3 Ways DevFest is Solving for the Environment

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In 2019, powerful conversations on how to solve climate change took place all over the world. In that spirit, the DevFest community recently joined the discussion by looking at how tech can change how we approach the environment. For our new readers, DevFests are community-led developer events, hosted by Google Developer Groups, that take place all around the world and are focused on building community around Google’s technologies.

From DevFests in the rainforests of Brazil to the Mediterranean Sea, our community has come together to take part in a high-powered exchange of ideas, focused on how to solve for the environment. Out of these DevFests have come 3 new solutions, aimed at using tech to create eco-friendly economies, safer seas, and care for crops. Check them out below!

1. Blockchain for Biodiversity – DevFest Brazil

Blockchain for Biodiversity - DevFest Brazil

Blockchain for Biodiversity comes out of the “Jungle’s DevFest”, an event hosted by GDG Manaus that took place in the Brazilian Rainforest with over 1,000 participants. Imagined by Barbara Schorchit’s startup GeneCoin, the idea focuses on using blockchain based solutions to track how “biodiversity friendly” different products and companies are. Her goal is to help create a more eco-friendly economy by providing consumers with information to hold companies accountable for their environmental footprint. This tool for tracking environmentally conscious products will allow consumers to better understand what materials goods are made from, what energy sources were used to produce them, and how their creation will impact climate change. Welcome to a whole new take on purchasing power.

2. ECHO Marine Station – DevFest Mediterranean

ECHO Marine Station - DevFest Mediterranean

The ECHO Marine Station comes from a partnership between the Italian Coast Guard and DevFest Mediterranean hosted by GDG Nebrodi, Palermo, and Gela. The marine vehicle was created with the hope of becoming the “space station of the seas” and is rechargeable via solar panels, equipped with low-consumption electric motors, and does not create waves or noise – so as to not disturb marine life. The DevFest team took the lead on developing the software and hardware for the station with the intention of creating a tool that can analyze and monitor any marine environment.

At the DevFest, two innovative ideas were proposed on how to best purpose the marine station. The first was to program it to collect radioactive ions released by nuclear power plants, with the goal of analyzing and eventually disposing the waste. The second was to program the station to carry out expeditions to collect water samples, analyze pollution levels, and report dangerous conditions back to the coast guard.

With DevFest and the Italian Coast Guard working together, the ECHO Marine Station is ready to change how we save our seas.

3. Doctor’s Eyes for Plants – DevFest MienTrung, Vietnam

Doctor's Eyes for Plants - DevFest MienTrung, Vietnam

Doctor’s Eyes for Plants is an idea that came out of DevFest Vietnam’s “Green Up Your Code event”, hosted by GDG MienTrung, Vietnam. You can watch highlights from their event here. Created by local students, the program uses a public dataset with Tensorflow to train a region-convolutional neural network to recognize 6 diseases on 3 different plant species, all in 48 hours. The team was recently able to apply the technology to rice plants, which could revolutionize the world’s capacity and efficiency for growing the crop. The rewards of this technology could be unprecedented. The creation of a healthier eco-system paired with the chance to feed more people? Now that’s high impact.

Inspired by these stories? Find a Google Developer Groups community near you, at developers.google.com/community/gdg/