The TechCrunch Techfugees Hackathon will take place at the Wayra academy on 2nd October from 9am. We invite tech engineers, entrepreneurs and startups together with NGOs and other agencies to work on tech solutions and products to aid both refugees and agencies.
For further updates, follow @Techfugees and sign up to the Facebook group - https://goo.gl/BzXw2S
Dear TechFugee Hackathon attendees
Apologies for the length of this, but this contains important information about what we’d like you to work on at the TechFugees Hackathon.
We are really excited to work with you on this, so please share this with any developers you know who can come and work on these important challenges.
At the end of this email, there is information on the conference on Thursday (the day before the hackathon), if you want to attend that as well.
*** TechFugees Hackathon ***
October 2nd, 9am - 9pm
Wayra London, 2-10 Shropshire House, Capper Street, WC1E 6JA
We are looking forward to seeing you at the Hackathon on October 2nd at Wayra London - thank you for giving up your time to work on this crisis. We will send you a couple of emails between now and then as we confirm details. Bear with us as this is all on a supremely tight deadline
Ed Saperia, Matthew Gardiner and Emma Mulqueeny (Rewired State) are handling the hack for the TechFugees project. Ed an Matthew will be there on the day.
We do have three main challenges for the Hackathon that have been set by Syrian refugees in Berlin as the things they most need help with. We also have three "further ideas" sent to us by aid workers in Calais, where there are now large Refugee encampments.
We’re collecting active projects, research and resources in a hackpad here:
MAIN HACK CHALLENGES:
1. Refugees are being separated from friends and family as they flee Syria. Build a way for them to locate and reunite with each other.
2. There are currently countless incidents of war crimes and crimes against people that are going unrecorded and reported. Build a way to record and report the time and location of crime against refugees.
3. The displaced people of Syria are not represented by anyone and have no democratic collective voice. Build a way for them, and any they choose to represent them, to be heard so that their actual needs are met, and not those we suppose they have.
FURTHER CHALLENGES BASED ON INFORMATION PASSED US BY REFUGEE WORKERS IN CALAIS:
1. Build an application that allows users to work out safe routes of passage, allowing refugees to share safe ways to reach their destination.
2. Build an App that allows refugees to report trouble spots. At present the police in Calais descend unannounced on refugee encampments. There needs to be a way for refugees to be able to warn others that trouble is coming. A large Syrian camp in Calais was closed down in the early hours of Tuesday morning - police went in with teargas and batons, tents were bulldozed and all belongings including personal photographs and passports were taken and binned as the refugees were herded into the main 'Jungle'. There needs to be a way of allowing people to warn each other of such events so that people can at least gather up their personal belongings before the police arrive.
3. Aggregate country-specific asylum and immigration information. Sweden has an excellent website with an asylum 'pre-application' which allows people to try and figure out how probable it is for them to be granted asylum by Sweden should they make it there. Look for ways to scrape this information and produce and API from other country data. Aggregate information that allows people to access info on asylum requirements and procedures and country by country. Information on rights and benefits could help refugees figure out the best place to go. It will also allow those who are not in fear of their lives but are making the journey for economic reasons to get a more realistic idea of what life is like in respective European countries and perhaps make the decision that since their lives are not at risk, they may be better off staying where they are.
4. While it’s true that many refugees have smartphones/internet connectivity and so can be reached directly, we should also consider help we can provide to NGOs or other organisations who are also working on the crisis. We will outline other ideas as we get them from those agencies.
Many of these challenges represent significant risk to life, and therefore rely on anonymity. Your solutions to this challenge should bear that in mind.
Whilst there is access to computers in many refugee centres, mobile appa, whether on the mobile web or nat maps, are going to be the most effective way to help. For obvious reasons Android tends to be the most prevelent mobile OS.
We are also building a platform that we hope will be live by October 2nd for you to submit your prototypes to. We hope to also make it open for submissions until the end of October.
Obviously There is no amazing cash reward for “winning”. However, we will work throughout November to determine the best hacks from those selected at the end of October by actual refugees and displaced people across Europe. Developers of the best applications will be connected directly with refugee groups to iterate through to product by the end of November.
Obviously any IP you develop is yours, the we should make clear that the platform for submissions will be open and we hope you opensource the code on projects to enable them to scale and be iterated.
WHY IS THIS URGENT?
We need to do this before Winter hits. There are families who need to be together come December and the tech community can make that happen. As the days become shorter and night sets ip earlier, the risk to women and children from crimes against their person rises exponentially.
The situation on the ground is very complex. The refugees themselves are very diverse, and they’re distributed across territories with very different capacities for aid, as well as varying political sympathy towards refugees and migrants.
The TechFugees community will come back together in December to see how we can use this platform for further useful things.
So, stand-by for some logistics from Ed and Rewired State for the hack day and platform access.
Thanks you again for participating in this collective effort.
INFORMATION ON TECHFUGEES CONFERENCE
October 1st, 9am - 5.30pm
Skillsmatter at CodeNode, 10 South Place, London, EC2M 7EB
Lunch and coffee/tea will be served.
Speakers so far:
Adam Rodriques, GlobalInitiative.net
Paula Schwarz, StartupBoat
Katharina Dermühl, Migration Hub
Josephine Goube, migreat
Rohan Silva, Second Home
Cliodhnagh Conlon, Ammado.com>
Richard Sergeant, Engineers Without Borders
Anna Kondakhchyan, Oxfam
Anne Kjær Riechert, Refugees On Rails
Gi Fernando, Founders for Good
Dan Sutch, Wearecast
Paul Miller, BethnalGreenventures
Debu Purkayastha, Mercy Corps
Gary Stewart, Wayra
Marianne Bouchart, Hei-da.org
Edward Saperia, Redwired State
Sonia Ben Ali, Urban-refugees.org
Franziska Becker, Hashtagcharity.org
Frank Khan Sullivan, Projecttemphome.com
Christopher T. Mikkelsen, Refunite.org
Pranay Manocha, RefugeeMaps.org
Raphael Mazet, Cliqstart.co
Josephine Goube, Migreat.com
Måns Gårdfeldt, OrphanGift
Murtada Alsaif, Writtenmedicine.com
Bernhard Niesner, Busuu.com
This project is being supported by the following sponsors and partners:
Skillsmatter, the community where you can learn and share skills with thousands of developers passionate about software craftsmanship and progressive technologies.
Wayra UK are Telefónica’s startup accelerator and we help the best entrepreneurs to grow and build successful businesses.
At the forefront of the digital payments revolution, PayPal helps millions to send money without sharing financial information and flexibility. Working alongside PayPal is Braintree, acquired by PayPal in 2013. Braintree’s v.zero SDK powers PayPal, including One Touch, Apple Pay, Bitcoin, across any device.
DataShaka is on a mission to make data easy to work with.
FieldHouse Associates is a communications consultancy working with high growth tech businesses, and their investors and advisors, to help them achieve their next stage of growth.
Gordon & Eden
Gordon & Eden - From high-growth firms to established businesses, we hire executive talent in technology & digital.
Malwarebytes protects people and businesses against malicious online threats that consistently escape detection by traditional anti-virus
Nesta is the UK's innovation foundation, with a mission to help people and organisations bring great ideas to life. We do this by providing investments and grants and mobilising research, networks and skills.
Tech London Advocates
Tech London Advocates is a private sector led coalition of over 1,800 expert individuals from the tech sector and broader community who have committed to championing London’s potential as a world-class hub for tech and digital businesses.
The Exponential Network
The Exponential Network works with social projects and start-ups, supporting them in developing their mission and vision as well as measuring impact and social profit.
Paddle: Giving app developers access to all their favorite tools from a single SDK.
The TechFugees project has been put together by:
Mike Butcher - @mikebutcher
Petra Johansson - @PetraJohansson
Frank Meehan - @frank_meehan
Monique Lunt - @MoniqueMLunt
Josh Russell - @joshr
Robbie Howshall - @robbiehowshall
Edward Woodcock - @IAmFledge
Emma Mulqueeny - @hubmum
Edward Saperia - @edsaperia
Moved by the plight of refugees in Europe, a number of technology industry people have formed a small voluntary team to create the free, non-profit, "Techfugees" conference and hackathon. In the last 48 hours our Facebook Group and Twitter account has exploded, with over 1,000 people from the tech community signing up. There is clearly a huge desire amongst the tech community to get involved. This will be an entirely non-profit event to bring together tech engineers, entrepreneurs and startups together with NGOs and other agencies in order to address the crisis in ways where the technology world can bring its considerable firepower.