Enabling change in our Society, Environment and Economy (SEE)

Canberra Climathon

On Friday 10th and Saturday 11th July 2015 Canberra hosted an Australian #Climathon event!

A 24hr fast paced global hackathon style event – focused on solving meaningful climate change problems.

There was creativity and collaboration with people, projects and ideas.

Over 60 participants recognised that the real problems of climate change in 2015 are not technological but social and political. Their ideas reflected that by addressing issues as diverse as redefining energy, changing media narratives and promoting soil and water management.

Our Canberran teams join a global movement with the chance to take their work all the way to the global Climate summit in Paris this December. But more than that, they’ve come up with ideas that could help us all mitigate climate change.

Wrap up of Ideas

The Climathon Canberra website has been updated with a wrap up of all the ideas and a post-event spin.

The judges chose one idea that was a front runner at this stage, based on criteria of innovation, feasibility and impact.

That idea was Certified Renewable, a certification program for renewable energy that businesses can use.

In addition the popular vote went to Give A Fork, a farmers co-op for soil carbon management.

But it was an incredibly close call and all the ideas have merit.


More than anything Climathon was an instigator of new connections and an incubator of ideas – all of which we want to see get off the ground.

As explained on the day, the organisers want to facilitate and support any project team who is interested in moving forward.

There is a pool of mentors that you can connect with, or they can help find others that would be appropriate.

If you could not make it on the day but would like to be involved, please use the online form to express your interest.

Next Steps

  1. For those who want to continue marching their idea forward, they have been asked to put together a documented proposal and send it to climathoncanberra@gmail.com (see the Event section on the website for proposal guidelines).
  2. The organisers suggest that people connect with their team and work out the best way to communicate. There are many options available.
  3. The organisers will be setting up a Google Group for Climathon Canberra in order to communicate with everyone more effectively and connect everyone.
  4. If you would like a personal profile on the Climathon Canberra site to promote your projects, please send through a photo and short bio. You can check out this example for inspiration.
  5. If anyone took photos during the event, please send them to climathoncanberra@gmail.com, or post them to the Climathon Canberra Facebook page.

The Road to Paris

With the hackathon event over and teams formed we enter stage 2 of the official Climathon framework.

Over the next few months teams can progress their ideas with the help of mentors and other connections.

The international Climathon organisers will then choose teams from around the globe to bring to Paris in December and present their solutions at COP21.

They will be looking for solutions that are innovative, feasible and those that have advanced the most.

We can submit more than one team and idea, and we would like to see all ideas progress over the next few months and be submitted.

Thank Yous

A few thank yous are definitely in order.

First of all, to all participants. What wonderful ideas and team work. We have no words.

Next, to our special guest speakers and judges – Penny Sackett, Antonio Mozqueira, Mark Spain, Jon Sibley and Larry O’Loughlin – we were honoured and humbled by your presence. Thank you for bringing your expertise and passion to Climathon Canberra.

Likewise, thank you to the mentors who came along and helped teams develop their ideas. You really put in the hard yards throughout the event, we acknowledge and appreciate that. Another thanks to those who have offered to be ongoing mentors.

Finally, to our sponsors and providers: the ACT Government for their generous sponsorship and partnership; the ANU Climate Change Institute for their sponsorship; the partnership of the ANU Energy Change Institute and the community groups who I will give a further shout out to below; the Food Co-op in Canberra for delicious dinner that aligned with the Climathon Canberra goals; and Biginelli’s Espresso for opening up and allowing us to use their space.


With so much going on, we didn’t really get a chance to talk about the community partners who came on board to support the event.

We encourage you to check out the website to find out more about and get involved with these organisation or connect with them through the links below. Our partners include:

350.org Canberra: Part of a global grassroots movement that is focused on preserving a liveable planet, which means reducing CO2 in the atmosphere to below 350 ppm. In Canberra we work towards a Fossil Free ACT (getting the ACT Government to divest from fossil fuels), and getting the big 4 banks (particularly Commonwealth Bank) to rule out funding the Galilee Basin coal mines, as well as reaching out to people to inform them of what 350 ppm means. Follow 350 Canberra on Facebook or sign up to get more involved.

The Conservation Council: The voice for the environment representing community environmental and sustainability groups in the ACT region. Sign up for the Conservation Council newsletter at their website (and your weekly dose of Larry) or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

SEE-Change: A community, not-for-profit group focused on local grass roots action in Canberra for a sustainable society, economy and environment (SEE). Sign up for the SEE-Change newsletter, a weekly round up of all the sustainability action in Canberra, or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

Our deepest gratitude and respect

Christina & Julia

With thanks to our


  • ACT Government Environment and Planning
  • The Association of Independent Schools of the ACT (AISACT)
  • Catholic Education Office (Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn)
  • Education and Training Directorate
  • ACT Government