The 5G For Change

If the last couple of years have taught us anything, it’s that life needs some hacking. So for the first time in the history of The Webby Awards, we invite you to the 5G for Change Hackathon. There’s no shortage of things that need to be fixed. 5G is an invaluable tool in that pursuit—speed, access, and real-world change for the better.

Build something for change. Win a Webby and $50,000.

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Presented By:Verizon

The Opportunity

The Opportunity

We put out the call to the industry to assemble their most talented teams. The main requirement being having a passion for making change happen for the good through 5G technology.

What emerged were over 150 submissions from around the world of breakthrough ideas. From there, the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences chose five finalists to compete in the Webby’s first-ever hackathon in New York City.

Why 5G, why now? 5G is a unified, more capable interface—its enhanced capacity empowers new deployment models, enables next-generation user experiences, and delivers brand new services like never before. The superior reliability, higher speeds, as well as lower latency, expands the mobile ecosystem into exciting new realms.

The Brief

The Brief

We live in an unprecedented time where technology is reshaping our world in radical and amazing ways. At the same time, big problems are everywhere.

5G was the catalyst of the hackathon, bringing the teams’ ideas to life.

The brief was simple: what do you want to fix? And how can 5G and the Internet help us fix it? Everything was fair game from the environment to the government, diversity and equity, human rights…

The Finalists

The Finalists

We received over 150 really smart, creative submissions, which gave our Academy the daunting task of picking the five best. Meet the five finalists who pitched during the 5G for Change Hackathon.

Team FramePerfect: The Winners of the 5G for Change Hackathon! As a team that met while attending the University of Guyana, the Frame Perfect team believes the deforestation problem in Guyana can be solved through AI and sound monitoring devices.

Team MaydayHailing from the Boston and New York areas, this team proposed Mayday, an app that would help people with disabilities in crisis by connecting them with emergency responders.

Team Whose Metaverse?This team, comprised of a VR pioneer and innovator are championing the next generation of metaverse creators by building maker spaces in underserved communities.

Team MRMAs a team working in remote and hybrid ways, the MRM Salt Lake City team aims to help people with hearing disabilities navigate video calls by using an AI-powered ASL translator.

Team DataScapeWith a background in gaming, the DataScape team is on a mission to address the challenges of aging infrastructure through an app that uses user-generated data on infrastructure issues to enable predictive maintenance.

The Prize & Webby Moment

The Prize & Webby Moment

For the first time in Webby history, the winning team will be announced on stage at The 26th Annual Webby Awards. This means the Winners will give a hallmark Webby 5-Word Speech in the spotlight in front of some of the biggest luminaries in business and entertainment.

The 5G For Change Hackathon prizes include:

  • $50,000 for the winning team
  • A trip to the 26th Annual Webby Awards in New York City
  • The opportunity to schmooze with the internet’s best
  • A moment on stage to deliver an iconic Webby 5-Word acceptance speech


The 5G for Change Hackathon was judged by an illustrious group of industry leaders comprised of Webby Judges, Winners and tech experts.

Julia Hammond is the President of Stagwell Global, a digital-first global marketing network. She helps to design new integrated agency models and build teams from the industry’s top creative, strategy, PR, and innovation agencies.

Christian Guirnalda is the Director of Verizon 5G Labs and Innovation. He works on seed-stage engagement and portfolio development among many other 5G Lab initiatives.

Alex Amouyel is the founding Executive Director of MIT Solve. She has built and oversees a fast-growing team whose mission is to drive innovation to solve global challenges.

Felecia Hatcher is an author, inspirational speaker, and CEO of Pharrell William’s Black Ambition Opportunity Fund, a non-profit initiative working to close the opportunity and wealth gap through entrepreneurship.

Mike Wente is Vice President, Creative Marketing Group and leads Verizon’s in-house creative team. He and his team are behind many, many Webby Winning projects this year. 

Consider Diversity

Consider Diversity

Putting a team together is open like the brief itself. The composition of teams will naturally vary, but keeping your size lean and mean will be an advantage, so we recommend keeping your talent to no more than six members. Every team should be big on ideas, diversity, and most importantly, tackling a serious societal issue.

The Webby Awards are dedicated to creating a more equitable, inclusive future for the internet and related industries, and we are strongly committed to building a diverse community. We encourage people of all backgrounds and talent sets to participate.

While this list cannot be exhaustive, we honor diversity in age, gender, identity, culture, ethnicity, language, national origin, political beliefs, profession, race, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or physical and technical ability. We don’t tolerate discrimination. There is no one true hacker.

5G For Change AMA

5G For Change AMA