Technology is transforming the world of business. More importantly, it’s changing lives.

Nearly 500 people participated in the inaugural Accenture Global Connected Hackathon in November, in collaboration with Expo 2020 Dubai, combining urbanization and digitization to improve living conditions for people in need.

Using the latest digital technologies, including wearables, artificial intelligence, analytics, augmented and virtual reality, blockchain and the internet of things, teams and individuals in 11 cities across the globe competed in the 24-hour hackathon. The goal? Improve urban living conditions, support more inclusive populations and promote sustainable urban practices—putting people in need at the center.

“We are asking people with digital talents to apply their creativity and ingenuity to two game-changing trends—urbanization and digitization, said Mike Sutcliff, group chief executive, Accenture Digital. “With both, it is people who should come first. Accenture strongly believes that digital experiences have the power to make cities more livable for customers, patients, workers, students and citizens, but these experiences can only be successful if they are truly human.”

A panel of judges ranked the solutions based on their innovative potential, quality and completeness of the prototype, usability and functional scope. Teams were also evaluated on the way they presented their solutions. Judges included experienced digital professionals from Accenture, Expo 2020 Dubai, local sponsors and academia.

Winning Solutions

Team “Wombat” from Singapore took home the first prize by developing a prototype for an early warning system to detect and prevent outbreaks of Dengue Fever and other vector-borne diseases.

  • Named “Dragonfly,” the system attracts arthropods such as mosquitoes and identifies their species.
  • As part of their hackathon presentation, the team created a model of a flytrap that uses blue light to attract mosquitoes.
  • Leveraging internet of things technology, the system transmits the breed of arthropod species and sends the relevant data to the health authorities for further analysis.


Team “Apostle” from Chicago ranked second in the global challenge by creating a brain-to-speech artificial intelligence companion that uses neural network deep learning to help speech-impaired people communicate with others.


Team “O.A.S.I.S.” from Dubai ranked third globally by developing a prototype of a “Hardware to Optimize (H2O)” internet of things platform to help conserve water. Using predictive analytics and machine learning, it analyzes data from water meters, displays consumption and provides recommendations to users in real time. Combined with reward programs, the solution is estimated to save 250 gallons of water per household per day in the UAE, where water consumption is among the highest in the world.

What’s Next?

Expo will select its favorite project from among the three regional winners and shortlist it for the Expo Live “Innovation Impact Grant Programme.” The program is expected to provide winning projects with grants of up to $100,000 USD and a chance to showcase their innovations at the next World Expo.

Individual participants demonstrating exceptional teamwork, problem-solving and goal orientation skills may also be interviewed for roles in Accenture Digital or elsewhere in the company.

Ready to improve the world through the work you do each day? Find a career opportunity with Accenture.

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