Hack 4 Future

Single participant

Building tools to empower communities providing decentralized sustainability education

What's the problem?
Climate change and ecosystems destruction threaten the Planet survival itself. Awareness is rising and initiatives focusing on sustainability and environmental education keep popping up, but they are fragmented. What they miss is the chance to actually change something before it is too late.

Building the solution
In order to reach a meaningful impact, such initiatives around the World need to cooperate, share knowledge and reach a wider audience. They need a magnifying glass concentrating all the efforts into a powerful ray of light. And we all need this to happen now!

What is the Ark?
The Ark is the solution Green Steps started to develop. It is a non-profit decentralized platform aiming to build a global network of communities by giving them powerful tools to share best practices, organize and promote their own activities, and motivate end users to learn more. 

What is hack4future about?
The event is an open hackaton organized by Green Steps, and it is set up as a challenging competition between teams.

The goal of each team is to come up with a solution to a chosen problem that sustainability educators face, and build a proof of concept.

Who are we looking for?

Are you a developer? A UI or UX designer? Game designer? Educator? Community building expert? Or just really interested in the topic, wondering how you could help? Consider yourself invited!

Team composition
Participants should organize themselves in teams, We suggest mixing a range of skills and experiences as wide as possible.

You will be provided with:

  • list of areas and problems to choose from

  • help with formulating your proposed solution, specifics to focus on

  • example of an API that we came up with to solve these problems

  • our existing take on this: UI sketches, UX diagrams, a web app implementing the idea: our work in progress. You can decide to base your project on this app. You can start from scratch and take a completely different take on the issue

  • tools to organize yourself (gitlab, riot.im chat, etherpad)

  • continuous check-ups and mentoring from professionals in frontend and backend development, UX and UI design, DevOps, and of course in environmental education and sustainability building

What do we expect from you

Select a problem to focus on, make a clear problem statement and clearly formulate your proposed solution. Get familiar with the UI sketches and initial web implementation. Work with our implementation, or create your own - be it from scratch, or by hacking on an existing FOSS solution. Make it into a mobile app. Make it into a WeChat Mini Program. Tear the concept apart and come up with something that solves the problem in a way we didn't imagine. Up to you!

Why we do this

This event is an intense kick-off, but the goal is to join forces, bind together, and continue to build something meaningful. We aim to bring all viable concepts from this weekend to be part of Ark's production version. Development infrastructure, mentoring, code review: all of this will continue to be available.
This is a great chance for you to experience the way we work as an agile, free and open-source software powered non-profit, and to be part of the solution to the most pressing problems the Earth is facing.

Before the event
Register using this page, and join the wechat group managed by the hackaton mentors (QR below) for latest updates. Registration is open until last minute. A Brown Bag Meeting will take place one week before hack4future happens for the participants to get to know each other and get familiar with the technology.

The group will also be used to register the team composition in advance and save time on Saturday morning intro session.

Scan the following QR to join the group:

While the hackathon session takes place, mentoring and help with DevOps will be provided on-site.

Mentors' profiles

Odoo - Sample 1 for three columns

Lukas Helebrandt

Green Steps
IT director

Over 13 years of DevOps experience. Free and Open Source tech enthusiast; Linux sysadmin developer; life-long volunteer for meaningful causes.

Promoter of a plant-based diet, of living in tune with nature, of rationality and tolerance.

Odoo - Sample 1 for three columns

Mohammed Ben-Thaier
API, database/data, backend

Software engineer with 7 years experience, living in Shanghai since 2016. Freelancer since 2018. Main expertise are embedded programming, blockchain and webapp backend. Can also help in data model design and software architecture strategic choices.

Odoo - Sample 1 for three columns

Anna Prodan
Integrations, Java, Agile

Systems Architect

Over 15 experience in coding administrative and learning systems.

Backend and Java Integration experience in education systems, communications, travel, power and currently insurance.

China based since 2013, got involved in developing a start up to help farmers by bringing agriculture and IT together.

Odoo - Sample 1 for three columns

Gemme van Hasselt
Data Strategy, UX

Datatuan & Tiger Internet Marketing

Serial Internet entrepreneur since 1997. Co-founder of several successful internet companies in China and in Holland.

Fascinated by data and how these influence the world around us.


Odoo - Sample 1 for three columns

Tommaso Sora
Web Applications/
Mini-programs design and solutions

Founder and managing director of Sinaweb,
a Shanghai-based digital web agency that develops Web and WeChat applications and solutions in China and for China.

Software development background, entrepreneurial spirit and broad international experience.

Been living in China for more than 10 years; been working as manager and consultant to top 500 companies while studying Chinese and martial arts.

Odoo - Sample 1 for three columns

van Apeldoorn
Business concept development

Entrepreneur, ink361.com co-founder

Strong entrepreneurial background in both online and offline businesses, from social networking to tourism applications.

Brought the global community of Startup Grind to China (Guangzhou) and has been its director from 2012 to 2016.

Odoo - Sample 1 for three columns

Tobias Kars
Frontend/backend web (H5/JS/Node)

VP of Product at Scantrust & GM of China

China based 10+ years startup experience, with main focus on B2B/supply chain, track and trace.

Currently working on the intersection of product transparency and consumer engagement.

Team mentor in several hackatons (i.e. ABInbev in Shanghai, EUIPO in Bruxelles).

- Organization provides food and beverages in line with our sustainability mission, which means plant based snacks and meals;
- For such an intense mission, you might be willing to sleepover. It is possible to lie on comfy couches on the spot or to get some rest in a dark room;
- We are all about fostering communities: it is an unique chance for networking with purpose-driven developers like you!

Getaway reward!
Winners will spend an all inclusive weekend in a boutique inn at the shores of Lake Tai, where former Sheraton chef de cuisine Zhu Guolin cooks sinful banquets.



09:00 Doors open

10:00 Registration closes, icebreaker game

10:30 Introduction, Problem definition & Hackaton subjects

11:00 Q&A panel with outdoor education practitioners

11:30 Choose your topic & form a team

12:00 Lunch is available

13:00 Tech collaboration tools presentation & START

15:00 Mentor check-in

18:30 Dinner is available

19:30 Team sharing – status quo

20:00 Mentor check in

22:00 Chillout DJ set


08:00 Breakfast is available

08:30 Team check in

09:00 Mentor check in

12:00 Lunch is available

16:00 Stop – coffee break

16:15 Team presentations

17:00 Voting, winner is announced

Hack4Future is powered by Green Steps with



Goma Greens



Wuhan 2020

Date & Time

July 11, 2020

Start - 10:00 AM Sunday

July 12, 2020

End - 6:00 PM Asia/Shanghai

Agora Space

ChinaShanghai番禺路 1199 - Panyu Road 1199 20000
--Agora Space--
Get the direction

Green Steps


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