Early-stage climate entrepreneurs and local communities uniting to devise innovative solutions for climate-related challenges during the 2023 CATAL1.5°T Climathons in Latin America
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Unleashing regional innovation and gender equality in Latin America

The 2023 CATAL1.5°T Climathons Unleash Regional Innovation and Gender Equality in Latin America

At the heart of CATAL1.5°T are the Climathons, a dynamic gathering of early-stage climate entrepreneurs and local communities uniting to devise innovative solutions for climate-related challenges. During late October and early November 2023, these Climathons spanned seven countries across Latin America: Peru, Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Argentina. Facilitated by local partners in 11 cities, the events attracted over 400 participants, 47% of which were women, underscoring a commitment to increasing gender equality in the realm of climate innovation.

The Climathons proved to be a breeding ground for innovative thinking, resulting in 93 unique ideas targeting various sectors including agriculture, bioeconomy, biomaterials, construction, energy, sustainable consumption, citizen engagement, and the circular economy. To explore the breadth and depth of these ideas, we encourage you to visit the idea repository, which serves as a resource for learning, finding synergies, and supporting these emerging entrepreneurs.

This year's climathons offered valuable insights into the creative process. A notable trend was the enthusiasm for circular economy concepts among all the 11 participating cities. Teams, typically comprising 4-5 members, demonstrated effective collaboration, with team-building activities notably enhancing their cooperative efforts. As we look towards the 2024 Climathons, we're inspired to cultivate even stronger connections between events across the region and foster a learning and collaboration platform, and closer align national climate objectives with the climathons' main themes. Our commitment to fostering gender equality, diversity, and inclusion remains a priority, with a renewed focus on engaging participants from a wide array of backgrounds, cultures, and age groups.

The Peruvian climathons, held in Callao and Trujillo and organized by Redesign Lab, stood out for their dedication to gender equality, diversity, and inclusion. The organizing teams, predominantly female, ensured balanced representation of mentors from both genders. Choosing locations beyond the capital city allowed for greater inclusivity. The outcomes were impressive: half of the winning ideas were led by women, and the climathons welcomed diverse participants, such as farmer Joaquin working on circular agriculture, and Eli, a 73-year-old team member. Remarkably, provisions were made for new mothers to care for their infants, some as young as five months, enabling these women to not only participate but also thrive, as evidenced by their presence in the winning teams.

As we commence preparations for the 2024 Latin American Climathons, the insights gained from this year are invaluable in enhancing the initiative's impact. There is excitement about witnessing the evolution of these ideas and their contribution to regional climate innovation. We have another round of Climathons coming up in 2024 in Peru, Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and Argentina. These events will bring a vibrant confluence of new ideas, all driven by the shared goal of mitigating the impacts of climate change. If you want to learn more about the Climathons or wish to join us for the next event, get in touch!