Exploring disruptive technologies to solve global problems

Thursday, 13 September, 2018

Exploring disruptive technologies to solve global problems

Entrepreneurs, academics, investors and non-profit groups will come together over the next six months to find emerging tech solutions to help create more sustainable cities at a series of events hosted by WWF-Australia in Sydney.

Sponsored by the City of Sydney and running monthly from September 2018 to March 2019, the six-part Greenhouse series is designed to push the boundaries and explore creative solutions to the urgent challenges faced by cities around the world as they move to a more sustainable approach.

“Even small changes to the way our cities work can have big impacts, thanks to the high concentration of people, services and activities in our urban areas — so it’s a huge challenge and a great opportunity for the tech start-ups of the future to latch onto,” said Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

“I hope to see some of those start-ups of the future starting at these sessions in Sydney.”

The series of talks, panel discussions and knowledge exchange sessions will include pitches from local start-ups who are applying new technologies to conservation, social equity and sustainable development. They will compete for a $1000 prize, and the winning teams from each event will have the opportunity to pitch in the grand finale in March 2019 for $10,000 in prizes.

Reece Proudfoot, WWF-Australia’s Innovation Strategist, said this year’s events will use emerging tech trends to build on the success of past Greenhouse events, noting, “Disruptive technologies can be channelled to solve some of the big, global problems facing humanity.”

The 2017 event series brought together speakers and panellists from fields as diverse as cleantech, finance, academia, design, NGO and government to explore how technology could be channelled for positive impact and resulted in some innovative tech projects. Proudfoot revealed, “Thanks to last year’s events, which culminated in a hackathon, we are now incubating a start-up that is using blockchain technology to enable households to be rewarded when they cut energy use.

“They are developing an app that tracks household energy consumption and rewards behaviour that contributes to conservation efforts. We can’t wait to see what new ideas this year will bring.”

There will be six Greenhouse sessions:

  • Future so Far: Should we turn decision-making over to robots? — 18 September 2018
  • Future of Food: Will the family meal be insects and two vegetables in the future? — 16 October 2018
  • Future of Waste: Will we have a world without rubbish in the future? — 20 November 2018
  • Future of Power: Will our homes run themselves in the future? — 22 January 2019
  • Future of Mobility: Will our children ever learn to drive? — 19 February 2019
  • Future of us: Have we done enough to save the planet? — 19 March 2019

Further information on the series can be found here. Tickets for the first Greenhouse session are available here and start-up registrations are available here.

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