For the 2022-2023 Technovation Girls season, we were very excited to work with several Technovation Girls alumnae to create apps focused on sustainability. The process of creating these apps helped us write new curriculum units that addressed specific environmental issues as well as tips and resources for building environmental apps more generally. You can explore the curriculum units here, but we also wanted to share the experiences of the incredible young women who helped us create the curriculum. Meet Zhibek Askar, who alongside fellow alumna Ana Balteanu, developed an app to help young people become more sustainable consumers.

I first became interested in sustainability and climate activism during my teenage years. It was sparked by my friends talking about the devastating effects of climate change on our planet. This inspired me to start learning more about the issue and taking action to reduce my own environmental footprint. Soon after, I participated in Technovation Girls with my friends for the first time.

My experience with Technovation as a student was transformative. It allowed me to develop my technical skills while also learning about how technology can be used to solve real-world problems, including those related to the environment. I’ve also been given an opportunity to travel to the US for the World Summit to present our solution to the CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai. This experience ultimately led me to continue learning about programming and start a more sustainability-aware lifestyle.

Last year I decided to participate in Technovation’s new climate curriculum. Our project Option A focused on responsible consumerism for Gen Z because we believe that small changes in individual behaviour can greatly impact the environment. By teaching young people about the environmental impact of their choices as consumers, we hope to inspire them to make more sustainable choices in their daily lives. We also learned about the importance of reducing waste, conserving energy, and choosing sustainably sourced and produced products.

I believe that young people have a unique perspective on climate change and sustainability. They are often more aware of the issue and more passionate about taking action. They also deeply understand the technology and how it can be used to address environmental problems.

For girls interested in sustainability, technology, and combating climate change, many great resources are available online. One great place to start is with organizations that focus on environmental activism or sustainable technology, such as Greenpeace or the Climate Reality Project. There are also many blogs, podcasts, and social media accounts dedicated to these topics.

In the next 15 years, I hope to see significant changes in the way we approach environmental issues, I also hope to see greater public awareness of the urgent need to address climate change, and more action from individuals, businesses, and governments to reduce their environmental impact. Currently, I’m 22 and working as a developer & inspired by the potential of technology to help solve some of our most pressing environmental challenges. I discovered a world of possibilities in STEM, and although the journey has been challenging at times, I remain optimistic that with dedication and perseverance, we can all learn and achieve great things.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can use technology to address climate change in your community, check out Technovation’s climate curriculum units, or our climate science playlist