“Too much water, or too little water.” This is how Dr. Kenneth Hartigan-Go, head of the Zuellig School for Development Management of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), described the water crisis that is gripping the country today.
Dr. Hartigan-Go was referring to intense flooding caused by extreme weather events, or the scarcity of water supply for household and industrial use due to extreme droughts and inefficient water management. In partnership with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the AIM organized a hackathon, attracting teams of innovators to take on the challenge of “Future-Proofing for the Water Crisis” and the possibility of winning a cash prize worth up to US$10,000.
Five teams made the cut, and last August 31 to September 2, 2019, the Oscar M. Lopez Center was privileged to help select the top three finalists who would make it to the last round. On the first day of the hackathon, the teams had the opportunity to be mentored by various experts and consultants and work on their pitches for judging on the second day. Teams were judged according to the following criteria: business value, feasibility and scalability, user experience and team grit, the last being described as a team’s potential to work through the challenge while ensuring teamwork and collaboration are intact. It was oddly observed that all teams were all-male groups.
The three shortlisted teams were given another day to work on their ideas and pitches before the final judging on the third day. Two of the finalists proposed wireless water monitoring systems to efficiently manage the use of water, while the third proposed the development of a mobile app to monitor floods and water shortages.
The winner was selected via a public vote of confidence.
Photo shows the top three teams who competed in the last round.