The Data Science Initiative answer the question, just how powerful is technology for good?

The ‘Hackathon for Good’ (17th and 18th of November, at the Hague Tech) was a two-day interactive showcase of the power of IT and technology, particularly exemplifying the impact that technology can have for peace, justice and humanitarian action.

The event was a huge success. There were 27 teams consisting of more than 125 tech wizards, hailing from over 22 different nationalities across the globe; every one of them motivated to challenge themselves, and make a meaningful difference for peace, justice and security. They worked tirelessly over the weekend to try and find innovative data solutions for problems ranging from humanitarian disasters, to fake news. Each of the challenges were set by some of the biggest organisations in data and crisis management, including the Red Cross, NATO’s communication and information agency, NCIA, and the International Criminal Court.

This was the first open event coordinated by the Data Science Initiative, an organisation made up of tech experts from institutions all over The Hague. The DSI aims to innovate the way in which we use big data and artificial intelligence, using the power of technology to promote and uphold peace, justice and security on a global scale.

This event demonstrated how impactful this innovative way of using data is, exceeding even the DSI’s expectations. The winners, Monkey Code were able to use data from satellites and social media to not only identify areas susceptible to land grabbing, but come up with a solution that could be utilised by end users.

 

The Humanity Hub’s member Rutger Hoftse, from the World Resource Institute and part of the team PWC2, won the challenge set by the Red Cross and came third in the competition overall. They were able to innovate solutions to help with disaster relief efforts, using data to map vulnerable areas and improve the efficiency of response teams. For the Red Cross, this solution could help them save more lives in areas affected by natural disasters and conflicts. Rutger’s team efforts landed them a cash prize of €2500. Speaking of the day, Rutger was quick to compliment the Hackathon; “the Hackathon was extremely well organised and my team was wonderful. We had complimentary skill sets!”

Here at the Humanity Hub we have been incredibly impressed with this event and the work DSI are doing. We can’t wait to see what they do in the future and help collaborate more successful projects!

Rutger himself will also be the first subject of our new Humans of the Hub blog page, keep an eye out for our postings!