During the GODAN Summit 2016 on September 15-16, 2016, GODAN hosted a continuous 24-hours Open Data Maker’s Hackathon, bringing together software and agricultural innovators to create the beginnings of practical solutions that allow for better utilizing, collecting, and/or making more accessible open data to improve our food system.

The GODAN Hackathon was powered by Thought for Food and PUSH (Presidents United for Hunger) and was launched at the same time as the GODAN Challenge (16th June). The hackathon was designed to provide:

  • A practical demonstration of the energy and innovative potential of young innovators (19-26 year olds) at the GODAN Summit.

  • An opportunity for students and young entrepreneurs local to the Summit to develop products and services and expand their skills whilst potentially winning an opportunity to participate in the next phase of the GODAN Open Data Challenge.

The Hackathon attracted a great deal of interest and over 160 people completed the initial expression of interest form. Eventually, 34 people attended the 36 hour event and worked in 8 teams to develop products and services that responded to the following challenge questions (repeated from Track B in the GODAN Challenge):

How might we better utilize, collect, and/or access open data to improve our food system and our chances at food security and respond to one of the following challenges:

1.     Improve Growing Plant Innovations: Using open data to improve how and where we grow our food.

2.     Empower the Crowd: Using open data to improve how we leverage the crowd’s actions and knowledge to create a better food system.

3.     Improve Nutrition and Health: Using open data to improve how we track, make available, and improve nutrition in our daily diets.

4.     Deliver Climate Smart Agriculture: Using open data to improve agriculture’s resilience in the face of a changing climate.

5.     Meet the Protein Frontier: Using open data to improve how we address the growing demand for protein, and the opportunity for more sustainable and alternative proteins.

The 3 finalists that were selected by our 4 volunteer judges are:

  1. Farm Trade – Creates and sustains an online marketplace for biofortified crops, enabling a more fair marketplace based on nutritional quality and not just yield. They would both collect data from farmers to share with the marketplace about what biofortified crops are grown when, where, and of what quality. Making this data available is key to build this marketplace.

  2. contemPLATE - provides insight, transparency and social responsibility through Open Data from USDA, FAO, WFP data sets; offers a web application that allows users to query restaurants and search through menu list. They would use open menu data, and through learning from the user, gain more information about healthy food options.

  3. FarmConnecT - provides an ICT solution for farmers to improve, facilitate and manage farming, in addition to a platform to connect agronomists and agricultural experts with farmers. This project aims to take off in India, working with small scale farmers initially, and then moving into larger farms. They would use open market data around prices to help get farmers the best prices possible.

All three finalists have elected to participate in the GODAN Mentoring program and will join the Challenge Finalists in the race for the overall $5,000 prize which will be awarded in 2017.