ARMONK, N.Y., Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Where most people see challenges, developers see possibilities. That’s certainly been the case in 2020. Today, Call for Code founding partner IBM (NYSE: IBM) and its creator, David Clark Cause, announced the winner of the 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge. The top prize went to Agrolly, an application to help the world’s small farmers cope with the environmental and business challenges of climate change.
Call for Code also introduced a new initiative—Call for Code for Racial Justice—to urge its international community of hundreds of thousands of developers to contribute to solutions to confront racial inequalities.
The announcements came during a virtual event, the “2020 Call for Code Awards: A Global Celebration of Tech for Good.” A full replay can be watched here.
The 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge had asked developers to create solutions to help communities fight back against climate change and COVID-19. A panel of industry leaders and judges awarded Agrolly the grand prize while announcing four other winners—one that also created a response to climate change, and three others aimed at the global coronavirus pandemic.
Agrolly will receive $200,000, support from IBM Service Corps and technical experts, and ecosystem partners to incubate, test and deploy their solution. Agrolly will also receive assistance from The Linux Foundation to open-source their application so developers across the world can improve and scale the technology.
Call for Code unites hundreds of thousands of developers to create and deploy applications powered by open source technology that can tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges. Since its launch in 2018, this movement has grown to more than 400,000 developers and problem solvers across 179 nations, and has generated more than fifteen thousand solutions using technology including Red Hat OpenShift, IBM Cloud, IBM Watson, IBM Blockchain, data from The Weather Company, and APIs from ecosystem partners like HERE Technologies and IntelePeer.
Top Solutions Tackling Effects of Climate Change and COVID-19
Agrolly was created by a distributed team of developers from Brazil, India, Mongolia and Taiwan who met at Pace University in New York City. Powered by IBM Cloud Object Storage, IBM Watson Studio, and IBM Watson Assistant, Agrolly aims to fill information gaps so farmers with limited resources can make more informed decisions, and obtain the necessary financing to help improve their economic outcomes.
By combining weather forecasts from The Weather Company and historical data from NASA with crop requirements published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Agrolly’s platform provides tailored information for each farmer by location, crop type and even the plants’ stage of development during the growing season. The Agrolly team, as part of their response to the Call for Code Challenge, has made the solution available as an app in the Google store, free of charge.
Another climate change solution, OffShip, received fifth place and was awarded $10,000.
Three COVID-19 solutions were also honored. Second place went to Business Buddy, which will receive $25,000. Safe Queue was given third place and $25,000; SchoolListIt was awarded fourth place and $10,000.
Safe Queue, an app that enables a safer way to manage entry during COVID-19 at shopping centers, small businesses, and polling places by replacing physical lines with on-demand virtual lines, had been recognized in early May as one of the top solutions in the Call for Code accelerated COVID-19 track. Since May, IBM specialists and partners have worked to further incubate, test, and deploy Safe Queue’s solution with organizations across the country.
“All of the submissions in this year’s global challenge clearly show the immense potential of technologies based on hybrid cloud, AI and open source to address critical issues like climate change, COVID-19 and more,” said Bob Lord, Senior Vice President, Cognitive Applications and Ecosystems, IBM. “We know the developer community has the skills, desire and ingenuity to tackle the world’s thorniest issues. What we’re providing through Call for Code is a catalyst to galvanize that community to take on specific societal challenges, as well as the open source-powered products and technologies to bring their vision to reality. Through this powerful combination, brilliant ideas like Agrolly can be transformed into the scalable solutions the world needs today.”
Winners in the University Category
Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair, Clinton Foundation, announced the inaugural winner of the Call for Code University Edition, a collaboration between IBM and the Clinton Global Initiative University.
Pandemap, created by a team of students from UC Berkeley to monitor and manage crowd flow and promote social distancing during COVID-19 will receive $10,000. Lupe, created by university students in the United Kingdom, was named runner-up. Team members from Pandemap and Lupe also receive the opportunity to interview for a potential role at IBM.
“Now, more than ever, the scope and urgency of the issues we’re encountering demand diverse perspectives and expertise and we’re proud to partner with IBM for the second year to advance university efforts that are committed to doing just that,” Clinton said. “Reaching over 53,000 students from more than 45 nations in 2020, we saw a tremendous and inspiring movement of young people, investing their time and talent during Call for Code. The passion, collaboration and innovation of our students is what will help unite and propel our society forward.”
Advancing Racial Justice
The announcement of Call for Code for Racial Justice follows three years of successful global programs addressing natural disasters, climate change and COVID-19. Call for Code for Racial Justice encourages the adoption and innovation of open source projects to drive progress in three key areas of focus: Police & Judicial Reform and Accountability; Diverse Representation; and Policy & Legislation Reform.
Together with partners like Black Girls Code, Collab Capital, Dream Corps, The United Way Worldwide, American Airlines, Cloud Native Computing Foundation and Red Hat, Call for Code for Racial Justice is inviting developers to apply their skills and ingenuity to combat systemic racism.
The tragic deaths of George Floyd, Amaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many others, serve as a reminder that silent carriers help spread racism, and the fight against it is as urgent as ever. The new initiative began with Black IBMers and allies taking action with an internal IBM program called the Call for Code Emb(race) Challenge. Solutions created and developed through that program are now being opened to the world to build upon through Call for Code for Racial Justice.
“Black Girls Code was created to introduce programming and technology to a new generation of coders, and we believe that a new generation of coders will shape our futures,” said Anesha Grant, Director of Alumnae and Educational Programs, Black Girls Code. “We’re excited to participate in Call for Code for Racial Justice and to spark meaningful change.”
Call for Code for Racial Justice is planned for launch at the virtual All Things Open on October 19.
“Each year I’m amazed by how this global community of developers comes together to help solve some of the world’s most pressing issues, and this year is no different,” said Call for Code creator David Clark. “Through the support of UN Human Rights, IBM, The Linux Foundation, the Call for Code ecosystem, world leaders, tech icons, celebrities, and the amazing developers that drive innovation, Call for Code has become the defining tech for good platform the world turns to for results.”
About Call for Code Global Challenge
Developers have revolutionized the way people live and interact with virtually everyone and everything. Where most people see challenges, developers see possibilities. That’s why David Clark, the CEO of David Clark Cause, created Call for Code in 2018, and launched it alongside Founding Partner IBM and their partner UN Human rights.
This five-year, $30 million global initiative is a rallying cry to developers to use their mastery of the latest technologies to drive positive and long-lasting change across the world through code. The Call for Code community includes United Nations Human Rights, The Linux Foundation, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative University, Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Verizon, Persistent Systems, Arrow Electronics, HERE Technologies, Ingram Micro, IntelePeer, Consumer Technology Association Foundation, World Bank, Caribbean Girls Hack, Kode With Klossy, World Institute on Disability, and many more.
Call for Code global winning solutions are further developed, incubated, and deployed as sustainable open source projects to ensure they can drive positive change.