Heatwise EcoEquity Initiative, led by Megan Ryder (SPH’25) wins Climate Innovation Challenge

Boston University’s Climate Innovation Challenge concluded yesterday at the Kilachand Honors College, unveiling innovators poised to make significant strides in climate resilience. Presented by Innovate@BU, The BU Climate Innovation Challenge invited current BU students and Class of 2023 alumni to submit big ideas for how the City of Boston could address climate change and hosted a variety of climate-related workshops over the course of this academic year.

Heatwise EcoEquity Initiative, focusing on urban micro-forestation, was awarded first place and a $7,000 prize. Idori, an initiative transforming sustainability education through storytelling and interactive plush toys, claimed second place with a $4,500 prize. WasteWiz, an advanced spectroscopy technology for improved waste classification, secured third place with a $2,500 prize. Finally, Eleven58, leveraging AI to improve recycling efficiency with a smart trash can, placed fourth, receiving a $1,000 prize.

“Everyone deserves to benefit from climate initiatives. I wanted to use my privilege as a BU student to give a Boston community disproportionately affected by climate change an opportunity to benefit from the restoration of local biodiversity in their neighborhood,” says Megan Ryder of Heatwise EcoEquity Initiative, an MPH candidate who studies epidemiology and biostatistics at SPH.

The event’s judges included Hessann Farooqi, Executive Director at Boston Climate Action Network; Miriam Posner Harris, Executive Vice President of Environmental League of Massachusetts; Lisa Tornatore, Director of BU Sustainability; and Kate England, Director of Green Infrastructure, Boston.

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