Answer the Call to Fight Against the COVID-19 Pandemic and of the Future

Well, I do hope the Pandemics like this don’t happen or natural disaster doesn’t happen at all. But, the world around us constantly changing and we need to prepare ourselves. The entire world is going crazy over the new coronavirus pandemic. We have seen similar situations in the movies but let’s be honest, none of us really imagined anything like that would actually happen to us, to everyone around us. It has affected each and every person in many ways, may it be socially, economically, physically, or mentally.

These are extraordinary circumstances and needed extraordinary measures such as social Distancing, complete Lockdown of neighborhoods, cities, and even the countries. These measures are important but we can’t deny that it has created a certain amount of chaos, confusion, worries & uncertainty.

This raises some important questions that we need to find answers for and, as a society, as ideators, we need to come with those.

  • Can we as developers and startups do something about it?
  • Can we create solutions using tech that helps us during such battles we face or would face in the future?
  • Can we provide solutions to better tracking of the patients and eventually help others to avoid or be careful?
  • Can we provide solutions to easily grab essential items to live such as food, medicines, or fix appliances?
  • If social distancing is going to be the new normal for the coming year(s), what can we do to improve efficiency in schooling & other learning experiences, remote working, and recreational activities?

#CallForCode – Chapter 3

To find answers to similar questions, to find solutions against the hindrance forced by natural calamities, IBM has partnered with the Call for Code’s global initiative which started by David Clark in 2018. The company strongly believes in the cause & hence already committed a five-year association with it. IBM has been putting a lot of effort to bring the latest technology infrastructure & make it more accessible for developers all around the world. Whatever I have discussed with them thus far, it clearly shows that they have immense faith in the new-age developers, their skills using such technology to change the world as we see or experience, especially, during the time of various emergencies such as the coronavirus outbreak.

2020 Call for code competition

This year’s Call for Code largely has two topics, one is a COVID-19 pandemic & the other is Climate Change.  There are subcategories for each of these to develop a solution for. They’re as follows:

For COVID-19 pandemic

  • Crisis Communication
  • Remote Education
  • Community Cooperation

There is a two-step deadline to submit for this track. The first is on 30th April 2020. You can submit your idea by this deadline. Later you can modify and submit the final solution by 31st July 2020. Once you submit the ideas, on May 5th the top 3 COVID-19 solutions will be announced at IBM think. Initial deployment support for these 3 selected ideas will begin from May 15th. In any case, you can continue developing the solution & submit it by the final date.

For climate change

  • Water sustainability
  • Energy sustainability
  • Disaster resiliency

The deadline for this track is 31st July 2020.


  • Grand prize: $200,000 USD in cash + solution to implement + mentoring & investtmet opportunity + support from Linux Foundation
  • First & second runner up: $25,000 USD in cash + support from Linux Foundation
  • Third & fourth runner up: $10,000 USD in cash + support from Linux Foundation

What can we build? 

It depends on your ideation skills and how your team perceives something like an amazing solution. It could be anything to do with the COVID-19. Here is what I think.

Across the nation, the states are demarking the areas into various zones such as Red, Orange & Green depending upon the number of cases found in respective areas. The lockdown & social distancing measures are in the effect and yet, the success of these measures is questionable because people still step out to buy groceries & other essential items. On the surface, this looks like an obvious situation but I think this can be tackled using various methods to avoid panic-buying, chaos & allow authorities to deploy teams to cater to various needs with a proper schedule.

Social distancing is going to be a new normal for at least a near foreseeable future. Never I ever see the schools closed for this long without the summer holidays. In the state of Maharashtra, this is the first time in history when one board exam paper was canceled completely. With impacts like that, can we streamline the process of remote education? One of the schools I know tried their best using one of the popular video meeting apps to bring students & teachers together on a schedule. It did not work. There was chaos, dropped communications, apart from a few occasions the effort was a waste & failed. Can you build a solution to take care of similar remote education scenarios?

Another interesting solution could be using AI bots. Communication during crisis situations is often getting wayward. Various messaging apps do add to the confusion along with rumors & fake news. Because these are usually city-specific state-specific, maybe an AI Bot can actually answer queries to help people. The strict measures such as lockdowns may put people into depression, stress, emotional outbursts, so can there be an app that can talk to us & respond to us through natural language processing? For these, you can take advantage of the amazingness of the IBM Watson maybe.

Similarly, you can build a solution for climate change. We’ll talk more about it in the next article very soon. Do let me know if you want me to include anything specific.

How to participate in the Call for Code challenge 2020?

Honestly, it’s not rocket science & I’m sure code scientists like you won’t face any difficulty exploring this. Just a few steps you should consider are:

1) You need to learn about the competition. I’ve already told you the prizes & deadline. Start using IBM Cloud’s free account to get started. They have an amazing bouquet of cloud services at your disposal. Here is a link for Call for Code 2020

2) Build with opensource technology. There are tons of resources available at IBM such as code patterns, tutorials, expert videos. You can even find the starter kits to build your solutions

Call for Code: COVID-19 Starter Kits

3) Build your own SWAT team. Yep, they need to be the ones asking questions to experts, bounce ideas, get hands dirty & be the community representative.

4) Submit your ideas & final solutions. Tell them what you’ve built, why you’ve built & how you’ve built it. And then stand a chance to not only win cash prizes but an opportunity to implement the solution & help the world. It would be your superhero moment, kind of. Right?


  • Submit your tech solutions to fight against COVID-19 & Climate Change.
  • You can participate in the competition by submitting ideas before 30th April 2020 & final solution by 31st July 2020
  • Grand Prize is $200,000 USD in cash & support for implementation

Important Links

If you’ve any questions about this, feel free to contact me & I’ll try to help answer your queries. I’m going to talk to our team & submit the idea. You do that too. Let’s build something amazing.


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