Students of Rome Business School among the winners of the first Hackathon at FAO

Two students from our Master in Agribusiness Management were among the winning team of this intense and prestigious competition organized by the world-renowned institution.

Rome, May the 20th 2019

Mwape K. Mubukwanu and Dimitrios Makrygiannis, two students from Rome Business School’s Master in Agribusiness Management, reached the remarkable accomplishment of winning the very first Hackathon at FAO along with the rest of their team.

In collaboration with the PRIMA Foundation, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Future Food Institute (FFI) organized the first Hackathon based on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations Agenda 2030 (SDGs), hosted at EXCO 2019, the International Cooperation Expo (May 15th-17th). Among the participants, two students of the Rome Business School, Mwape K. Mubukwanu and Dimitris Makrigiannis separated themselves from other candidates by being part of the winning team. 

Hack SDGs is a marathon to “hack” the challenge of facilitating the achievement and implementation of the SDGs in the agri-food sector, through international cooperation. Within EXCO2019, SDGs are an opportunity for the private sector and a lever to identify innovative solutions for development cooperation actors represented by national and international agencies, governments, financial institutions, civil society, and the private sector.

The initiative involved about 60 participants (including university students, researchers, teachers, and innovators) from all over the world, distributed on six thematic tables corresponding to the Sustainable Development Goals 2, 4, 5, 11, 12 and 13. The purpose was to propose innovative and concrete ideas in response to the challenges of sustainability. 


The project that won the first prize, aims at combating malnutrition in Zambia through the optimal use of local resources. The group consisted of people from 5 different countries, including Greece, Zambia, Tunisia, India, and Italy. In particular, the Greek team was represented by Basilis Antonopoulos, Agricultural Engineer in Southern Greece and Postgraduate Student at the Athens University of Economics and Business,  Dimitris Makrigiannis, a Postgraduate Student from Rome Business School, and Charlotte Hesnard, Digital Account Manager, who are awarded the first title that is a global distinction. The organizing institutions are now looking for funds to finance the project.

The team was selected by the members of a jury composed of a representative of the Italian PRIMA Secretariat and professionals of the agriculture industry, regarding their effort to provide innovative solutions for resolving the problem of Goal 2: Zero Hunger. The award was given in the presence of the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Emanuela Del Re, the Director General of International Cooperation and Development of the European Commission, Stefano Manservisi, and the Deputy Director General of the FAO Technical Cooperation Department, Roberto Ridolfi. It is also worthy to mention that Mwape K. Mubukwanu, a member of the winning team and student of the RBS, won a scholarship for the summer school in New York from the Future Food institution.

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