Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 61.98
Liaison Michael Amadori
Submission Date March 2, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Hobart and William Smith Colleges
IN-24: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Michael Amadori
Sustainability Manager
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Hackathon Addresses Climate Change

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

In September 2017, Hobart and William Smith hosted the Colleges’ third annual Hackathon competition, focusing most recently on creating solutions that addressed the issue of climate change, particularly in the Finger Lakes region and nationally. The HWS Hackathon, which is co-sponsored by the Centennial Center and the Entrepreneurial Studies Program, is a 24-hour competition that uses social innovation to tackle a global problem.

The 2017 program was held at the Bozzuto Center for Entrepreneurship, a new HWS space in downtown Geneva that includes classrooms, discussion spaces, workspaces and meeting spaces for entrepreneurial studies and community collaborations.
Over the course of the competition, 10 teams proposed solutions to address the pressing issue of climate change on a local level. Teams had the opportunity to discuss the topic with experts in the field of earth science, environmental studies, renewable energy, public policy and sustainability before they raced the clock to create a solution. They were tasked with creating a business solution for climate change and present it in a four-minute pitch to a panel of alum judges.

A team of first-year students excelled in this year’s Hackathon, consisting of Chloe Brown ’21, Isabella Pardales ’21 and Jack Polentes ’21. The team won $500 for their proposal titled “One Block at a Time.” Polentes said, “Our project focused on the localization of human consumption in urban areas to reduce transportation, increase efficiency and drive social sustainable success. In order to do this, we proposed the implementation of ‘Super blocks’ – a kind of micro-community organization strategy first observed in Barcelona.” Their idea also integrated vertical farming, solar grids and micro-CHPs in their proposed development.

This year’s judges included Julie Bazan ’93, chief operating officer at Cobblestone Capital Advisors in Rochester, N.Y.; Edmund “Ted” Kidd ’87, a partner at Energy Efficiency Specialists in Rochester, N.Y. and Katharine Strouse Canada ’98, program coordinator for the Maxwell Program in Citizenship and Civic Engagement at Syracuse University.

The Hackathon also included a keynote address by Mike Hoffman, executive director of the Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions and professor of entomology at Cornell University. As executive director, Hoffman has helped raise the profile of challenges posed by a rapidly warming climate and has helped people who grow food adapt to the changing conditions as well as reduce their carbon footprint.
Other teams included: Samuel Allen ’20, Harrison DeMaira ’19 and Jackson Lesure ’21 who proposed creating a company with the goal of reducing carbon emissions through the increased use of renewables energies such as wind and solar. Whitney Campbell ’19, Carlos Robles ’18 and Saoirse Scott ’19 initiated a life-cycle assessment that labeled clothing based on its negative and positive impacts on the environment


Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Curriculum
Campus Engagement
Air & Climate

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
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The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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