With three billion people now under lockdown around the world, the current Covid-19 pandemic will undoubtedly have a lasting impact.

With this in mind, many from the world of technology are pooling their resources and expertise to come up with tech-based solutions to help manage the current situation and its aftermath.

With the aim of “developing solutions to the current crisis, and building resilience post-pandemic”, over 100,000 coders, designers and innovators will come together online for the the world’s largest hackathon, The Global Hack, with funding of €120,000 awarded to the winner.

The Global Hack will take place between 9th-12th April. Former chess champion Garry Kasparov and the former President of Estonia, Toomas H Ilves will mentor those involved, while E-Residency, the Estonian government’s digital ID platform, will sponsor the hackathon.

The Global Hack: World’s largest hackathon to take on coronavirus

The Global Hack is a culmination of 40 hackathons already scheduled, and is a response to a call to action from Estonian President, Kersti Kaljulaid, who called on the international community to find solutions to the Covid-19 pandemic via a coronavirus hackathon.

Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who is also one of the coronavirus hackathon mentors, said:

“To judge from the many excellent ideas from national hackathons, some of which have become a reality and are already in use to help fight Covid-19, I believe a worldwide hackathon will bring a plethora of useful, life-saving solutions.”

Around the globe, a number of coronavirus hackathons have already taken place in response to the Covid-19 hackathon. The MIT COVID-19 Challenge: Beat the Pandemic took place last week, and the The World Health Organization in Africa holding a virtual hackathon this month.

Marko Russiver, one of the organisers of The Global Hack, explains how a previous hackathon, “Hack the crisis”, demonstrates how hackathons can have important real-world impacts:

“Coming together is so essential in times of crisis. Innovation is a collective experience and there are few ways better to achieve it than hackathons. We’ve learnt from Accelerate Estonia, Garage48 and Guaana, who collectively organised an online hackathon called “Hack the crisis”, that has become a significant international success story.

“More than 1300 people (0.1% of Estonia’s entire population) from over 20 countries and 15 timezones gathered to develop solutions to help Estonia emerge from the coronavirus crisis and create competitive advantages for the post-crisis period. In fact, one of the success stories from Hack the crisis, an automated chatbot called Suve, is now being used by the Estonian government to make sure that everyone living in or visiting Estonia gets their questions answered from official sources, in relation to coronavirus. Now, with The Global Hack, we want to find those solutions that can be taken to every corner of the world.”


Read more: Vodafone app turns your phone into a coronavirus-fighting supercomputer.