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Green Ideas a hit with Hackathon judges

Teams of people aged 18 – 35 battled it out at the South Central Institute of Technology (SCIoT) in Bletchley to come up with the best business ideas, using AI to create practical, sustainable solutions to real world problems. 

This AI Hackathon for the Common Good initiative was part of the British Council’s Stronger Together youth leadership programme.

Participants were treated to an intense bootcamp looking at the fundamentals of AI and how it could help combat climate change and support sustainability across the world.  The teams then had to come up with their ideas and pitch them to an expert panel.

The winners, which included SCIoT software development apprentice, Sam Bailey who works at Encore Environment, came up with an idea for how to use two different types of AI to read and digitise paper documents, and transfer the relevant information into the right places on his employer’s computer system.

Sam said, “I very much enjoyed myself and everything went very smoothly.  It was an entertaining and interactive presentation which contained a lot of interesting information about both AI and sustainability.  All of the teams seemed to work together exceptionally well and I'm sure it was tough to judge.”

Sam’s team’s prize is a study trip to Bristol where they’ll meet other winners from similar events from across Europe.  Head of School at the SCIoT, James Nowell, was also one of the judges and said, “The event provided an outstanding opportunity for our students to delve into the positive applications of AI and its pivotal role in advancing sustainability. The Hackathon united students from diverse educational paths — apprenticeships, higher education, and our Access to Higher Education courses — all to address real-world issues through AI solutions.”

“Hosting this event in our newly constructed, sustainably designed building highlighted our dedication to digital learning. Observing our students present impactful solutions filled me with immense pride. It was an honour to contribute to the incredible work of the British Council.”


Tim Moore, Cultural Engagement Business Director at the British Council said, “The Artificial Intelligence (AI) strand of our Stronger Together programme aims to develop specialised skills that will enable young leaders to design AI-based solutions to address social and climate challenges. We would like to thank the SCIoT for hosting the AI Hackathon for the Common Good.   The excellent facilities made the hackathon an enjoyable experience for participants.  Students were very committed to the tasks throughout the whole training and their responses were incredibly impressive. It is worth mentioning that during the pitch of ideas at the end of the hackathon, there was a high level of focus and great questions to the presenters were asked. A fantastic event for all involved.”  


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