A close-up of a a young woman’s face on an abstract background in different shades of blue

Do you have an exciting idea on how to make your city greener? Apply now to take part in our Artificial Intelligence (AI) Hackathon for the Common Good!

The British Council and Milton Keynes College are pleased to invite you to participate in an AI Hackathon for the Common Good on the theme of Green Cities.

AI is seen as a technology that has the potential to solve some of the biggest global challenges facing us today. Young people have the power to influence the future of AI and whether it will be used as a tool for shaping solutions to real-world problems. It is a field in which they will be called upon to act critically, influence others and support wider society.

We invite young people aged 18–35 who are passionate about sustainability and interested in innovation and creative problem solving to work together in interdisciplinary teams and design AI-based solutions to social and environmental challenges.

The hackathon will take place on the premises of Milton Keynes College on Friday 1 and Saturday 2 December 2023.

Green Cities

In collaboration with Milton Keynes College, we are organising an AI Hackathon for the Common Good on the theme of Green Cities. Participants will be invited to generate creative ideas aimed at improving people’s lives in urban areas by making them more sustainable and eco-friendly.

Who is it for?

Applicants must be aged 18–35 and have a background in one of the following fields:

  • Environmental or social sciences: People who support social justice and/or are advocates of environmental/human rights.
  • Design or business/entrepreneurship: People who design products and solutions that aim to improve the well-being of individuals and communities. People who can be creative and think outside the box.
  • Computer science or STEM: People who have a background in sciences. It can be basic knowledge of what AI is and how machine learning works.

How it works

Participants will form teams and receive training from our expert Mike Lloyd on how they can use artificial intelligence to design solutions to the contemporary challenge of making cities sustainable. There is no need to be an expert on AI or on climate change/social justice topics to participate as the hackathon will involve training in fundamental AI principles. Mentors will support each team through the process.

The teams will then try to generate creative ideas and design a solution through AI tools to respond to the environmental challenges of the climate crisis, create an original idea and present it in front of a jury that will select a winning team. The winning team will be awarded with a study visit to Bristol in March 2024, where all the winning teams of our AI hackathons across Europe will meet.

What is in it for you?

  • Two creative days, where you will have the chance to meet new people, learn the basics of AI and apply them to find solutions to issues of sustainability in urban environments.
  • The opportunity to pitch your idea and win a study visit to Bristol – a leading sustainable city in the UK – with other teams from similar hackathons in Europe.
  • Food and coffee to energise you.

What is required

Participants should:

  • bring their personal laptops to work with during the hackathon – tablets and mobile phones are not supported
  • have Windows 10 (or above) or the latest version of MacOS and the Microsoft Teams application installed – Linux is not supported
  • be able to join the event in Milton Keynes as this is a face-to-face activity.

When and where

The hackathon will take place on Friday 1 and Saturday 2 December 2023 from 09.00 to 17.00 at Milton Keynes College, South Central Institute of Technology, Sherwood Drive, Bletchley, Milton Keynes MK3 6DR.

Lunch breaks, coffee, snacks and refreshments will be provided throughout the two days of the event.

Participants are expected to be present for the whole duration of the event.

How to apply

To take part in the hackathon, complete the online application form by Tuesday 21 November 2023 (23.59 UK time).

Participation is free.


For further information, please contact Chrysa Vlachopoulou at Chrysa.Vlachopoulou@britishcouncil.org.