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Hacking4Humanity: Devising Tech solutions to Development Problems

From November 24 to 26, the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) co-sponsored Hacking4Humanity, a “hackathon” (hacking + marathon), where participants gathered to devise technological solutions to the problems faced by refugees, working in small groups to imagine, construct and present viable projects.

The event, which took place at the GCSP, was co-organised by Project Integration, a student-created initiative which teaches computer programming to refugees and asylum seekers in Geneva, and Girls in Tech Switzerland, a non-profit focused on empowering girls and women who are passionate about technology. The GCSP's Gender and Inclusive Security Leader, Fleur Heyworth served as a competition judge.

Civil Engineer, Caglayan Sandal was part of the winning team, Water Inception, which explored how to make use of Atmospheric Water Generators, a technology which can produce up to 7,000 litres of potable water per day by condensing humidity from air, to provide off-grid water installations to refugee camps.

 “We always hear about everything happening in the world about refugees and different immigration crises,” said Sandal, who also participated in the event with his wife, Bahar Sandal, a Board Member at Girls in Tech Switzerland and a member of the team Project Integration. “I wanted to do something and bring value to the solution and Hack-a-Thon was a good place to start."

Hacking4Humanity also featured a lecture from Graduate Institute professor Melanie Kolbe on the challenges and opportunities associated with refugee integration.

Visit Hacking4Humanity and watch the event video below.