Roelf van Til, helicopter
Initiator and project leader Roelf van Til. (Photo: Jos Wassink)

Cool Down the Planet presents challenges to counteract global warming. Roelf van Til leads the project.

How can you boost the number of trucks on hydrogen, make the economy more circular, or design the ultimate energy island? These are the current challenges on the website. The competition is open to all, says project leader and initiator Roelf van Til. But TU Delft students may have the benefits of relevant knowledge and an active network.
The website was launched last week, and the running times of the different projects vary. The involvement of commercial companies has enabled the organisation to put up serious awards in the range of thousands of Euros.
The input in the first round may be a text (600 words max.) with illustrations or a short video to explain your idea.

Crowd engineering
The three winners in each category go through to the second round in which they gain access to the website which they can use as an open platform to share and develop their ideas. Van Til calls the process ‘crowd engineering’.
In the third and final round, the candidates will process the input to finalise their plan. The prizes will be awarded based on the results from the third round.
An earlier version of the climate change competition was launched in June 2017. Five students, a moderator, and Van Til interacted on the website over a three week period.
But the number of reactions (around 50) was a bit disappointing. 
“It was a useful experience,” says Van Til. He has made some changes to the current version.

  1. Multiple challenges
  2. Variation in topics
  3. Connection with market partners
  4. Adding serious awards

Van Til plans to add three more challenges in the summer, and another three by the end of the year.
Students can either check the website or follow social media on #cooldowntheplanet.