Call for Code Founding Partner IBM and Creator David Clark Cause, in partnership with United Nations Human Rights and the Linux Foundation announced this year’s Call for Code Global Challenge on Thursday 27th February, inviting the world’s software developers and innovators to help fight climate change with open source-powered technology.

On its 75th anniversary, the United Nations is demanding a ‘global reality check’ and has launched the biggest-ever global conversation on how to address the world’s most pressing issues such as climate change. Heeding the UN’s rallying cry to help build the future we want, IBM is joining forces with key UN agencies and world leaders to help tackle the climate crisis.

Following two successful years, the 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge encourages and fosters the creation of practical applications built on open source software including Red Hat OpenShift, IBM Cloud, IBM Watson, IBM Blockchain, and data from The Weather Company. The goal is to employ technology in new ways that can make an immediate and lasting humanitarian impact in communities around the world.

A recent global IBM study conducted by Morning Consult surveyed more than 3,000 developers, first responders and social activists across China, Columbia, Egypt, India, Japan, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States, and found:

  • 56% of Indian and 77% of global first responders and developers surveyed agree with the statement ‘Climate change is the single most pressing issue facing my generation.’
  • Over 3 quarters (77%) of Indian respondents say that someone they know or love has been impacted by a natural disaster.
  • 51% of Indian and 79% of global respondents agree that climate change is something that can be reduced or combated with technology.
  • Over eight in ten (82%) Indian respondents said they were very interested in working on projects to help solve climate change.
  • Almost nine in ten (86%) Indian and 87% of global respondents feel it is important that a potential employer has taken action on climate change
  • 82% of Indian and three quarters of global respondents agree that the open source community can help scale climate change solutions to communities in need.
  • Eight in ten global respondents agree that most people want to do something to help combat climate change, but don’t know where to start.


India won in 2019

In 2019, the Call for Code Asia Pacific Challenge was won by India team Purva Suchak, who built a solution to prevent pervasive flooding by continuously checking water bodies and collating data with weather forecast information. IBM will announce the regional finalists from Asia Pacific for the Call for Code 2020 Global Challenge in September and winner in October.

“India is home to one of the fastest growing developer bases in the world, a majority of whom are committed to tackling real-world problems. In the past 2 editions, we have also seen increasing participation and winning teams from India in the Call for Code challenge. With climate change as this year’s theme, we can expect some path-breaking innovative solutions to be developed during the competition,” said Priya Mallya, Country Leader, Developer Ecosystem, IBM India.

Over 180,000 participants from 165 nations took part in Call for Code in 2019; they created more than 5,000 applications focused on natural disaster preparedness and relief. This year Call for Code is challenging applicants to create innovations based on open source technologies to help halt and reverse the impact of climate change.

“There is an urgent need to take action against climate change, and IBM is uniquely positioned to connect leading humanitarian experts with the most talented and passionate developers around the world,” said Bob Lord, IBM Senior Vice President of Cognitive Applications and Developer Ecosystems. “IBM is determined to identify, deploy, and scale technology solutions that can help save lives, empower people, and create a better world for future generations.

Lord noted that IBM has been mobilizing throughout the company, from policy commitments on climate to IBM’s weather forecasting capabilities powered by AI and supercomputers.

“Over these past two years through Call for Code UNDRR has seen the potential for developers to tackle major societal challenges, and developers will have a crucial role in our response to the climate emergency,” said Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Disaster Risk Reduction. “Climate change is the most critical issue of our time, with a multitude of localized contributing factors and cascading effects that cannot be solved by a single organization. We need a global network to fight this together.”

As part of the 75thanniversary of the United Nations, we are proud to work with our Founding Partner IBM to help commemorate this momentous occasion by focusing the 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge on climate change. By inspiring and empowering developers around the world to help with this global threat, Call for Code can generate real impact,” said David Clark, Creator of Call for Code and CEO of David Cark Cause. “I am also excited President Bill Clinton returns for the third year as an eminent judge for the Challenge, along with leading experts in human rights, disaster response, business, and technology from all over the world.”