UNSW Circular Economy Resource Hackathon 2021

2.5 days, 7 teams, and $5000 in cash prizes, the UNSW Circular Economy Resource Hackathon 2021 focused on positive communication for climate change. 

The 2021 hackathon was a collaboration between the UNSW Founders program, UNSW School of Art and Design and the International Climate Alliance (IUCA) and formed part of a 2-week #ClimateTalks Global Festival organised by IUCA. 

The UNSW hackathon was also packaged as a resource for other universities within the IUCA network to participate by running their own hack, with the winners of each local university hackathon then submitted into a global competition. 

Seven universities around the world responded to the call for participation and will be hosting their own hack. 

A Global Hack Judging Panel will select an overall winner in early November. Winners will then present their idea at a virtual event that coincides with the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) on 12 November.  

The UNSW hack opened with a welcome note from Professor Matthew England, Scientia Professor of Ocean & Climate Dynamics at the UNSW Climate Change Research Centre and Deputy Director of the Australian Centre for Excellence in Antarctic Science. Opening night also included three wonderful keynote speeches from Belinda Xie, Behavioural Economics Adviser, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Rebecca Green, Lecturer, Designer, Artist and Researcher at UNSW School of Art and Design, and Pippa Corry, Founder and Director of Philo and Co, a circular economy consultancy that specialises in creative agency and brand partnerships. 

Participants also received the support and expertise of 14 mentors over the weekend specialising in design, Circular Economy principles, and business modelling, plus a diverse range of workshops to help them form their ideas: from ideation to prototyping to pitching.  

The hackathon concluded with the Hack Pitch Night where each team showcased their idea via a 3-minute pitch. Three esteemed judges: Stephen Goddard, Lecturer at UNSW School of Art and Design, Fi Tschaut, Senior Manager – MCIC Networks & Programming at UNSW Founders program, and Professor Ben Newell, Deputy Head of UNSW School of Psychology had the difficult task of assessing each of the team’s pitches and deliberate on two winning teams.  

The audience of the Pitch Night were involved in voting for their choice of team to receive the People’s Choice Award.  


The winners of the 2021 Circular Economy Resource Hack are:  


FIRST PLACE: Team Ouroboros   

RUNNER UP: Team Coriander 

PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD: Team Green Harvest  


Runner Up


Team Ouroboros, will now represent UNSW at the Global Hack Judging Panel in early November, and IUCA will announce the winning team of the #ClimateTalks Global Hackathon through a press release on 5 November. The winning team will then be invited to present their idea at a live virtual event that coincides with COP26 on 12 November.  


People's Choice


Congratulations to all teams who participated in this hackathon, and thank you for their time, effort and dedication to work towards solutions to make a positive impact in the world.  

Thank you to the speakers, judges, mentors, UNSW School of Art and Design and IUCA, for their generous support and contribution to this hackathon.