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How One Regional Initiative is Tackling Climate Change Through Tech

for a better future

We read, hear, and most importantly feel it: climate change and global warming are a real phenomena affecting all species living on Earth. As the urgency of the situation commands immediate and thorough action, a few initiatives are indeed taking the lead to hopefully turn the tide around and drive some kind of positive change, as daunting and helpless it may feel, in this global fight against the depletion of our world. Such is the case of the Arab Youth Hackathon, an organization that recently set up a three-day-long effort for the region’s youth to “generate business ideas to combat climate change and promote sustainability in the (tech) industry.”

With a specific focus on the themes of water, climate, circular economy, and agriculture, American multinational food, snack, and beverage corporation PEPSICO teamed up with the Arab Youth Centre as well as Plug And Play, a world-leading innovation platform, connecting startups, corporations, venture capital firms, and universities, to engage with young innovators to scout for sustainable solutions across five countries, namely Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Jordan. 

With each participating nation organizing a first eliminatory round, three finalists per country will receive sponsorship to participate in the final event during the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or Conference of Parties (COP28), in Dubai to compete for the entrepreneurship program’s much-coveted prizes which range equity-free seed funds, special mentorship, and access to global networking opportunities.

“Through the Arab Youth Hackathon, we are advancing COP28’s goal to promote youth engagement in climate action. There is incredible innovative potential in the region, and we believe we have a role to play in creating an environment for young people’s collective action and innovation to be supported and accelerated. We’re inspired to see the caliber of young climate challengers in the region and look forward to working closely with our partners to support entrepreneurs at all business stages,” said Aamer Sheikh, Middle East CEO at PepsiCo.

“Youth’s valuable participation in the twenty-eighth Conference of the Parties is an affirmation of the will of Arab youth to lead a meaningful transformation towards a sustainable future, and we look forward to seeing their creative imprint on the global stage,” added Mr. Sadeq Jarrar, Executive Director of the Arab Youth Center.

Finalists from the UAE and Egypt have already been announced while the names of their Jordanian, Lebanese, and Saudi counterparts are expected to be revealed in coming weeks. As the collective effort is carving a much-needed path towards a future where innovation, hope, and ingenuity converge to tackle what is arguably the most crucial challenge of our times, we cannot wait to see what this generation of future leaders and change-makers has in store to reshape the fate of our future. 

Read on to discover the three UAE  and Egyptian teams heading to the Arab Youth Hackathon final during COP28.



Founders Harsh Garg, Sanober Sarfaraz Ahmed, and Anurag Kumar Jha, have employed artificial intelligence (AI) to contribute to coral reef preservation by identifying healthy coral fragments and transplanting them to suitable locations.


Founded by American University of Sharjah graduates, Keegan Cobb and Azzan Farooq, SolAir developed an autonomous device that utilizes pressured air to clean water panels, without the use of water. 


The team— founded by a trio of graduates from the United Arab Emirates University, Reem AlMussabeh, Alhasan Farajallah, and Anas Al-Tomili— are contributing to sustainability by eliminating paper receipts by transforming them into smart digital receipts. 


Metacrete’s objective is to transform the construction sector by converting discarded materials into an environmentally friendly substitute for conventional concrete, all while reducing costs and minimizing carbon emissions.


Poder is behind the engineering of a device dubbed “Hydropanel”, designed to extract water from the atmosphere, intended to be used across various sectors including but not limited to industrial, agricultural, and health industries through a more sustainable and environmentally-conscious approach.


Focussed on tackling issues pertaining to the world of finance, Mytreety aims at ‘revolutionizing internal carbon accounting, stakeholder ESG scoring, environmental associated financial risk and benefit analysis, and establish a strong analytical foundation for seamless ESG strategy establishment and monitoring.’

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