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Forge Academy’s 4IR hackathon to solve food scarcity

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Forge Academy, SA’s self-proclaimed ‘Harvard for the fourth industrial revolution’ (4IR), has partnered with NGO, the Waterberg Welfare Society, to host a two-day 4IR hackathon, to tackle food insecurity.

Forge Academy is the brainchild of social entrepreneurs Arthur Wade Anderson and Craig Clutty.

It is an education facility, focused on training African students for careers that rely on 3D printing, next-generation computing, virtual and augmented reality, and digital marketing, so that they can contribute to the continent’s digital economy.

The academy − in association with Nokia, the Presidency, We Code Academy and cloud solutions firm Ozone Connect − will host the hackathon on 22 and 23 March, to impart knowledge and skills related to 4IR.

The physical event will see participants collaborate intensively on the development of software projects to ensure food security, in efforts to end hunger on the continent. The challenge requires participants to formulate possible solutions and remedies to connect food insecure citizens with resources that may help them to maximise their ability to gain access to food.

“The hackathon is a great opportunity for anyone in the community interested in developing their ICT skills,” says Forge Academy CEO Anderson.

“We welcome and look forward to hosting those with the passion and drive to be proactively involved in this important cause.”

Hackathon participants will be divided into teams and provided with two low-cost but high-nutrition food packs. Then teams will brainstorm how businesses can use technology to distribute, market and sell the packs.

Technologies created should be able to, for example, connect food producers to consumers through automation and improve efficiencies in the food supply chain. The ideas need to be affordable and sustainable for the community in need, according toForge Academy.

During the challenge, Ozone Connect will display 3D printing, augmented and virtual reality, and Temi Robots, which interact with humans using autonomous navigation and audio experiences.

Visitors will also get an opportunity to practise and develop their coding skills with guidance from We Code Academy, using robotics, and be introduced to drone training with a live demonstration.

For further information on the hackathon, contact Forge Academy via e-mail: hello@forgeacademy.co.za .

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