly guided by the level of commitment of each applicant, their motives, and their future plans post-Climathon. We were very careful about having a balanced selection between experienced and inexperienced applicants because we view the Climathon as a platform where people could learn from each other and exchange experiences. 

 Out of the 212 applicants, 30 participants were selected. The 5 winning teams were selected based on these criteria: 

What was the biggest learning to come out of the Climathon?

It is of crucial importance to have partners who share your organization’s common beliefs and values. It’s also important to have a diverse pool of partners, covering all of the relevant sectors. 

In terms of the solutions, hosting multiple oriented pre-ideation workshops resulted in significant improvement in the quality of the solutions that came out of the Climathon. Also, it’s useful to have a follow-up mechanism with the participants and to take an active part in further solidifying the winning ideas that emerge from the Climathon, such as incubation programs, masterclasses, and tailored training sessions. 

In what other ways would you be involved in next year’s Climathon and would you be interested to be more involved with the Climate-KIC initiative?

For 2020 we are aiming to organize the third Climathon in Khartoum and at a bigger scale than ever before. We are also aiming to collaborate with Climate-KIC to host the first Climate Launchpad in Sudan. (This interview was done pre-COVID19, so plans have changed since)

Climate-KIC has expressed that “Working with Impact Hub has been key to scaling the reach and impact of Climathon while still keeping the quality of events very high. It’s a pleasure to work with an impact partner like Impact Hub and we look forward to hopefully growing our partnership and impact together”. 


The Climathon values very much align with the Impact Hub ethos that ‘innovation happens through collaboration and bringing different people together’’. And to continue the success of the 2019 Hackathon the 2020 Climathon will be happening on November 13. We look forward to seeing what new and innovative solutions the members of our network come up with this year. Find more information here about how you can get involved with Climate-KIC and read all about our Commitment to Climate here

Impact Hubs in Bucharest, Istanbul, Madrid and Ruhr are spearheading a new regional convening program to enable changemakers across Europe to form a more unified, progressive, and collaborative future for all. And to make it happen, they are running the BEYOND Divides program, created and implemented by Impact Hub in partnership with Robert Bosch Stiftung.

The Program

Each local Impact Hub team are simultaneously using BEYOND Divides to set up local learning and action groups consisting of relevant organizations and driven citizens. By enabling local innovators to enhance inclusivity and diversity in their respective areas, each Impact Hub will plant the seeds of change in their own communities by co-learning, co-developing and co-testing solutions to local challenges.

BEYOND Divides is all about working together to develop communities that respect and value each other while creating solutions with, instead of for, those communities. The program empowers people to act for the common good to achieve greater hope and unity, with permanent dialogue and trust.

This will culminate in deep-seated, and long-lasting impact.  

The Process

Each of the 4 participating Impact Hub communities is convening different players in learning and action groups that meet regularly to go through three phases over the course of 1 year ending in March 2020:

This initial stage of the program gives participants the time, space and connection to scope and analyze their communities’ most prevalent issues, and identify challenges to address for the duration of BEYOND Divides. The aim of these sessions is to spend time discovering the topic, building empathy and co-creating a common vision.

During this stage, participants take part in facilitated sessions, hackdays and field trips to prioritize and draft ideas for impactful solutions, and hone their collective knowledge to maximize impact from the ground up. The goal for this phase is to arrive at practical, co-created implementable ideas for interventions around the chosen topic.

The final stage of BEYOND Divides allows participants to try out their solutions and pilot interventions on a smaller scale, to test the approach and explore if the anticipated results will be reached. The interventions that prove their potential in the pilot will be supported to become operational; either integrated into the participants’ organization or through founding of new initiatives.


The Topics

Topics of focus have been selected by Impact Hubs taking part, based on each community’s specific context and needs such as fighting gentrification, breaking down silos, building bridges, and improving communication between diverse communities.

Many Romanians feel like the social and political gaps between urban and rural citizens are increasing. Through BEYOND Divides, Impact Hub Bucharest aims to bring these people together to build a long term connection through collaborative entrepreneurial activities.

With BEYOND Divides, Impact Hub Istanbul seeks to engage with the residents of Kuştepe, who feel marginalized and excluded from opportunities and benefits in the wider society. Lack of education, abject poverty, lack of income-generating jobs, illegal drug trafficking and police brutality are just some of the huge challenges residents are facing. By initiating urban transformation projects with empathy, communication, and trust at their heart, it is expected that there will be progress towards a more unified, and hopeful İstanbul.

Impact Hub Madrid uses BEYOND Divides to convene young people facing social, economic and geographical fragmentation, especially those existing between the city’s different communities and neighborhoods. The aim is to create a sense of solidarity and mutual recognition between different “madrilians”, by creating social cohesion and working groups to face community challenges and develop initiatives for them.

Impact Hub Ruhr is aiming to improve the communication between diverse, partly segregated communities in Essen-Altenessen (a neighborhood in Essen). They are using BEYOND Divides to convene a diverse group of locals and interested actors, from different cultural communities in Essen. They will then foster the personal development of the participants by giving them a platform on which to listen, learn, speak and develop solution-oriented thinking.


The Participants

BEYOND Divides calls for about 20 participants in each of the four areas to join forces for the greater good. From everyday citizens to social entrepreneurs and more, this program is made for organizations and people with a passion and interest in societal change for the better. People who have ideas for how to improve their local communities or want to make new connections, learn new skills, build knowledge on how to transform communities.

More specifically, BEYOND Divides is made for:

Taking Part

To take part in Beyond Divides, applicants can get in touch directly with a participating Impact Hub:

Stay tuned to the Impact Hub blog and global newsletter to discover what each community deems as one of Europe’s most pressing divisive issues, and follow the participants’ progress as they collaborate, innovate, and break down societal divides in this region-wide collaboration to build a better future, for all.

About Impact Hub

Impact Hub is a global network focused on building communities for impact at scale. With 100+ communities of 16,000+ change-driven entrepreneurs in more than 50 countries across five continents, Impact Hub is one of the world’s largest community and accelerators for positive change.

Impact Hub builds ecosystems to drive collaboration and entrepreneurial innovation around the Global Sustainable Development Goals through locally rooted Impact Hubs, as well as with partners and allied networks.

About Robert Bosch Stiftung

The Robert Bosch Stiftung is one of the major German foundations associated with a private company and has managed the philanthropic bequest of company founder Robert Bosch for over 50 years. The Foundation is divided into areas to support and operate its aid program. In order to pursue the Foundation’s objectives, it promotes external projects and initiates its own projects for developing and running programs.

Within the foundation, 200 employees manage an average of about 800 internal and external projects a year (e.g. Robert-Bosch-Krankenhaus (Robert Bosch Hospital) and the Institut für Geschichte der Medizin der Robert Bosch Stiftung (Institute for the History of Medicine)). The Robert Bosch Stiftung has its headquarters in Stuttgart and an office in Berlin.

About the partnership

The BEYOND Divides’ program builds on our joint experience delivering the BEYOND (un)employment program, including the learnings generated and need to take convening for impact to the next level. While leveraging the skill-sets and connections of local Impact Hubs and the backbone support of Impact Hub Global, this partnership includes the deep knowledge of Robert Bosch Stiftung in the area of social cohesion and international understanding. We feel certain that this collaborative effort and partnership between our organizations will create lasting change in the participating countries and beyond.

You saw a problem and discovered a great solution, you started a business and began to drive change, and now you are ready to take your company to the next level. (more…)