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12 000 entrepreneurs address the corona crisis

On Thursday His Royal Highness The Crown Prince opened a worldwide digital effort to combat COVID-19 called The Global Hack. "We need your ideas," he said in his greeting to the participants.


The event was organised as a "hackathon" – a large-scale digital brainstorming event for developers to work together on projects in search of solutions to given challenges.

More than 12 000 people from more than 100 countries participated in The Global Hack. The event was designed for the rapid development of ideas and solutions, and small teams worked on approximately 500 different projects to strengthen the world’s COVID-19 response.

48-hour hackathon

The Crown Prince thanked everyone who had set aside Easter weekend to work around the clock.

“Thank you for spending your time and energy to make a difference. We need your ideas. We need your entrepreneurial spirit, your ability to see potential and your ability to do things in new ways,” said Crown Prince Haakon.

Participants had 48 hours to come up with ideas and solutions that may help to save lives and jobs. They were divided into teams and worked on projects in 10 different tracks. The topics were aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, with a time perspective extending beyond the coronavirus crisis.

Norway a co-organiser

The winning projects within the various categories were announced on Sunday. All of them will receive support and follow-up to help realise as many as possible of the initiatives.

The event was organised in record time, with Oslo hosting live international coverage that was followed by more than a million viewers.

The bigger picture

Crown Prince Haakon has a long standing interest in innovation and entrepreneurship. He is especially interested in how collaboration across traditional sectors and new technologies can contribute to a more sustainable future.

The Crown Prince, who has worked with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) for more than 17 years, was pleased The Global Hack linked its collective effort to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

"It shows that you see the bigger picture," the Crown Prince said in his greeting. "It’s not only about the crisis we’re in right now. It’s about moving the world forward."


Greeting from His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway to all those participating in the global hackathon to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: The Royal Court

The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals

  1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
  11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production pattern
  13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
  16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

Source: the UN

Crown Prince Haakon in Mesetas. Photo: FN-sambandet / Eivind Oskarson.

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