2nd Climathon in Wuppertal – 24-hour marathon of ideas on climate protection issues

Climathon Wuppertal 2019. Copyright: Malte Reiter

At a second Climathon in Wuppertal, Germany, held at the end of October 2019, teams again worked for 24 hours on solutions for climate-friendly urban development. Professional coaches and experts supported them in finding and developing ideas. At the end of the event, a jury selected three winning teams from the proposed solutions. The winner was the waste avoidance campaign “Clean Wup”. Organisers of the Climathan were Neue Effizienz, the University of Wuppertal and the Wuppertal Institute.

Climathon Wuppertal 2019. Copyright: Malte Reiter

The evaluation criteria for the jury were user integration, climate impact, innovation potential, feasibility and team dynamics. The award ceremony was conducted by Wuppertal’s Lord Mayor Andreas Mucke. First prize went to “Clean Wup”, a campaign to raise awareness of waste avoidance. The second best idea was “Busdirigent*innen”, a mobility app for climate-friendly travel for concertgoers. The third prize went to “GreenGenerator”, a system solution to address how production parts can be transported between locations in a climate-friendly and cost-effective way. 

The winning teams won individual founder coaching and co-working spaces in the region to further develop their ideas. They also have the opportunity to apply for the Global Climathon Awards in January 2020 in Paris. The ideas will also be taken up again in a follow-up workshop in November, where the winning teams and interested parties will discuss concrete further development and implementation together with practical partners and start-up experts. The aim is to build upon the motivation created at Climathon Wuppertal and to anchor it in the region in a sustainable way. 

In addition to the joint development of ideas in teams, the Climathon had a varied programme consisting of expert inputs on the design thinking process, the “Perfect Pitch” and a Skype call to exchange ideas with a Climathon taking place in Vienna. 

Andreas Mucke (Mayor of Wuppertal) commented that he found the Climathon very inspiring and “the high user integration in the idea development particularly convincing”. 

Franziska Stelzer, who has been leading the establishment of a Science Shop at the Wuppertal Institute and involved in organising the Climathon, added: “The Climathon is a great example of the power of co-creation and bringing together researchers, members of communities, local organisations and businesses to develop concrete solutions to societal issues.”

Climathon Wuppertal 2019. Copyright: Malte Reiter

The Climathon is a 24-hour marathon of ideas to develop innovative solutions to local climate change challenges in cities. This year, the Climathon took place simultaneously in 122 cities in 52 countries on six continents. At the second Wuppertal Climathon, again held in the “Freiraum”, the innovation laboratory of the Bergische Universität, more than 30 interested participants from companies, politics, society and research worked in teams on climate challenges for Wuppertal. In addition, a large number of actors from the region, including small and large companies, start-ups and start-up support, were involved as speakers, challengers, coaches, experts, partners and sponsors.

Climathon Wuppertal 2019 builds upon the first event piloted under the framework of the Horizon 2020 SciShops project by the Wuppertal Institute through its new Science Shop.