Hack Partners.

Industry Hackathons, Innovative Technology, Data Analytics and Strategic Advisory. That’s how the fast growing team at Hack Partners define what they do. When I hear the word hack, my mind thinks up some kind of conspiratorial plot to overthrow the good guy. But in this case, it’s quite the opposite. Hack Partners are an ambitious company that run events during which they come up with innovative solutions to industry problems, the railway industry in particular.

Last Year’s Hackathon

The reach of their impact spreads from the UK’s Network Rail to Hong Kong’s Mass Transit Railway and the beauty of their work? Speed. They work super fast during Hackathons, which they have sponsored by big industry players. During these events, they collaborate with indsutry experts, tech gurus and the right people to find the right solutions for the biggest problems in the industry. Figures from their website state 3000 tech and railway professionals have attended their HackTrain events in the last 3 years, 150 prototypes have been built over only 7 events and 7 regulations have been changed by the industry to make it easier for entrepreneurs to innovate – even from an outsider’s point of view, that is a staggering impact in such a short space of time.

Their ethos is to work together to “achieve common goals that benefit both industry and society” and it’s safe to say, given their impact, Hack Partners are actively pushing us closer to achieving SDG 9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure and given the way they operate, they embody SDG 17 Partnerships for the Goals.

Check them out at hackpartners.com and see for yourself why they deserve huge respect!

Solar Cooling Initiative.

One of the shortcomings of the Millenium Development Goals, specifically goal 8 (To develop a global partnership) was that this lead to a problematic donor-recipient relationship for development.

Internation Solar Alliance Logo.
Photo Credit: isolaralliance.org

This post shares the partnership of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), based in India, and the University of Birmingham, driving progress for its Solar Cooling Initiative, where farmers in sun rich locations can use solar and solar hybrid energy to power chilled food distribution systems.

Shield from the Arms of University of Birmingham. Photo Credit: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Birmingham

The result of powering chilled food distribution systems leads to more revenue that can be made out of the high volumes of produce, as this way less produce is perished during journies from farms to markets. However, a key highlight of this initiative is that the technology being used to power the distribution system is sustainable through its use of solar power and so is not burden on the environment. This initiative is also awesome as it simultaneously addresses 3 internationally agreed goals: the Paris Climate Agreement; the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol; and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As opposed to identifying a quick and easy solution to this problem, through investments in readily available non renewable energy to power the chilled food systems in these tropical countries, this initiative’s focus to resolve the problem has been coupled with sustainability – and this is what makes this initiative so great.


ISA and the univerity of Birmingham have demonstrated how problem solving on the planet today must consider the sustainability of the solutions and this sets the right precedent for all the problem solving that is yet to happen – and happen it must! This post recognises and thanks ISA and the university of Birmingham’s tangible progress being made towards UN’s SDG 7- Affordable and clean energy!


As well as the one goal this links in to, this initiative also demonstrates positive work toward SDG 17 – Partnerships to achieve the goal through the collobative efforts of Univeristy of Birmingham and ISA – and this is a big one as the lack of such partnership was one of the criticisms of MDG 8 previously. Great to see lessons learnt!

Please check out the article for more information, and also take a look at ISA’s website where you can learn more about this project.


Referenced News Article – Helping ‘Sun-Rich’ Farmers

ISA Website