“Live as if you were the key to solving the transportation issues. Because in a way, we all are.” Lucía Moreno González-Páramo, UK / Spain, Civil and Structural engineer, Team Compal
Another season shifts and settles. Here in Stockholm, the summer sun is drawing what has been sown into full growth and bloom. In the centre of the city, a trolley is pushed from one raised herb garden to another, watering the tidy boxes of aromatic green in the intense light and heat. Between the conference centre and the railway station, groundspeople are carefully tending and replanting perfect flowerbeds. And here, among patches of shade from steady trees, tiny midges are happily feeding on participants of the 3rd Global Y4PT Hackathon as they exercise and meditate in the warm air.
In the framework of the 63rd UITP Global Public Transport Summit Stockholm 2019 – the world’s oldest, largest and top leading sustainable transport event – the winners of local and global Y4PT Hackathons have gathered for the finale of a third year. These young researchers, students and professionals bring together expertise and knowledge from over 40 events worldwide.
In a soft curtained room in Stockholmsmässan, a record-breaking 45 initial ideas were pitched by the young participants. Addressing healthy and sustainable mobility, and universal accessibility through local experience and global scalability, some of these ideas were brand new, while others built directly on previous successes.
“The final in Stockholm is like a dream – to work with people with the same objective. I already feel like a winner because the technology we made is now used by the government of Colombia to save lives and improve mobility.” Walter Gavez, Columbia, Engineer, Team Evital
From these 45 ideas, 12 were voted by the group for development and teams were formed around them.
During the 3 days of the hack, these diverse collaborative teams, with members hailing from over 30 countries, developed each idea into a prototype and pitch, which was tested and refined throughout with international industry mentors.
“I believe that working in interdisciplinary groups, where everyone can share different ideas and visions of things, added to the cultural value of our perspectives allowed us to achieve much more interesting projects.” Alejandro Sanchez Gutirrrez, Mexico, Biomedical Engineer, Team Check
These projects were presented to a panel of international judges representing the 5 Y4PT Ring Cities – Dubai, Manchester, Menden, Milan and Moscow – UITP and Y4PT.
“I would tell those living in the future to work across geographic, gender and racial barriers to overcome their future challenges. I will tell those living in the world today that our challenges are only surmountable through collaboration and idea sharing.” Disun Vera-Cruz, Nigeria, Remote Operations, Team Clearway
During the opening ceremony of the UITP Global Public Transport Summit Stockholm 2019, the winners of the 3rd Global Y4PT Hackathon Finale were announced and prizes presented:
The winners, and all our hackathon pioneers then joined the congress, welcoming visitors and dignitaries to the room where these ideas were created, and taking to the show floor.
The theme of the summit is “The Art of Public Transport”, and throughout we experience transport professionals wrestling with what it is to be an artist, what it is to truly create. Aesthetic inspiration quickly travels to the immediacy and power of making things happen. To the awareness of detail, and to lasting human impact.
This is the core of Y4PT Hackathon.
As we return to a breath in the green space, we are as aware of the midges as we are of the trees. I am reminded of a saying I read on a whiteboard at Tower Hill Tube station, London: “If you think you are too small to make a difference, you have never been in the dark with a mosquito”. I look it up – it is an African proverb. Told, but not credited, like so much of our shared knowledge.
Look again at the names and faces here – follow them as they recur. They are creating the future of our mobility, of the ways we navigate our world. Now they are hackers, here to challenge and create. Here to buzz in your ear and make you notice what you previously had not. Tomorrow they will be beside you, and you will follow where they lead. Don’t wait, invite this now.
“Humanity and community will always remain. Working together as one knowing that together you get farther. Don’t forget that you are not the only one.” Alejandra Ortiz Rengel, Ecuador. Designer Team Check
It is not perfection and completion that keeps us going, but other lives and ways of being – and these may not sit comfortably with what we currently choose to recognise as our own. A tiny itch of a bite in the summer sun spurs me to move, and I realise I had sat too long on one position. My body is glad of the change.
Being part of something greater than ourselves is not always easy, smooth or convenient, but it is in these times that we learn truly what our actions are capable of transforming.
– Laura Trevail; Stockholm & Southend On Sea, June 2019