My name is Arturo Mora, and I’ve been a Climathon Local Organiser for Mexico City and Puebla since 2016.
Looking at 4 years involvement in organising or being a part of Climathon, one thing sticks out: It’s all about passionate people.
That goes for your organising team, for your sponsors, for your participants, and for the ones we’re actually creating ideas and solutions for.
Climathon is a beautiful way for people to show up for a bigger ideal without being afraid to miss the mark, learn, and recalibrate.
Sometimes the initial idea is good in and of itself but, like your favourite pair of old kicks, over time it evolves into something that is actually a better fit for the community.
A great example with this, in my experience, comes from a team that participated in the 2018 Climathon.
The 'Mexiclo' team focused on one of the major pollution problems in Mexico City: waste management.
First, the idea was to automate sorting and selecting trash, and then bring it back into the value chain. Through multiple iterations, Mexciclo has evolved into an idea where they can identify and track waste residues. These residues can be traced to their source and are sold back to achieve a more efficient and circular waste management.
The founder says that Climathon pulled her out of the comfort zone, and inspired her to find inner leadership.
Moreover she continued to be a part of public and private incubation programmes and is currently working on furthering the idea.
Even if we were only able to inspire one person through Climathon, that to me, is worth everything.
Getting the right sponsors in is always an interesting balancing act. On the one hand you want companies with a wide network and enough resources. On the other hand, there is a distinct benefit in collaborating with local, close to the challenge, sponsors.
When we worked with a multinational sponsor, the knowledge and resources available were a tremendous asset that led to a great event. The fun part with SMB-sized sponsors for Climathon is that you can pivot and adjust on the fly when things don’t pan out as they were planned. Perhaps, the best way is in the combination of the two.
If you, such as in Mexico City, are setting up a Climathon in a country or a city without a lot of funding possibilities, then try a more creative route and ask for what you need to make your event a success.
We found that so many sponsors who weren’t able to meet our request for funding, were instead more than willing to help us with their expertise and complimentary business services in exchange for mutual promotion.
That’s how we managed to get good discounts in catering and coffee, free platform for webinars, and even event material. A complete win-win-win for the sponsors, for us, and for the participants.
“For any future local organisers reading this, there are so many memorable moments that come to mind”
I want to finish my thoughts on organising a Climathon by celebrating and honouring the teams that I’ve been a part of. For any future local organisers reading this, there are so many memorable moments that come to mind when you sit together and design and plan an event like Climathon.
The best teams have a good mix of climate change expertise, young energized talent, and in general people who understand that collaboration is key.
Before Climathon, I was less involved in the community or the practice of sharing knowledge. Climathon helped me find out I was not alone. You meet so many people who want to celebrate the communities they live in, and want to work together towards what’s important.
The by-product that has stuck with me most is: if you and your team take every challenge on your path as a sign to work together the best way that you can, then this whole event - no matter the difficulties - will become rewarding beyond imagination.