World Humanitarian Summit #Hack4Humanity Hackathon
On 22-23 May, 2016, technologists, innovators, entrepreneurs, change makers, creatives and more from all over the world galvanized together in Istanbul, Turkey for the 24 hour #Hack4Humanity hackathon at the World Humanitarian Summit. Over 150 participants representing more than 30 countries united as a community to tackle some of the most challenging issues faced by global refugee crisis including translation, job creation, education and food & water provision.
Day one of the hackathon launched with inspirational speeches given by UNHCR innovation representative, John Warnes, Revive Missions Founder, Wolfgang Haupt, President of TENT and Chobani Foundation, Ruma Bose, World Food Programme innovation Head of Innovation Accelerator, Bernhard Kowatsch, Madge Thomas, Global policy and advocacy manager of Global Citizen, Hamoudeh, refugee and architect, as well as leading technology representatives from Microsoft, Google, Ericsson, and IBM. This set the stage with unprecedented ambition combined with unspoken respect for Refugees, leading to the emergence of 10 different disciplinary hacking teams with a desire to co-create possibilities and hope for global refugees. The energy and excitement amongst the hackers was reflected in their tireless efforts throughout the night, pausing only for a musical performance by New York based DJ and guitarist, EDO.
Day two of #Hack4Humanity started with an exciting discussion lead by Techfugees founder and Editor at Large of Techcrunch, Mike Butcher who believes that technologists are artists. Followed by a vulnerable and personal sharing of his own life journey as a refugee, Big Data University Founder and CTO of IBM, Leon Katsnelson. The ten teams then demoed their hacks to a noteworthy panel of judges representing Microsoft, World Food Programme innovation, UNDP, Techfugees, IBM, and Ericsson. While all teams presented unique prototypes, the winning place went to Cropcart, who within 24 hours designed an impressive app that solves the asymmetry of information between small scale food producers and local traders in developing countries. Thus allowing refugees to purchase and sell food crops with the ability to bargain for fair wage prices without language barriers.
The #Hack4Humaity hackathon was only a stepping stone to the future possibilities that we can create as a community. On june 20, World Refugee Day, a global social campaign will launch to raise awareness and show support for refugees, as well as a global solution hub. Between June 20 and August 19, the world’s most compassionate developers, designers, innovators and change-makers are invited to join UN agencies, global brands and governments to hack for humanity by uploading their solutions to be demoed on August 19. The winning prototype will be announced on September 19, during the UN Assembly, United Nations Summit on Refugees and Migrants in New York City.
To pledge your support and join the worldwide #Hack4Humanity community, please visit http://www.refugeesnow.solutions/ to sign up and donate your voice via social media and stand with Refugees.
Thank you to the judges, local Technical Ambassadors and mentors from Google, Ericsson, IBM, and Microsoft. Thank you to UN Agencies, Unite Labs, World Food Programme Innovation, UNHCR Innovation, UN OCHA, and UNDP for partnering with Hack4Humanity. Thank you also to our partners, Global Citizen, 500 Startups, Spark, INK Strategies, Boston Consulting Group, Ericsson, Facebook, Techfugees, Microsoft, TENT, Chobani Foundation and Eptron. Without your contribution, the hackathon would not have been made possible!
Lastly, thank you to the hackers for joining us from all corners of the world in Istanbul and lending your capabilities, creativity, and passion to create solutions and hope for global refugees!