Career Moves

Defy to host a sustainable living hackathon, Hack The Normal

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From 5 - 7 March 2021 appliance manufacturer Defy will be hosting the Hack The Normal online hackathon with the aim of exploring how technology can be leveraged for sustainable living and economic development in Africa.

The hackathon is open to participants from around the world with a product at any stage of development (idea, prototype or market-ready).

“We invite people from across multiple disciplines to come together to innovate new solutions to stimulate economic growth on the continent and improve the state of our world as a whole,” says Evren Albaş, CEO of Defy Appliances.

Participants will be challenged to develop products, services, and business models with commercialisation potential to address one of the following areas:

  • Financial Solutions
    Attendees will be asked to put forward solutions that could improve financial inclusion and liquidity in the sub-Saharan region; solve the hard currency problem between countries involved in trade; address business challenges faced by individuals and companies; or create shared economic systems between companies and individuals.
  • Sustainable Living:
    As the continent is expected to double its population by 2050 from 1 billion to nearly 2.4 billion inhabitants, this will be accompanied by challenges such as access to potable water, food, and electricity.

    With this in mind, hackathon participants will need to design solutions for a more sustainable future for the average African household and the planet in general. Alternatively, they will need to come up with a way for creating sustainable impact in areas ranging from food waste to energy and water consumption.
  • Healthy Living:
    The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increased focus on hygiene and health. To help ensure a healthier future for the continent, solutions that have a positive impact on sustaining healthy living conditions in African homes will need to be supplied.

    Additionally, solutions that contribute to the health of individuals and families, focused on areas such as nutrition, personal care, sleep, exercise, and personal hygiene are also sought.

Hackers can enter as individuals but will work together in teams they’ve formed. Over three days, participants will be trained in areas such as problem discovery and solution development, prototyping and storytelling. They will also get the chance to refine their ideas with the help of expert coaches and mentors from the fields of business, technology, and design.

Projects that meet the judges’ impact, applicability and commercialisation criteria will be selected for further development, acceleration and incubation programmes.

Applications close on 28 February. Following a pre-evaluation process, successful participants will be notified by 3 March.

For more information and to apply (as a hackathon participant, mentor or partner) go to

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