UNESCO, UNEP, and Hackmakers are proud to celebrate World Creativity and Innovation Day as part of the United Nations initiative. This hackathon is dedicated to collaborating with, and encouraging people to creatively use their skills in generating new ideas and solutions for health & wellbeing, economic growth, decent work and quality education.


On #WCID, the world is invited to embrace the idea that innovation is essential for harnessing the economic potential of nations.

The world is undergoing an unprecedented time of crises in health, education, economy and the future of work. Millions of people have lost their lives or livelihoods amongst the deepest global recession the world has ever faced in modern times. This uncertain period affords us an opportunity to reset and correct the course of many meaningful objectives. This means that creativity and innovation, at both the individual and group levels, have become the true wealth of nations in the 21st century.

Check out details of the relevant UN Development Goals below.

Challenge categories


The challenge statements for each category will be released in the Opening Ceremony: held at 17:00 IST/ 19:30 SGT / 21:30 AEST, Friday 16 April!  Submissions will need to be in video format with accompanying codebase and optional documentation. Solutions will be judged along the criteria of consistency, originality, social value, quality/design and commercialisation opportunity

We have left some challenge clues for a headstart! Hover over each card to view the challenge category background.

UN Development Goal #3: Health & Wellbeing

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being at all ages.

The targets  cover and focus on various aspects of healthy life and healthy lifestyle. It aims to achieve universal health coverage, that seeks equitable access of healthcare services to all men and women. Solutions may include health apps, dashboards and monitoring technologies.

Challenge Background: Health & Wellbeing

Progress in many health areas are strong, but needs acceleration, particularly in tuberculosis, child health, maternal health, HIV and immunizations. Healthcare disruptions under COVID-19 reverse decades of improvement, with hundreds of thousands of under-5 deaths expected in 2021. How can we correct the course of this alarming trend?

UN Development Goal #4: Quality Education

To ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. This goal aims to provide children and young people with quality and easily accessible education plus other learning opportunities, with one of the targets is to achieve universal literacy and numeracy.

Challenge Background: Quality Education

With an estimated over 200 million children out of school by 2030, and inequalities of education exacerbated by COVID-19, remote learning remains out of reach for at least 500 million students. How can we develop new and innovative solutions to help democratise learning for all?

UN Development Goal #8: Decent Work & Growth

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. This goal aims at ensuring the economic sector of every country provides the necessary need for its citizen to have a good life irrespective of their background, race, culture or other extraneous circumstances.

Challenge Background: Decent Work & Economic Growth

Before COVID-19, global economic growth was slowing down from 2% per capita (2010 - 2018) to 1.5% in 2019. The world faces the worst economic recession since the great depression, with sectors such as tourism facing unprecedented challenges.  Are there innovative solutions to help the 400 million recently displaced workers in 2021?



Not available during the #WID weekend, or already have a working solution or previous hackathon project? No worries! We will be accepting completed and previous hackathon projects into the World Innovation Day Global Showcase Competition, from March 15 to June 15.

UN Development Goal #11: Sustainable Cities & Development

Urbanization, globalization, climate change, demographic change are all public pressures on people’s quality of life, safety and security. This has put many city authorities in a challenging position to tackle problems, relating to these topics. This is your chance to foster a better environment and develop better cities.

Showcase Background: Sustainable Cities & Development

Worldwide consumption and production, a driving force of the global economy, rely on the use of the natural environment and resources in a model that continues to lead to destructive impacts on the planet. The pandemic offers countries an opportunity to build a recovery plan that will reverse current trends and change consumption and production patterns towards a sustainable future. How can we build a more sustainable city environment for society?


Vik Pant

Chief Scientist & Chief Science Advisor, Natural Resources Canada

About Vik

Vik is the Chief Scientist & Chief Science Advisor at Natural Resources Canada. He founded the Synthetic Intelligence Forum. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto

David Thodey

CSIRO, Tyro and XERO

About David

David Thodey is Chair of the Commonwealth Science, Industry & Research Organisation, Xero and Tyro Payments. He is also a Director of Ramsay Health Care, and Vodafone International Group (UK).

Keith Strier

Vice-President, Worldwide AI Initiatives, NVIDIA Corporation

About Keith

Keith is the VP of Wordwide AI initiatives at NVIDIA. He is also the Chair of the AI Compute Taskforce at OECD-OCDE. His expertise lies in technology, government and leadership.

Cherie Ryan

Vice President & Managing Director, Oracle Australia New Zealand

About Cherie

Cherie is the Vice President and Regional MD at Oracle, ANZ. She has 19 years of experience in senior regional and global roles for leading organisations

Kumar Parakala

President, GHD Digital

About Kumar

Kumar is President at GHD Digital. In 2016, he was named 2016 Digital Disruptors' International Professional of the Year. He's held global leadership roles at his previous firm, KPMG.

Liz Forsyth

Global Infrastructure Lead: Infra, Government and Healthcare, KPMG

About Liz

Liz leads KPMG’s Global Infrastructure, Government and Healthcare practices. Her work focuses on issues related to disadvantage, disability and vulnerability, covering the many and varied aspects of the sector.

Anand Rao

Global Artificial Intelligence Lead, PwC

About Anand

Anand is the Global Artificial Intelligence Lead at PwC & the Innovation Lead for the emerging technology group. He is a published academic, and frequently speaks on analytics, AI and innovation.

Christopher G. Chelliah

Senior Vice-President, Oracle JAPAC

About Christopher

Christopher is the SVP for Strategy, Business Dev & Insights. He has a track record of converting emerging technology innovation areas into a ramped-growth start-up revenue stream  

Guillermo Ruiz

Global Head of Developer Relations, Oracle

About Guillermo

Guillermo is the Head of Developer Relations at Oracle, and responsible for the Oracle Advocay program aimed to transform technological learning. He is also a technical writer and a conference speaker.

David Jensen

Coordinator, UNEP Digital Transformation Task Force

About David

David is the Coordinator of the UNEP Digital Transformation Task Force at UN Environment Programme. He's co-founded several initiatives within environmental sustainibility. He has a masters in science from Oxford.

Penny R. Collins

President & CEO, Women in Technology (WIT)

About Penny

Penny is the President & CEO of 'Women in Technology'. She is a thought leader, board member of intellecutal property and philantrophic organisations, and an advocate for women in leadership.

Saeed Tasbihsazan

Chief Technology Officer, Strategic Accounts, Telstra

About Saeed

Saeed is the Chief Technology Officer - Strategic Accounts at Telstra. He lends his technological expertise to students and professionals as an industry mentor at RMIT university, and through his blog.

Ian Oppermann

Chief Data Scientist, NSW Government

About Ian

Ian is the Chief Data Scientist at the NSW Government. He is also an industry professor, global digital economy thought leader, who is involved with several councils on technology.

Steve Nouri

Head of Data Science & AI, Australian Computer Society

About Steve

Steve Nouri is a data science leader who has evolved the way people look at AI and innovations. He is an entrepreneur, author, academic and technical manager by profession.


Tim Watts

Shadow Assistant Minister for Communications Australian Parliament House

About Tim

Tim is currently the Shadow Assistant Minister for Cyber Security and the Shadow Assistant Minister for Communications. He also serves on the Parliament's Joint Committee on Public Accounts and Audit and the House Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs.

Adrian Turner

CEO, Minderoo Wildfire and Disaster Resilience

About Adrian

Adrian is CEO of the Wildfire and Disaster resilience at Minderoo. He has leveraged techonology for philanthropy and industry disruption, and serves on the board of digital and health organisations.

Sasha Rubel

Program Specialist, Digital Innovation and Transformation, UNESCO

About Sasha

Leads UNESCO's work at the global level in the field of artificial intelligence, innovation, and digital transformation. Coordinate a global team across UNESCO Sectors and Field Offices on emerging technology and digital governance

Pascal Bornet

Chief Data Officer,
Aera Technology

About Pascal

Pascal is a recognized 𝗴𝗹𝗼𝗯𝗮𝗹 𝗲𝘅𝗽𝗲𝗿𝘁 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗽𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗲𝗲𝗿 in the field of 𝗜𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗔𝘂𝘁𝗼𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 & 𝗛𝘆𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗮𝘂𝘁𝗼𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻
● 𝗦𝗲𝗻𝗶𝗼𝗿 𝗲𝘅𝗲𝗰𝘂𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝟮𝟬+ 𝘆𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗲𝘅𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 in digital transformations.

Sami Yalavac

Chief Information Officer, BUPA Australia & New Zealand

About Sami

Sami is the Chief Information Officer at Bupa, ANZ. In 2020, he ranked #15 in CIO50 - Australia's most innovative CIOs. He is also a graduate member of the AICD.

Carlos Pignataro

Chief Technology Officer,

About Carlos

Carlos is the Chief Technology Officer for Cisco’s $13B Customer Experience organization. He is charged with leading the CX innovation work and driving technology delivery standards for excellence.

Laetitia Cailleteau

Managing Director | DATA & AI Europe Lead Accenture

About Laetitia

She is the MD, DATA & AI Europe Lead and Global Lead for Conversational AI at Accenture. She has 20 years experience in consulting, at the C-Suite level for Fortune 500 companies.

Ashok Pamidi

Chief Executive Officer,
NASSCOM Foundation

About Ashok

Ashok is the CEO of the NASSCOM Foundation. A 30-year IT industry veteran, He has the acumen of investing in, building, and nurturing people, managers, and teams that hold up the organizations' vision.

Carlos Pignataro

Chief Technology Officer,

About Carlos

Carlos is the Chief Technology Officer for Cisco’s $13B Customer Experience organization. He is charged with leading the CX innovation work and driving technology delivery standards for excellence.

Rasha Hasaneen

Vice President, Trane Technologies 

About Rasha

Rasha is the VP of Innovation, PM Excellence & Executive Director of the Centre for Healthy & Efficient Spaces. She specialises in product management, strategy dev, research at the intersection of technology, business & public policy.

Jason Blackman

Chief Information Officer, carsales

About Jason

Jason is the CIO  at carsales.com He leads the team that develops, operates & integrates the technology across the company to provide great customer experiences, and streamline business both domestically & internationally. 

Vanessa C Mazzei

National President - Young Professionals at UNAA

About Vanessa

Vanessa is a CSR & Corporate Philanthropy Professional | Foundation Manager at GenesisCare | National President - Young Professionals at United Nations Association of Australia

Richard McLain

Chief Executive Officer,

About Richard

Richard is the CEO at INE, the premier provider of technical training for the IT industry. He's also the President of Mariche and a Forbes Technology Council Member

Scott Cederbaum

Chief Marketing Officer, INE

About Scott

Scott is the Chief Marketing Officer at INE, a premier provider of technical training for the IT Industry. He's also the Managing Partner at Core Analytics Consulting, and an Adjunct Professor of Business at American University.

Philip Dalidakis

Non-executive Director, Center for Asia Pacific Strategy

About Philip

Philip is the Non-executive Director at the Center for Asia Pacific Strategy, USA. He was also Executive General Manager, Corporate Services at Australia Post (AP). He is a well regarded & accomplished leader with vast experience working across business, government & the NFP sector.

Ayumi Aoki

Founder & CEO, Women in Tech

About Ayumi

Ayumi is the Founder and President of Women in Tech & the CEO of Social Brain. She is a leading global expert and speaker on women empowerment and community building.


We have an exciting lineup of workshops scheduled for this event. Sessions are being updated as we get closer to the Opening Ceremony, so stay tuned!

Monday, April 12

There are definite challenges in working this in kind of environment. Learn ways to get the best experience out of this event. This is a MUST for everyone participating as you can always learn something new. This is a live only session.

Tuesday, April 13

Presented by: Santiago Basulto (INE)


Description: Python has become the standard language in IT: CyberSecurity, Data Science, Networking and Systems Programming all depend on Python to work. 


In this workshop, we’ll explore the current state of the industry and how Python plays a fundamental role in it, and how training companies including INE are learning and teaching it effectively. 

There are different methods to discover insights - from ML to visualisation. Learn about how to discover these insights with Oracle Cloud with Saurabh Gupta (Oracle ACE). The discussion will also include "Even though we have these insights, should we?"

How do you make an impact? How do we know that what we build is impactful? How do we know the impact we make is a good one? Learn more about making an impact in this session with UQ Ventures.

Wednesday, April 14

The first step in a hackathon is to come up with the idea you are going to work on.

This is often easier said than done. with some teams not being able to finalise their idea until the last day of the hackathon, leaving them little time to work on other things.

Find out what are the key thing to consider in an idea, and also how best to validate and ensure the idea works.

Learning technology normally starts with what is free or Open-Source. Learn about using Open-Source Software on Oracle Cloud and see how you can start learning.

Installing different tech stack for different datastores takes time. Learn about the ways that you can use Autonomous Database for different use-cases like low-code, graph, ML, JSON, REST-APIs and spatial.

Thursday, April 15

This session is an introduction to participants to effectively compete in a Hackmakers hackathon. We will go through the roles and expectations, time commitment, Slack software and other tips for reaching out and assisting teams.

These documents are advised to be reviewed prior to this session, with a apportioned time Q and A.

Our team look forward to catching up with all the registered participants.

This session is an introduction to mentors to effectively compete in a Hackmakers hackathon. We will go through the roles and expectations, time commitment, Slack software and other tips for reaching out and assisting teams.

These documents are advised to be reviewed prior to this session, followed by Q and A.

Our team look forward to catching up with all the registered mentors.

The difference between a good solution and great solution could be as simple as how you convey your story in your pitch. Learn about the art of storytelling and pitching at this QUT BANDS session.

Tech skills in IT are important. As businesses mature in their use of digital, soft skills in IT are more relevant and critical. Learn about these softer skills in this QUT BANDS session.

Friday, 16 April

The largest ever World Innovation Day hackathon will commence at 21:30 AEDT! Join thousands of hackers, hundreds of mentors and the largest suite of sponsoring tech companies in the world for the #WorldInnovationDay Hack of 2021.

This will be the first of two speed meet and greet sessions run by Hackmakers, to organise participants into teams, and for mentors to meet teams. The agenda is as follows:

  • Hackmakers Introductions
    Team Charter Guide

  • Participant and Mentor introductions

  • Breakout Rooms

  • Q and A

  • Conclusion




Frequently Asked Questions

 I'm a recruiter looking for top tech talent! How can I get involved and discover ?

We will be opening up a special channel for recruiters to be able to meet individual competitors and finalist teams. Please find the attached pitch deck, and register your expression of interest in this form: 


There are two phases to this hackathon. The first phase involves potentially showcasing your work and upvoting other awesome ideas that were developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Submissions will be due by 23:59, Friday 24 June, and be voted on both by the community and a panel of data science experts.

The second phase involves the hackathon. After you sign up you will be invited via email to our event online collaborative space.

The virtual hackathon begins 19:00 Friday, 24th July AEST  and concludes 19:00 Monday, 27th July.

This hackathon will be aimed at utilising data science and AI to gain meaningful and actionable insights as nations emerge from lockdowns and stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19. 

A hackathon (hack = solving a complex problem) (athon = marathon) is an intense sprint-style experience in which software developers, interface designers, technologists and product experts come together to rapidly develop software or hardware projects. 

Once you have registered, you will have access to our dashboard. The resources and Slack space will come online very soon, closer to the hackathon date!

HackMakers will organise, lead mentors, and mentors with hackathon experience will facilitate teams to maximise their experience. This includes helping match participants to team and skills, debug code, ideate, introduce to the resources and tools, and effectively present their solution.

Individuals discuss ideas, share their abilities and skills, then join an existing team or find people in the platform channels to build a new one. In previous event, some successful teams voting on their favourite challenge problem, generate potential solutions and tested these before picking the best option to take forward.

If you don’t have a team, mentors or organisers will be on hand to assist matching.

Most people don’t have an idea before they get to the event. But once you join the event, review the challenges and start talking to other people, you might come up with something. You can also work with somebody else on their idea if you like it.


Building innovative solutions to boost worldwide creativity and innovation.
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