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1.     Introduction

The problem of the environment and its defense (protecting the environment) will become, from 1 July 2021, the seventh focus area of Rotary International. The intention of the 14 Italian Districts is to launch a large-scale and far-reaching national (and international) project on this issue that, on the one hand, aims to raise awareness among the largest possible audience, in particular the new generations, on the other contribute to launching concrete actions in this direction. 

To all this is added the element of the Presidential Conference, which is scheduled for November 2021 in Venice. The theme of the conference will be precisely the environment, more specifically, "Economy and Environment in harmony", which recalls another of the challenges of the coming years, namely that of the balance between environmental protection and economic development through new formulas of « economy. 



 In light of all this, the decision of the 14 Rotary Districts of Italy, Malta and San Marino is to launch an initiative that combines a strong awareness-raising action, aimed above all at the new generations (but not only), with an action of promotion of projects, which will be developed with a particular formula and which will have environmental sustainability as their theme. The formula conceived is that of a "competition of ideas" better known as HACK FOR THE PLANET. According to its conventional meaning, it is a "marathon" lasting one or more days and focused on intensive collaboration on a common project. The distinctive elements would be the intensive collaboration between the members of the various groups and the chosen theme of environmental sustainability, in perfect harmony with that of the Presidential Conference. Then a "competition of ideas" will be organized, a HACK FOR THE PLANET in fact, open to young Interactors and Rotaractors (our Rotary world) and to students of Italian universities which will be held with the intensive formula of the "weekend marathon" on a date to be defined, but basically around the middle of October 2021 and with the online formula. 


The partners

 To organize an event of this magnitude, partners are needed to support us in defining the scientific content, promoting and organizing the event. The partners that have been identified are: 

      The Foundation of the Conference of Rectors of Italian Universities (CRUI) is the academic partner which we will use both for the promotion of the event in the university environment with the involvement of the largest possible number of Italian universities throughout the territory of our 14 districts, both for general scientific advice.

      The Network of Italian Universities for Sustainability (RUS) which precisely involves Italian universities active on this issue and which has great experience in organizing similar events. 

      A company or entity with experience in organizing such events; we already have a shortlist of names. Naturally, the 14 Districts will participate in the organization, promotion and management of the event at various levels and would bear the costs.


Method of participation and selection 

The goal is to reach a participation in the final event of about 400 young people organized into several teams according to the following scheme: 

• Each District would undertake to recruit at least one (ten-member) Interact team and one (ten-member) Rotaract team, for 20 (two teams) people per District, is 280 participants 

• Universities will instead be asked to identify no more than 10 teams of 10 elements each (with a call and selection mechanism that will be up to them to define) for 100 other participants. • The 38 selected teams (380 participants) would meet on the online platform, which will be prepared by the partner company that we will identify, in the programmed weekend and, under the guidance of the tutors and according to the thematic addresses provided in the call, will develop their projects 

• All 38 projects (or those that will be completed and presented on schedule by HACK FOR THE PLANET) will be evaluated by a joint Rotary - University committee and among these. The winners will be selected by category: Interact, Rotaract and University. Among the three finalists, the winner of the first prize will be chosen; the others will be awarded “consolation” prizes. 

• The winning group will present their project in front of our International President at the Venice Conference. As for the first prize, this could consist of a trip offered to all members of the group to Dubai on EXPO2021, which will have environmental sustainability among its main themes and with the opportunity to visit the expo and participate in specific events on the topic.

The possibility of obtaining free exhibition spaces for the presentation of projects within the Conference must be verified

. • The possibility of expanding HACK FOR THE PLANET to other European countries should be verified. 


The timeline 

The timeline of the project is set on the hypothesis of presenting the winning group or groups at the Presidential Conference in November 2021; it follows the following time schedule:

 • Preparation and setting of the project: February - June 

• Publication of the call (s): 1 July *

 • Call closing / notices July 31 

• Preselection and formation of groups: 1 August 30 September 

• HACK FOR THE PLANET Weekend: October 16-17 

• Evaluation of projects and rankings: 31 October

 • Presentation at the Presidential Conference: 7 November

 * With a press conference of the 14 Districts in Rome, on the presence in Rome for the traditional homage to the altar of the Fatherland.

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