Hack the Normal: From Africa for Africa


March 05, 2021 - March 07, 2021




Open To Public

An open call for innovators and changemakers: “Hack the Normal: From Africa for Africa” will take place between March 5-7!


How might we leverage technology to create a positive impact towards sustainable living and economic development in Africa?


Arçelik Global and ATÖLYE, the creators of the first Hack the Normal in May 2020, have partnered up again to build on their previous success and shared know-how—this time to organize a new hackathon that focuses on Africa!


Hosted by Defy Appliances, an Arçelik company based in South Africa, supported by Beko Global, and organized by ATÖLYE, Hack the Normal will bring together innovators from diverse disciplines to solve financial challenges and enhance sustainable and healthy living in the continent.


Visit hackthenormal.com to find out more and apply until February 28!


About Hack the Normal: From Africa for Africa


Hack The Normal Africa focuses on the financial and sustainability problems facing Africa and the world in general. Under the leadership of Defy, people from across multiple disciplines will come together and innovate new ways to ensure the sustainability of trade, natural resources, and life in Africa. The hackathon will examine the impact of a sustainable approach to energy, water, food, and trade on the individual, social, and material levels. It will develop solutions by creating a fertile and digital space that brings together multiple disciplines, such as design, technology, sociology, psychology, human resources, management, and communications.


The hackathon will provide human-centered design training on problem discovery, research, solution development, prototyping, and storytelling. It will feature seminars and speeches by experts from business, technology, and design ecosystems. Participants will also receive mentorship from multidisciplinary experts to refine their ideas and develop projects, as well as getting guidance from coaches in their project development journeys.


After the hackathon, selected projects will have the opportunity to cooperate with Defy on further developing their projects: they will receive promotion support for access to customers through Sub-Saharan African channels and gain access to sales opportunities, investment networks, acceleration and incubation programs, and access to users and the ecosystem in general.




The hackathon invites participants to develop new products, services, and business models with commercialization potential in the areas below.


Financial Solutions


The transformation that Africa has undergone in recent decades has been remarkable. The continent is shaping its own destiny in a march of progress that could be called the “African opportunity”. With the world’s leading brands looking to Africa as a source of growth, it is evident that Africa must prepare itself for a surge of commercial activity with all the supporting services required to trade.


According to the GSMA trade body who represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, Sub-Saharan Africa continues to outperform other regions when it comes to mobile-money services. It was estimated that there should be over 500 million mobile money users at the end of 2020 . This shows that the continent has largely skipped making use of traditional banking services and is instead opting for more agile and digital user experiences.


Key questions we would like to answer:

  • How might we design new services and products to improve financial inclusion and liquidity in the African region?
  • How might we solve the hard currency problem between countries in African trade? How might we find solutions to the business challenges faced by individuals and companies, from new financial solutions to improving existing solutions?
  • How might we create shared economic systems between companies and individuals?


Sustainable Living


Africa’s population being one of the fastest growing in the world comes with many challenges, specifically around basic nutritional needs, access to drinkable water, and a constant supply of electricity, especially in areas with poor infrastructure.


These challenges make way for ideas that can change the lives of millions of people for the better. It is important that we start finding meaningful solutions to help design a sustainable future. In trying to find a solution to these problems we would like to address the following questions:


  • How might we design a more sustainable future for the average African household and the planet in general?
  • How might we design a future together to create a sustainable impact in different areas from food waste to energy and water consumption?


Healthy Living


The COVID-19 pandemic has made more people conscious of healthier lifestyles with increased focus on personal care, hygiene, and health. Providing healthy solutions that fit easily in day to day lives is key to a healthier and brighter future for the African continent. Working on promoting preemptive health measures can create benefits for an already ailing population.


Key questions we would like to answer:

  • How might we create a positive impact to sustain healthy and good living conditions in African homes?
  • How might we contribute to the health of individuals and families at home, focusing on topics such as nutrition, personal care, sleep, exercise, and personal hygiene?