Calling all students to join the fight against COVID-19 and climate change.

View university edition prizes  
View university edition prizes  

Accept the 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge

Mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and climate change by creating sustainable solutions using open source technology. Get the details on the 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge, understand its two tracks, and start building today.

Accept the Challenge  

What is Call for Code?

Created by David Clark Cause with Founding Partner IBM, and in partnership with the United Nations Human Rights and The Linux Foundation, Call for Code is the largest tech-for-good challenge of its kind.

Call for Code asks innovators to create practical, effective, and high-quality applications based on one or more IBM Cloud™ services (for example, web, mobile, data, analytics, AI, IoT, or weather) that can have an immediate and lasting impact on humanitarian issues.

This year the competition will have two tracks. One track is for solutions that help halt and reverse the impact of climate change. The second track is for solutions to mitigate the impact of global pandemics like COVID-19 on communities around the world. Winning solutions are deployed in communities that need the most help.


Global Challenge

All winners will receive an invitation to the Call for Code Global Award Announcement and support from the Linux Foundation.

Grand prize winner – $200,000 USD

  • Solution implementation through Code and Response ™
  • Opportunity for mentorship and investment in the solution

Runner up

First and second – $25,000 USD

Runner up

Third and fourth – $10,000 USD

University Edition

Grand prize – $10,000 USD

Dispersed equally across the team.

Each student team member will receive the opportunity to interview for a potential role at IBM.

Runner up

Each student team member will receive the opportunity to interview for a potential role at IBM.

2020 Call for Code Global Challenge Timeline

Got your idea?
Get coding

See how you can create an application that makes an immediate and lasting impact in communities around the world by using AI, IoT, and the latest open source development platforms.

Start coding


Submissions will be judged equally across 4 primary criteria which evaluate whether the solution solves a real-world problem and uses technology effectively.

Completeness and transferability

How fully has the idea been implemented? Can it achieve an impact in the field? Can it be transferred elsewhere?

Effectiveness and efficiency

Does the solution address a high priority area? Does it achieve its goal effectively and efficiently? Can it scale?

Design and usability

How good is the design, user experience, and ease of use of the solution? How quickly can it be put to use?

Creativity and innovation

How unique was the approach to solving a long-standing or previously intractable problem?


  1. Submissions –
    Submissions must use one or more IBM Cloud services or IBM Systems. Use of sponsor or affiliate APIs and open source libraries is also encouraged.
  2. Team size –
    Teams of up to five (5) participants, each at least 18 years old, are allowed.
  3. Joining teams –
    A participant may not be part of multiple teams.
  4. Participation agreement –
    All team members must have accepted the 2020 Participation Agreement at the time they submit to be eligible.
  5. Application standards –
    Applications must be new and built for the 2020 competition, but they may use code that was open sourced and publicly available to all other participants as of February 26, 2020.
  6. Winners –
    Winning teams will be subject to a code review after submissions close.