Important News Concerning GreenHacks 2020

In light of the current COVID-19 situation, as well as the announcement that the Johns Hopkins Homewood Campus will be closed to students for the rest of this school year, we wanted to officially reach out with an update. We will be postponing our upcoming GreenHacks event until next school year. While this is certainly a disappointment, the health and safety of our Hopkins community, greater Baltimore community, and the wider global community beyond is deeply important to us.

We sincerely thank you all for registering for this event, engaging with us, and supporting us. We are actively working on our plans for next semester, and we will remain in contact with you as we know more.

In the meantime, we hope you are all staying healthy and safe, and our team looks forward to seeing you next school year.

GreenHacks 2020 Theme: Sustainable Cities

Around the world, nations are rethinking development and tasking themselves to go green and urbanize sustainably. From global initiatives like the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to local ones, such as the 2019 Baltimore Sustainability Plan, sustainable cities are a seemingly universal goal. Although interest is widespread, the implementation of sustainable cities can be varied. There is no one template for a sustainable city. They are made through the melding of existing cultures, infrastructure, and design with new ideas that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, decrease light pollution, increase and emphasize natural features and vegetation, and much more. The concept of sustainable cities is to optimize the environmental health of the urban area while improving social equity and maintaining development and economic growth.

While it is not always easy to build a sustainable city, let alone transition an existing city to sustainable practices, the benefits are tremendous for both current residents and generations of future residents. On a global scale, advanced treatment technologies reducing carbon dioxide emissions and combatting ocean acidification are often motivating to climate experts and environmental gurus. However, even on an individual level, sustainable policies, practices, and innovations have visible impacts.

We are tasking you to bridge together your knowledge, talents, and skills to create a solution to an urban environmental issue. Will you tackle food deserts, maybe design a green roof, or something entirely different? Choose one of three tracks (announced during the GreenHacks 2020 Opening Ceremonies), focus on a specific challenge within your track, and start solving!


The mounting global environmental crisis will inevitably change the way we think and act. Humans have adopted unsustainable patterns of behavior which threaten our finite planetary resources. We must design new strategies, develop new technologies, and restructure our societal habits in order to take steps towards a more sustainable future.

GreenHacks seeks to offer a platform for competitive ideation and creativity to spark innovative and sustainable solution design. Through the hackathon format, we bring together forward-looking students, JHU faculty members, sustainability organizations, and companies into one space for the purposes of interaction and collaboration in order to:

  • Accelerate the conversation regarding innovative sustainable solutions.
  • Connect people at the intersection of different fields including design, software development, business, engineering, science, and policy.
  • Encourage creative-thinking, collaboration, networking, personal development, innovation, and invention.
  • Design and pitch innovative green technologies, business proposals, initiatives, solutions, etc.


What is a sustainability hackathon?

While a “hackathon” was originally used to refer to a collaborative computer programming event, a Sustainability Hackathon will focus on gathering creative and motivated people from diverse backgrounds to design interesting solutions for sustainable development. Students will form teams in order to address specific sustainability challenges and will be judged on the creativity, feasibility, and impact of their ideas. We emphasize that participants can come from all areas of expertise, and solutions can come in any form ranging from well-thought out business proposals, mobile applications, to hardware prototypes, and so on.


Open to students of ALL backgrounds and skills from the Homewood campus, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Carey Business School, MICA, and other Hopkins-affiliated schools Register Now!


Johns Hopkins Homewood Campus


April 3 - 5, 2020