2021 Better Working World Data Challenge

Don’t just predict the future. Build a better one.

Join the Awards Show

20 July 2021

1 pm BST (noon GMT)


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The Challenge is now closed

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2021 Better Working World Data Challenge.

Over 8,500 students and young professionals from more than 115 countries took part in the Challenge to develop an automated fire-edge detection and prediction model and help firefighters make more timely and informed decisions, and ultimately helping to save lives, property and biodiversity from the effects of wildfires.

We are delighted to announce our 12 global finalists:

Challenge 1: Fire mapping
  • Hubert Charewicz from Poland
  • Dominik Benk from Czech Republic
  • Zhaowei Han, Zifan Liu, Shuqing He and Bowen Kuang from China
  • Cyndy Amesawu, Franklin Adjei from Ghana
  • Eric Wang, Clément Veyssière, Kevin Xu from France
Challenge 2: Fire behavior
  • Taufiq Husada Daryanto from Indonesia
  • Low Junwei, Chua Yu Hao, B. Nishanth from Singapore
  • Tjia Johan Setiawan from Indonesia
  • Lim Tze Shan (Skyler) from Singapore
  • Dorottya Fuzy, Istvan Kereszy, Krisztián Pomázit, from Hungary & US
  • Franklin Adjei from Ghana

We’ll be announcing our winners at the global awards show on 20 July at 1pm BST (noon GMT), and we wish them all the very best of luck.

Join us to find out who our global winners are by registering on the link below. 

Register here

Portrait of a woman with lantern walking on sand dunes at night

Registration for the 2021 Better Working World Data Challenge is now open 

Do you have the transformative mindset and skillset needed? Join the Data Challenge and find out.

Register here

Photo of judges

Discover the prestigious judges

The judges come from across industry and academia, and include a professional firefighter, data scientists, computer scientists, and even a professional astronomer.

Learn more

Getting started

This year’s challenge has two components:

Challenge 1: Build a system to detect fire-edges in infrared linescan images

Challenge 2: Build a system to map the location and behaviour of fire-edges in satellite images

Both challenges are designed to help streamline the process of bushfire mapping for bushfire authorities. Using data science and advanced analytic tools, your task is to map the location of the fires based on observations in the provided data. Once you have submitted your results, you can continue to refine your model over time to achieve a higher score.

Who can enter

Any university student with an interest in data science can enter and participate. If you have less than two years of professional experience then you can also join the Challenge, but you will need to pay to use Azure.

How to enter

The platform to submit your results will open on 24 March 2021.

You can enter the challenge as an individual or as a team (maximum four people).

You can make multiple submissions (maximum one per day) with your account before the challenge closes.

Submission requirements and evaluation

Note that participants are invited to use whatever technologies and/or methodologies they feel would be most appropriate for the challenge at hand. Your results must be submitted on the platform.

If you are selected as a finalist, you will be provided instructions on how to submit your results and supporting documentation, which should include an explanation of methodologies and algorithms used, along with any code leveraged, assumptions made and any insights identified.

Finalists will also be required to submit a video presentation of their work. Evaluation criteria will be shared once the finalists are announced.

You will also be required to provide any code and external datasets leveraged, so be sure you have used only publicly available data and that your code and methodology is robust and repeatable.


All submissions must be made by midnight, 15 June 2021 (GMT). The top 60 global finalists will be notified and required to present a video with their findings, methodologies and assumptions, and provide any artefacts such as code base to the judges as requested. Finalists will also be required to attend the global virtual awards ceremony in the first half of July 2021.

Register here

Portrait of a Hannah Fry

Meet the award-winning host

We’re excited that the event will be hosted by Dr Hannah Fry, Associate Professor in the Mathematics of Cities at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London, and also a best-selling author, award-winning science presenter and the host of numerous popular podcasts and television shows.

She’ll be interviewing the winners and runners-up, as well as quizzing the judges on exactly why they won. We’re looking forward to the judges being put on the spot with some gentle grilling.

Find out more

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