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Winners Breakout Sessions

From late 2015 to mid-2016, Climate CoLab ran 17 contests, each focusing on a challenge the world is facing as we confront climate change. From nearly 600 submissions, 27 proposals were selected as winners by both expert Judges and Climate CoLab's community of over 75,000 members.

On Wednesday, September 28, these winners presented and answered questions about their innovative proposals.  Following the presentations, participants worked directly with the winners and local experts to create concrete actions and connections to help the winners take their work to the next level.

Seven semifinalists also presented from the challenges run by Solve and Climate CoLab on the Solve CoLab platform this past July and August.


Participants chose one session to attend for each 60-minute block listed in the schedule below. 

Morning Sessions
  Afternoon Sessions

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM


11:15 AM - 12:30 PM


1:30 PM - 2:30 PM


2:45 PM - 3:45 PM


From 2:00 - 3:30 PM, semifinalists from the two joint Solve and Climate CoLab challenges --  Fuel: Carbon Price and Fuel: Negative Carbon Emissions -- presented in the MIT Media Lab.


10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Inspiring the Public: Climate Education & Collaboration

Rooms 5 & 6, Samberg Conference Center 
10:00 - 11:00 AM

Sarah Finnie Robinson, Climate CoLab Judge, Founding Partner, WeSpire Inc.

 DearTomorrow, a promise to the future about climate change /
To shift behavior and broaden the climate culture, we invite people to send open letters about climate change to loved ones in the future.

 What is climate change and what do I have to do with it? /  ENGAJAMUNDO 
We seek to empower young Brazilians by showing them that we are part of the solution to overcome current problems caused by climate change.

 ClimateX /  Team MITACAL 
ClimateX is a platform where MIT Alumni can learn climate-related science, technology and policy while transitioning into a green career

Localizing Energy 

Rooms 3 & 4, Samberg Conference Center
10:00 - 11:00 AM

Frank O'SullivanDirector of Research, MIT Energy Initiative, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

 Interactive Business Energy and Emissions Dashboard for Cities /  Climate Smart
Create a dashboard that allows cities to understand their business emissions by sector, business size, emissions source, and track progress

 Franchised Microgrids for the Developing World Based on Open Source Components /  jlgula
Deploy microgrids to the developing world using a franchise business model based on open source hardware to reduce cost.

 The Collective Power Platform /  roelofsmichiel nikodem.bienia
The Collective Power Platform is a local peer to peer energy trading market for and by prosumers.


11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Transforming Transportation

Rooms 3 & 4, Samberg Conference Center 
11:15 AM - 12:30 PM

Jim Newman
Climate CoLab Contest Collaborator on Designing High Density Urban Bike Parking, Principal, Linnean Solutions

 Strategic Investment to Scale-up Aviation Biofuel / sunny1990 & vmthomas1  (presenting virtually)
Focusing heavy investments from China to ramp up sustainable biofuel production can bring global costs down.

 Cross Flow Air Turbine (CFAT) Auxiliary Power Unit / AirMach Innovations
Zero fuel Zero Emission replacement technology for aircraft's Auxiliary Power Units (APUs).

 Mini Elevated cTrains (caterpillar trains) /  terrautopia
A comprehensive solution-mass transit for all: MINI ELEVATED cTrains: seating room only - minimal height-width-length - visibly acceptable.

 The Flycycle /  J2 for K2
The flycycle is efficient, accessible, easy for any organization to buy and install, and a beautiful addition to street life.


MIT Campus & Region: Local Designs for the Future

Rooms 5 & 6, Samberg Conference Center
11:15 AM - 12:30 PM

Steve Lanou
Deputy Director, MIT Office of Sustainability

 100% Net Zero Carbon Plan, 60% NZ Effectively Free, Expert Team Ready! /  Net Zero Foundation
100% Net Zero Carbon for all Buildings. MIT 60-80% NZ for free! #DivestTheCampus -- Join the #NetZeroMovement to save the Planet!

 Building Cooling and Heating, with Solar Robotic Concentrated Thermal Collectors /  Lighthouse Group
It is economically and practically feasible, to substitute 60% of the energy we use for cooling and heating our buildings with solar energy.

 Hudson River Sustainable Shorelines Project / Sustainable Shores
Sustainable Shorelines generates info about best shoreline management options preserving ecology through adapting to climate change impacts.

 Infrastructure for a Livable Future /  CRWA
Community Water and Energy LEFTs produce reliable, renewable and resilient energy and clean water while restoring the natural environment.




1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.


Social enterprises in developing countries: 1

Room 4, Samberg Conference Center 
1:30 - 2:30 PM

Daniel Sweeney,
Research Scientist, Biomass Fuel & Cookstoves, MIT D-Lab 

 Dry firewood needs seasoning, covered storage and a drying chimney /  climaterescue (presenting virtually)
After careful seasoning and storing, use a simple drying chimney for firewood. Next generation cookstoves can also be carbon-positive!

 Smokeless gas cylinder stove with wood drier / saadithya
Modifying old unused gas cylinder into a smokeless stove for cooking, heat radiated while using it is used for drying wood.

Apps & Maps: Digital Tools for Climate: 1

Room 5, Samberg Conference Center 
1:30 - 2:30 PM

Gaëlle Janvier
, Climate CoLab Advisor, Co-Founder of Lande and Co-Founder of EcoHackMTL

 Recykle | A smart phone app to manage household waste responsibly /  Kabadiwalla Connect
Develop a smart phone app that helps people segregate, compost, find their closest kabadiwalla and sign-up for local waste management events

 My Energy Xpert: a home and small business energy management solution /  energyX Solutions
My Energy Xpert is a SMART energy audit and monitoring app empowering people to save time, money and lower their energy footprint. - Bringing transparent energy data to rental housing markets / 
If we want to reverse climate change, we have to reach people who don't think about it. Let's make climate-friendly housing decisions easy.

Sustainable & Efficient Supply Chains

Room 3, Samberg Conference Center 
1:30 - 2:30 PM

Moderator: Bob Halperin, President of Alumni Forum Services and Research Affiliate at the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence

 25ºC (77ºF) /  Kiri
Regulate industry globally so all new air conditioners have a minimum of 25ºC(77ºF). Reset existing equipment to comply this new standard.

 Empowering designers roles in using better sustainable material options /  Team Wonder
Sourceseed is a curated alternative material option platform that allows designers to co-buy fabrics with eachother at an affordable price.

Conscious textile reverse logistics /  Retalhar (presenting virtually)
Retalhar is a social business that promotes reverse logistics of corporate uniforms by disposing it in a socio-environmental friendly way.


2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.


Social enterprises in developing countries: 2

Room 4, Samberg Conference Center 
2:45 - 3:45 PM

Jayant Sathaye,
Climate CoLab Judge, Visiting Professor UC-Berkeley

 Vertical and Micro-gardening(VMG) climate smart farming in Uganda /  PaulCastor (presenting virtually)
VMG is a CSA approach that uses the Vertical farming technology to convert 9 square feet into 36 square feet of farming space.

 Reducing methane emissions from rice farming / ClimateRe
Reducing Methane Emission While Enhancing Rice Farmers’ Resilience to Climate Change



Apps & Maps: Digital Tools for Climate: 2

Room 5, Samberg Conference Center 
2:45 - 3:45 PM

Dave Miller,
Founder & Executive Managing Director,Clean Energy Venture Group
Research Affiliate at MIT’s Sloan School of Management

 Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Strategies for Property and Community /  Climate.IQ
Climate.IQ is a web tool that uses spatial and statistical analysis to conduct climate risk assessmennt for properties and communities.

 Cooperative Building /  Kaenga
Let's build more sustainable buildings by empowering people to design their homes and shape their communities.


Fuel: Carbon Price

MIT Media Lab
2:00 - 2:45 PM


Climate Coin, Dennis Peterson (multi-year Climate CoLab winner)

SnoCaps, the people’s cap-and-trade, James D’Angelo (2014 Climate CoLab winner)

Solar Dollars, the world currency to price and finance carbon mitigation, Global4C  (2015 Climate CoLab winner)


Fuel: Negative Carbon Emissions

MIT Media Lab
2:45 - 3:30 PM


CCS2, fix CO2 at power plants with olivine to a powder, GravityTubePressure

Hydroponic carbon capture at source, Gas2Green4Life

Safi Sarvi: Carbon-negative fertilizer that improves farmers' yields by 30%, Takachar/SafiSarvi

Soil for Life carbon sequestration challenge, DanielJEarthGuardians