GW Hosts DC Climathon

Second annual event was part of a global hackathon aimed at solving problems in cities.

October 31, 2016

By Kristen Mitchell

Every year durable goods like appliances, discarded clothes and mattresses fill landfills across the country and in Washington, D.C. Many of these items could be repurposed or refurbished, but coming up with a solution on how to extend the life of those items can be tricky.

Over the weekend some of George Washington University’s most creative students spent 24 hours strategizing ways to extend the life of these durable good as part of the 2016 DC Climathon, a sustainability initiative.

Armed with ample amounts of coffee, dance breaks and comradery, students brainstormed their own ideas and consulted with others participating in the Climathon challenge across the world through social media and Skype.

The winner of DC Climathon will receive an automatic advancement to the GW New Venture Challenge and ongoing mentorship through January 2017. Cash and product prizes available to winning teams.

GW School of Business Dean Linda Livingstone commended students for their dedication to entrepreneurship and social good.

“You’ll have to think in a cross disciplinary multi-disciplinary way to come up with really interesting, creative solutions,” she said. “We think most significant problems in the world require that kind of interdisciplinary thinking.”

Office of Sustainability Director Meghan Chapple said at the start of the event Friday afternoon it takes courage for people to think outside the box and innovate.

“We are really looking for your creative ideas to solve this climate problem in a way that will bring, frankly, joy and a better life to people on the planet,” she said.

The DC Climathon was organized and hosted by GW’s Office of Sustainability, the School of the Business, the GW Institute for Corporate Responsibility, the Honey W. Nashman Center for Engagement and Public Service and the D.C. Department of Energy and the Environment.