Over the weekend of June 6-7, 2015, over 100 technologists, designers, makers, thinkers, and tinkerers came together to develop and pitch solutions to a very real issue in the Los Angeles community: water shortage and the severe drought.  

The inaugural Futurethon event, Saving Water, took place at the LADWP headquarters in downtown Los Angeles, as a partnership between Deutsch, USC's Annenberg Innovation Lab, and Global Shapers, in collaboration with Hack for LA and the Los Angeles Mayor's office.

The event kicked off with a series of speakers, most notably Los Angeles mayor, Eric Garcetti, who inspired participants, reminding them that “technology isn’t just about outputs, it’s about outcomes.” 

Following the opening remarks, Futurethon participants broke into three- to five-member groups, and worked for the next 48 hours to develop innovative solutions to reduce water use, reclaim water sources, and remind Angelenos to conserve water.  Additionally, participants in Hack for LA’s simultaneous Hackathon worked on solutions for immigration, transportation, and healthcare.  

Hackathon and Futurethon submissions were judged on originality, sharability, feasibility, potential for impact, and gut reaction.  Of 14 Futurethon submissions, seven were chosen to be presented to all Futurethon and Hackathon participants and judges.  These judges, including the Annenberg Innovation Lab’s Managing Director Erin Reilly, selected and announced the winning groups following the presentations.

 Erin Reilly announcing a Futurethon winner. 

The judges selected Terracotta, a startup that will help users build drought-friendly yards, from design, to pricing, to connection with a professional landscaper, for the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab fellowship.  Terracotta's creators, Camille Kanengiser, Catherine Chooljian, Max Pittsley, and Mehrdad Mahdavi, will receive resources and guidance from innovation lab leadership as they build their idea to a fully-functioning company over the coming months.


Deutsch selected two winners, as well.  First place went to Save a Californian, an online campaign whose mission is "to leverage Californian’s infamous vanity to create a national movement that raises awareness and donates water through Change the Course." 

The runner-up was Dew Good, an atmospheric water condenser and irrigation device that helps users upgrade and sustain their gardens by using solar-powered lights to water a 10'x10' plot.


Check out our social media recap of the fantastic weekend-long event:


For more information, visit: lafuturethon.org