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Winners of the RESPiRES IDEATHON

The RESPiRES ideathon resulted in four winning teams from the United Kingdom and Mexico who developed innovative ideas related to the monitoring of blue-spaces resilience and solutions for the future of healthy blue-spaces in cities.

The project RESPiRES set two challenges:

i) develop ways to monitor blue-space resilience using a combination of RESPiRES social and ecological indicators and

ii) design innovative solutions for the future of healthy resilient blue-spaces in cities.

Through RESPiRES ideathon, teams were provided with information regarding emerging tools for smart environmental monitoring, community-based monitoring, and social and ecological indicators in urban blue-spaces developed as part of the RESPiRES project. .

In total, twenty teams from Mexico and the United Kingdom participated, eleven of which progressed to the final on February 12th. In the final, the teams presented their ideas and their assessment considered whether it provided potential innovative solutions for one of the challenges, it was in line with RESPiRES research project objectives, and it was possible to scale up/use in different global contexts. 

All the ideas developed during the ideathon will contribute to technical proposals for blue-spaces monitoring in RESPiRES project. 


We thank all the teams for participating and developing interesting ideas during the RESPiRES ideathon.

Thank you!


First place: team Go green or go home (The United Kingdom)

Their idea included using real-time ecological data and emerging digital innovations such as augmented reality, cyber physical systems and a digital twin to simulate ecological and social indicators. The participatory solution will allow people to develop a sense of stewardship and responsibility for blue-spaces and will allow for cognitive and social analysis of users through an app/game. Analytical data from the app could be shared with authorities, NGOs and businesses to enhance training and social awareness.

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Credits: Go Green or Go Home

Second place: Taimi (Mexico)

They proposed implementing dry toilets and biofilters in houses to prevent or reduce the discharge of pollutants into the water; construction of floating islands (aquatic plants that would help in the treatment of wastewater) in blue-spaces by members of the community; and giving information about the biodiversity in blue-spaces through signs and QR codes. In addition, Taimi suggests having permanent campaigns and workshops to raise environmental awareness in the local population.

Third place (tied): Biosilensis and UNIPRESEA (Mexico)

Biosilensis. Their idea encompasses the creation of floating wetlands in blue-spaces with the participation of children, young people and their parents. As well as a series of workshops to provide information about the importance of natural and artificial wetlands, microbiology, production of aquatic macrophytes, and construction and maintenance of floating wetlands; and the implementation of a digital platform to monitor the maintenance and condition of the wetland. 

UNIPRESEA. A mobile application with a virtual tour of the blue-space and monitoring stations. The population uses QR codes to access audiovisual material and virtual reality content with biological information. Visitors assess the blue-space based on qualitative variables that they observe and are able to report their observations to feed a database. The information generated would be sent to the user as well as to relevant authorities. In addition, visitors would provide information about their perceptions and feelings towards blue-spaces.

Videos with information for the development of ideas

As part of the ideathon, we made videos to share information with teams to develop their ideas.

Click on the following links to watch them in English or Spanish. 

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Blue sky thinking for blue-space resilience

RESPiRES is an international research project focusing on the resilience of urban blue-spaces (pond, lakes, rivers and streams and the habitats around them), both for wildlife and for people, now and in the future.

Blue-spaces play a key role in the urban ecosystem and for human wellbeing in cities, for example by cleaning water, supporting a diverse set of flora and fauna and giving people the opportunity to spend time in a natural setting within the city. However, they face significant threats and we need to understand more about what these spaces in order to help and protect them.

To do this we have developed a list of indicators which relate to people (social indicators) and other natural factors (ecological indicators) that are important for blue-space health.

We now need your help in thinking up innovative ways to build upon our findings to help the future of blue-spaces in cities......

via a 2 week event, the RESPiRES Ideathon!


The ideathon consists of 3 online sessions of 1.5 hours each (talks will be recorded and available throughout the ideathon):

  • Welcome session Saturday 29th January;

  • Introductory workshop Monday 31st January,

  • Grand Final Saturday February 12th.

An ideathon is an intensive event where people from all backgrounds get together to develop innovative ideas to solve a problem or need.
Participants work in teams to produce and collaborate on possible solutions.
In the RESPiRES Ideathon we would like you to help us find solutions for two key challenges that we are facing, and teams will pick one of these to work on:
Challenge 1: Develop ways to monitor blue-spaces resilience using a combination of RESPiRES social and ecological indicators
Challenge 2: Design innovative solutions for the future of healthy resilient blue-spaces in cities.

What is an ideathon?



who can join?

Anyone who is over 18 is welcome to join
No specific background or expertise is required.
You will be working within a team of 2-5 people. You can come along with a team you have formed yourselves, or as an individual and we will help you form one in the early stages.
All the sessions will be online, so you will need an internet connection
Register and select one of the challenges. Deadline of registration January 23rd 2022. 
All teams will be provided with information necessary to develop their ideas. 
Mentors from RESPiRES team will be at hand online to help all the teams in Spanish and English. You can see the whole RESPiRES team here.
All teams will submit their ideas (title and summary). 
Ten teams will be selected to go through the final. 
RESPiRES team members will mentor the finalist teams. 
The Ideathon final will take place online in a joint event between the UK and Mexico on 12th February 2022. 

what, where, when?

5-23 Jan Registration
12 February Final event
29 Jan Welcome event
31 Jan Introductory session
6 Feb deadline for ideas submission
7 Feb selection for final

What happens to the ideas?

The authorship of the ideas submitted to the ideathon will belong to the team who develops them.


The ideas developed in the ideathon will contribute to an international research project undertaken in The UK and Mexico.


The ideas will be used in scientific reports of the RESPiRES project, scientific papers and presentations and the authorship of the ideas will be acknowledged (unless you want to remain anonymous).


Get to know other people who, like you, are interested in preserving and taking care of blue spaces.

Be part of the solution to preserve blue spaces.

Why get involved?

Learn about blue spaces and their importance for your city.

The teams that submit their ideas will receive a certificate acknowledging their participation.

Be part of an international research project developed in The UK and Mexico.

And you might even win a prize.......!

Help your city and community to preserve and improve blue-spaces


Who wins?

For the final stage, 10 teams will be selected based on their ideas

In the final session, the 10 finalist teams will deliver a 10 minute presentation of their idea in English or Spanish (7 minute presentation and 3 minute questions by the judging panel).

The format for the presentation is open. 

The winning idea will: 

 ✔ provide potential innovative solutions for one of the challenges          described above

✔ be in line with RESPiRES research project objectives

✔ be possible to scale up/use in different global contexts

The international judging panel will be made up of members of the RESPiRES team and Steering Group.

Three teams will win prizes in shopping vouchers:

  First place £300  

  Second place £150

  Third place £75

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