Article written by Christian Alexander Andersen – TF Denmark co-lead
On October 23rd to the 25th, with Techfugees Denmark, we hosted our first hackathon in Copenhagen. The hack was made in collaboration with the DIGINAUTS research project and was held at the University of Copenhagen and the IT University. Together with a group engaged hackers we worked on creating better conditions for refugees in Denmark, specifically at the end of their journey and the beginning of living in Denmark.
The hack was held in connection with the DIGINAUTS conference, which gathers researchers from across Europe, who study how migrants use technology. The DIGINAUTS partnership and conference is a collaboration between the University of Copenhagen, the IT University, Aalborg University, and the Velux Foundation. This partnership was responsible for providing rooms and provisions during the hack.
The collaboration DIGINAUTS also gave hackers a chance to ask questions and find inspiration from researchers. On day two of the hack, we were joined by a team of mentors, who gave technical assistance to the hackers and helped make their ideas razor sharp. The final day was kicked off with a practice run of the presentation in front of our friends from Hack Your Future, who asked great questions and challenged the teams before the final presentation. During the early afternoon, we met up with the conference, who provided judges for the final, and a chance to celebrate 48 hours of hard work and the great ideas that had been developed.
In the end, after a long votation, the winners were team Splash. Splash is a platform for refugees and Danes to meet and exchange ideas. With the initial insight being the bridge-building nature of humor and it’s the ability to bring people together to make the new and unknown less intimidating. The solution will be rolled out through partnerships with schools and organizations. During the hack, the team already got their first positive feedback from partners, and they are continuing to make the idea into reality. In second place was the idea Pasarán, which helps to prevent illegal pushback. You can read more about them here.
We were very happy to see the support from local organizations such as Hack Your Future, the Danish Refugee Council and Trampoline House. In the future, we hope to continue developing the Techfugees community in Denmark.