Aloha+ Challenge inspires sustainability innovations at the 2018 Hawai’i Annual Code Challenge

The Hawai‘i Annual Code Challenge (HACC) invites community members to participate in a hackathon style event aimed at finding solutions to promote an efficient and open government and support IT workforce development in Hawai’i. The HACC is open to everyone, and themed challenges are posed by state departments and agencies to find new ways to streamline processes, modernize services, and promote cross-departmental information sharing.

This year’s theme was based on Hawai’i’s sustainability goals demonstrated through the Aloha+ Challenge, focusing on social, economic, and environmental priorities. Participants were challenged to utilize the open-data Aloha+ Dashboard, which provides accountability and measures progress, to create solutions that support progress towards statewide sustainability goals. The Aloha+ Challenge is a local framework for action on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture and Hawai‘i Technology Development Corporation’s AGathon also joined HACC to find solutions to the Local Food goal of the Aloha+ Challenge.

After three weeks of the hackathon, Team Pika from University of Hawai’i won first place in the open division for designing an app in response to the University’s Office of Energy Management’s challenge on energy and consumption trends. University of Hawai’i Manoa is one of the state’s largest energy consumers, and uses as much energy as the entire Manoa valley. Considering the campus spends $30 million per year on electricity, the Office of Energy Management wanted to know if this was normal, where the electricity was going, and how they could reduce it. Team Pika’s app provided a solution by using UH Manoa’s smart meter network to visualize collected energy data for the school’s Energy Management team and transform the data into valuable information.

This year’s HACC winners included:

  • 1st Place Open Division – Team Pika – UH Energy Consumption (Aloha+ Energy goal)
  • 2nd Place Open Division – Gucci Gang – Plant Identification App (Aloha+ Nature goal)
  • 3rd Place Open Division – Plant Hawaii – Plant Identification App (Aloha+ Nature goal)
  • 1st Place High School – Mililani High School – UH Energy Consumption (Aloha+ Energy goal)
  • 2nd Place High School – BuffnBlue – Dept. of Education Collaborative Network for Teachers (Aloha+ Education & Green Workforce goal)
  • AGathon Winner – Mahi Spray – Dept. of Agriculture Food Safety and Pesticide Tracking (Aloha+ Local Food)

The 2018 Hawaii Annual Code Challenge was a step towards innovative solutions to reach the Aloha+ Challenge goals in the upcoming years, and created a great opportunity for students and the community to join in a collaborative effort to build a more sustainable future for Hawai’i.