Ateneo computer engineering student wins international hackathon on packaging
04 Jun 2022 | Robert Alfie S Peña
Third-year computer engineering student Joshua Kempis won the Wala Usik Challenge 2022: #HackThePackaging, an international hackathon on new ideas for packaging that can help address the global plastic pollution. The central theme of circular design is conveyed by the Hiligaynon/Bisaya phrase wala usik, which means "nothing is wasted." His novel entry, Hyfoam, and two other finalists were named winners during the hackathon's winners' circle awarding night on 20 April 2022.
The gamified hackathon was organized by the Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation, Inc. (PRRCFI) with support from the Rethinking Plastics – Circular Economy Solutions to Marine Litter project funded by the European Union and the German government. It called for entries (game level 1) from project country members China, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. 30 entries were shortlisted to participate in the first (level 2) of a series of circular design workshops (levels 3–6) meant to develop alternative packaging ideas and services to alleviate the global plastic problem and promote a circular economy approach to package development. Following quest submissions on level 2, 15 finalists were selected to proceed to the hack dates (rest of the game levels) that culminated in the submission of their final pitches. The top 3 winners each received a cash prize of €1,000.
Hyfoam, the winning entry by Kempis, is a mycelium-based packaging alternative for styrofoam that can be made from coconut agricultural waste and mushrooms. The entries, the finalists, and the winners of the hackathon were curated and judged by GIZ (the German international development agency) and Expertise France, which are the implementing agencies of the Rethinking Plastics project.
01 Jul 2022
01 Jul 2022