Implementing Solutions

Coastal Communities

How can coastal communities mitigate and adapt to climate change while developing and prospering?

Submissions are Closed

Challenge Overview

Over 30 percent of humanity lives near coasts, ranging from massive cities to key ports and naval bases to small islands. The effects of climate change—including sea level rise, stronger storms, ocean warming and acidification—are causing increasing negative impacts on these communities’ lives and livelihoods. For the 600 million people supported by the fishing industry, a majority of them women, overfishing, pollution, and acidification threaten their livelihoods and the fragile ecosystems on which they depend. In cities and elsewhere, some communities already face regular flooding due to higher tides, some will see more frequent natural disasters, and others will see tourist-attracting coral reefs or surfing fade.

Further, as 60 percent of global GDP and 90 percent of global trade moves through coasts, increased flooding or damage to port infrastructure poses risks for communities and businesses alike, whether or not they are near the ocean. In addition, coastal and ocean ecosystems absorb 25 percent of our excess CO2, but are often degraded through coastal development, making climate change harder to mitigate.

While facing numerous impacts, coastal communities from Puerto Rico to Dhaka also have the potential to demonstrate resilient and sustainable ways of living near and with the ocean. Doing so will require people to have access to new technological solutions—along with new ways to envision and enact hard decisions about economies, society, and infrastructure. The Solve community aims to find innovative solutions to support and enhance coastal communities, while mitigating and adapting to climate change. To do so, Solve welcomes solutions from innovators around the world that:

  • Increase the viability and scale of sustainable economic activity from oceans, ranging from fishing to energy production to tourism

  • Provide cost-effective infrastructure approaches to improve resilience in the face of increased storm-, sea-, and tidewater

  • Rebuild or replicate mangroves, corals, and other ecosystems to restore historic functions, including storm surge absorption, carbon uptake, and stable fisheries

  • Enable coastal communities, governments, and corporations to use data to understand and make complex decisions around sustainable and resilient development

Solver Funding, Prize, and Partnership Eligibility for the Coastal Communities Challenge

Solver Funding

All solutions selected in Solve’s four current Global Challenges will receive a $10,000 grant funded by Solve. Solver teams will be selected by a panel of cross-sector judges at Solve Challenge Finals during UN General Assembly week in New York City on September 23, 2018. The deadline to apply is July 1, 2018.

In addition to Solve funding, Solver teams who also fulfill the criteria below are eligible for the following prizes and partnerships. You do not need to meet these requirements to apply to the Coastal Communities Challenge:

Artificial Intelligence for the Betterment of Humanity Prize

Solutions that use artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve the human condition are eligible for this prize. This prize is made possible by the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and our global community through information technology. Up to four recipients of the Artificial Intelligence for the Betterment of Humanity Prize will receive an initial grant of $25,000 each when selected during Solve Challenge Finals in September. One of these Solver teams will then be eligible for an additional grant of $100,000 to be announced at Solve at MIT in May 2019. Eligible Solver teams may be selected from any of Solve's four current Global Challenges.

RISE to make $1 million in investment funding available for resilient infrastructure solutions:

Solutions that address one of five resilience sub-topics might be eligible for a partnership with RISE. RISE's mission is to catalyze innovation and growth around creative solutions in the areas of sea-level rise, recurrent flooding, and economic resilience. Teams must be willing to demonstrate their solutions in the Hampton Roads region of Southeastern Virginia, USA. RISE will provide eligible applicants access to data and background information for each sub-topic as well as access to regional subject matter experts. Qualifying teams from the Coastal Communities Solver class will have the opportunity to be considered for investment from RISE’s $1 million investment fund.

UN Women She Innovates Prize for Gender-Responsive Innovation 

Solutions that are women-led or use innovation to advance the needs of women and girls are eligible for this prize. This prize is founded by UN Women Global Innovation Coalition for Change. The grant is made possible by Citi, with additional support from SAP Next-Gen. One Solver team will be the recipient of the UN Women She Innovates Prize for Gender-Responsive Innovation, and will receive a grant of $30,000 when selected during Solve Challenge Finals in September. Eligible Solver teams may be selected from any of Solve's four current Global Challenges.

Blockchain for Social Impact Prize:

Solutions that make use of the Ethereum blockchain are eligible to be selected as one of four ConsenSys Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition (BSIC) Fellows. BSIC is a global network supporting social and environmental impact through blockchain-based innovation. Each Fellow will receive $5,000, a two-month minimum residency at a global ConsenSys location, and the opportunity to participate in a bootcamp in Santa Monica, CA. Successful residency can lead to additional funding or investment from ConsenSys Ventures or other members of the coalition. Applicants must include a link to a published white paper in their application by July 20, 2018. Eligible Solver teams may be selected from any of Solve's four current Global Challenges.


Accepting Solutions

  • Challenges Open

Refining Solutions

  • Deadline to Post a Solution
  • Edit Your Posted Solution

Evaluating Solutions

  • Solve Challenge Finals 9/22-9/24
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