How might we create low cost, low energy, accessible and sustainable urban agricultural solutions for continuous food production to provide for the growing population of New Delhi? 


As urban populations rise rapidly and concerns about food security increase, interest in urban agriculture has been renewed in large metropolitan areas (e.g. Delhi and Sydney).   

By 2050, the world’s population is set to increase to 10 billion from the current 7.6 billion, and an estimated 75% will be city dwellers.   

Most cities in developing countries have great difficulties coping with rapid urbanisation and are unable to create sufficient formal employment opportunities for the poor and have increasing problems with the disposal of urban wastes, waste-water and maintaining air and river water quality. Without change environmental, social and ecological issues and food shortage be an inevitability of the future.  

The goal of this FOOD HACK is to find urban agricultural solutions (both technological and organizational) that can tackle this challenge in the sprawling city of New Delhi, India. Novel approaches are needed that will consider whole food-water-energy nexus creating multifunctional system by optimizing water requirements, space needs, scalability and price in order to increase crop yield and accessibility to urban communities.   

Help us create solutions that are central to improving food availability and security worldwide, particularly in resource-poor environments such as dense cities.  

This hack is brought to you by UNSW Engineering, UNSW Global Water Institute, and UNSW Founders.



Three epic days

Over the two and a half days, we’re going to work together on a solution for a real world problem. You’ll be mentored by experts, learn new techniques, collaborate with other students and pitch your ideas!  

Meet new people!

You’ll collaborate with people with different skills and backgrounds to create a global solution to the problem, this hack will be a great opportunity to meet new people with similar interests, make connections with other students, staff and academics and people in the industry. It’s a great way to meet new friends, or reunite with old ones!

Free food and drink!

We’ll keep you fuelled with meals and plenty of snacks throughout the hack to keep you firing on all cylinders! Gluten free and vegan options will be provided. We recommend participants with strict/specific dietary requirements to bring their own supplies.


One Grand Prize winner will receive a $3,000 cash prize, second place winner will receive $750 and a third place team will receive $250 cash prize.

Frequently Asked Questions
What is a hack?

First up, it’s nothing scary or illegal! Some hacks (including this one) don’t even involve computer programming. A hack is an event, usually occurring over a few days, that encourages people to collaborate in an intensive way to help solve a problem.

What makes a hack so rewarding is the intensity of the experience- you’ll form fast friends and come up with solutions quickly- and the fact that you get to see the outcomes of all that collaborating really quickly. The magic happens when people from all different backgrounds come together and spark ideas in one another that alone, they would never have thought of.

Why attend a hack?

Hacks are a great way to get the ball rolling on solving a whole range of real world issues. They also help you build collaboration skills that are going to be a real asset once you’ve left university.

The reason we’re running this hack is to create global solutions to global problems.

What skills and experience do I need to join this hack?

Individuals, teams of individuals, are all welcome to participate. As long as you are affiliated with UNSW.

There is no prerequisite knowledge needed – we’ll teach you the techniques and methods to produce a business model.

What does success look like in this hack?

At the end of this hack, you will have learnt skills to approach problems with a creative mindset, know some fundamentals about creating a startup business and have collaborated with your peers on some shared interests building your network. Success is a new and disruptive idea that can be monetised and scaled to create a better future for all but also planting the seed for other businesses and ideas that could change the world. Over the weekend we’re looking for innovative and fun ideas that shine as a unique experience for your target audience.

Who owns the IP of the solutions?

Please refer to the MCIC Hack Code of Conduct.

How are teams formed?

Teams will need to have 4-6 members with no more than 3 members in a single discipline. On the first day we’ll hold a team-formation exercise which already-formed groups and solo hackers join together as teams.

What happens after the hack?

One Grand Prize winner will receive a $3,000 cash prize, second place winner will receive $750 and a third place team will receive $250 cash prize.

Do I need to stay at MCIC the entire time?

We know that you have other obligations and full weekend is a big commitment, however at least half of your team needs to be present at all times, every person needs to sign in once each day (to show you have attended for a portion of each day of the weekend) and your whole team needs to be in attendance at the final pitch!

Do you have a code of conduct?

Absolutely. Participating students agree to abide by the UNSW Code of Conduct.


If you have any questions about the hack, please contact us directly. We will respond for sure.

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