AI Enviro Hack 

Brought to you by She Sharp and AUT

Cover image for She Sharp AI Enviro Hack

Saturday, September 3, 2022


105 attendees

She Sharp Hackathon is an all-female-led and non-binary 32 hour hackathon, which aims to help individuals to understand they belong in tech and that there are various roles you can have in the tech industry. Do you have a passion to save the planet, starting in our backyard? We’re bringing to life practical examples from the AI Forum’s recently published AI for Environment in Aotearoa New Zealand report. 

Join 60+ people for a weekend of learning, building, and connecting to build your tech skills and realise that you have allies who are supporting you every step of the way.

Cover image for She Sharp AI Enviro Hack

Keynote speaker

Francis Valintine, a women with long blond hair

Founder, Tech Futures Lab and The Mind Lab

Frances Valintine

Founder of Tech Futures Lab and The Mind Lab. Over the past 8 years across Tech Futures Lab and The Mind Lab...

meet the judges

Justin Wood

Justin Wood

Justin has worked in technology for most of his career and has a long history working in Integration...

Masha McCauley a women with long dark brown hair

Mahsa McCauley

Dr Mahsa Mohaghegh is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Women in Tech in AUT’s School of Computer, Engineering...

Nicole Upchurch

Nicole Upchurch

Nicole brings her fierce passion for smart and effective marketing communication to the role of CENNZnet CEO...

Headshot of Pip Gilbert


Pip Gilbert

Pip is an experienced tech executive who knows first hand what it takes to take tech products to the world. From ...

Shona Grundy headshot

Shona Grundy

Shona is an Award-Winning technologist with over 15 years of experience in high-growth technology startups...

meet the mentors

Amrit Kaur

Since COVID-19, Amrit has been working with Ministry of Health on NZ’s COVID-19 response in the role of a Digital...

Audrey Zhang

Audrey is a Senior Data Scientist at Spark New Zealand with 5+ years’ experience in data and AI. She is inspired by...

Jodine Stodart headshot

Jodine Stodart

After 6 years as UX Director for Digital Arts Network, leading UX practice and managing client accounts (including ...

Nikki McLay headshot

Nikki McLay

Nikki is a Creative Technologist, Designer and Artist with a background in arts, design, and AI. She has spoken...

Tariq Shaikh headshot

Tariq Shaikh

I have 15 plus years of experience working in technology sector in South East & Central Asia , Middle East, ...

Chanel Sullivan headshot

Chanel Sullivan

Kia ora koutou katoa, my name is Chanel and I’m a graduate analyst developer at FNZ. I come from a neuroscience ...

Christine Yip headshot

Christine Yip

My background is in Information Systems, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and Agile Scrum Master and I help leaders and ...

Fiona Lai headshot

Fiona Lai

I work in between being a Product Designer, Visual Designer, User Experience (UX) / User Interface (UI) ...

Tahseena Begum headshot

Tahseena Begum

Growth-minded, Inquisitive and Positive thinking Professional. I have 2 full years of Software development ...

Alex Cao headshot

Alex Cao

I studied hotel management before, but after my thinking, I decided to study computer science. I knew that ...


Check out the Agenda

Our Event sponsor


AUT is the second largest university in Aotearoa New Zealand. We have been a university since 2000, but a place of learning for 120 years.

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Why do we need a female-led hackathon? 

Women are underrepresented in the tech world, and it’s important to us to change that! In conjunction with AI Forum, we are creating a welcoming learning environment to demonstrate that there is a place in tech for every female. You’ll be the chance to build cool and innovative projects that focus on AI for the environment. The AI Hack is held over the weekend of September 3/4th at AUT Campus in Auckland.

Do I need any experience in Computer Science to participate? 

People of skill levels are encouraged to attend, even if they’ve never written a line of code. There are different types of roles you can play in a Hackathon, design, technical, customer-centric or business-focused. There will be plenty of women here to mentor and support you on the journey of experienced hackers.

What will I need? 

A bunch of enthusiasm, ideas and team spirit. Please bring your own computer and charger or preferred digital devices. It is recommended to use a laptop or tablet.

How do I participate? 

You can come solo or with a team. A team will consist of (a maximum of 5 people), it helps if you have diverse members in the team (these can be designers, UI/UX, product people, software or data engineers, data scientist or business focussed/non-technical). If you don't already have a team that's okay too, everyone is encouraged to come along. Individuals can pitch an idea and then you can vote on what team/project idea you would like to join on the day.

How does it work?

A hackathon is a design & coding sprint where “hackers” (participants) with both technical and non-technical backgrounds come together to build exciting projects. Throughout the hackathon, you will learn many new skills, meet like-minded peers, and network with sponsors and mentors. At the end of the weekend, you will get a chance to demo your project and maybe go home with some prizes! The winning team will present at the AI Summit in late September.

I don’t know how to code. Can I still come?

Of course! The event is designed for first-time hackers to try something new. We actively encourage people from all backgrounds, and disciplines, to attend! We have mentors to guide you along the way. Just bring yourself, a willingness to learn, and a positive attitude!

Does it cost anything?

For students, the hack will cost you $15, and working professional tickets will be $30. You will have access to a plethora of tools to help you be successful with your project. All monies received from the registration go toward the prize pool for the winning teams!

Can I still come if I’m not a woman+?

She Sharp hack is designed to be an inclusive space to support females, those identifying as female and non-binary individuals who are interested in technology. As we’re focused on encouraging minorities into tech, this event is specifically created as a place for women+ to explore the tech industry in a supportive way. Otherwise, we welcome people of all genders to participate as a volunteer or mentors. Keep an eye out on our Facebook page and website for more information.

Problem to Solve:

The AI Forum recently published a report on AI for the Environment this document has 10 recommendations divided into 3 sections. We would like to concentrate on delivering real-life examples of how we could deliver the first of those sections:

Build a Coherent Environmental Data Ecosystem

Deploy AI alongside other new technologies to enhance environmental data collection.
Develop a national environmental open data framework.
Consider where and how mātauranga Māori may be incorporated within Government AI systems.
Coordinate the development of standards and best practices for environmental data management.

What might a solution look like?

The purpose here is to participate, ideate and learn, but of course, if your objective is also to ‘win’ the judges will need to see the purpose in what you are creating and you may need to appeal to some who are not necessarily technologists or data scientists:

Demonstrate the collaboration of citizen science with academic and government research to uncover previously hidden insights. This may include emissions, erosion, native and non-native flora, fauna and sea life, and waste.

Demonstrate bringing together data from different sources for an environmental purpose without impacting data sovereignty, e.g. Federated Data; Data Mesh; etc.

Consider the deployment of AI alongside other new technologies to enhance environmental data collection, enabling the incorporation of mātauranga Māori and principles of accessibility and openness into a Climate Change solution.

Do not be limited by these examples – we are hoping you will have your own ideas that you want to try out.

Why should I attend?

If you’re passionate about using Tech for Good, you want to be part of NZ's very first female-led hackathon, come along pitch an idea and create/join a team. This is the ideal opportunity to hone your skills with real-life problems and learn to collaborate with others (designers, UI/UX, software engineers, business people and non-technical participants).

Share ideas, and knowledge and gain valuable experience:

Developing a solution that is good for the world

Extending your comfort zone in a supportive environment

Showcasing your skills and learning even more

Creating new connections and team building

Developing communication and presentation skills


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