Winners of TC Disrupt Hackathon will help refugees with education, identity and social inclusion

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The TechCrunch Disrupt London Hackathon was the launchpad for three ideas, which will help refugees with social inclusion, access to education, and keeping track of their identity even if essential papers get lost.

Running for a total of 24 hours and taking place in the run-up to the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, the hackathon attracted nearly 300 participants. The three winners selected by Techfugees from eleven competing teams used IBM Watson, Twilio and Twitter APIs to develop ideas which will help refugees with social inclusion, gain access to education, and show proof of identity.


Who were the winners?

  • RefuTweet

RefuTweet aims to provide refugees on the move with the help they need by connecting with local individuals sympathetic to their cause.

The messages are parsed through IBM Watson to extract both the location and request. RefuTweet then searches Twitter in a radius of up to 16 miles around the area and identifies all handles which have tweeted about the refugee crisis in the past week.

A personality insight analysis is run on all relevant Twitter profiles to identify specific users in the area who are sympathetic to the refugee cause and exhibit personality traits such as love, harmony, idealism, sympathy, and altruism.

RefuTweet sends out friendly tweets and a link, asking the top three users if they would like to help a refugee in their area who is in need. If the link is clicked and confirmed a message is sent back to the refugee alerting them that someone is willing to help and how to arrange a meeting.

Watch the video and find out more about the team: Harley Katz, Brett DeWoody, Dhaval Patel, George Stefanis, Michael Curtis.

  • ResID

When refugees are in a foreign country they often have very limited papers with text information, papers which can be easily lost or stolen. ResID helps people never lose track of who they are.
Watch the video and find out more about the team: Danil Gontovnik, Andrey Staroseltsev, Jon Miller.

  • Sensei Hub

Sensei Hub provides a simple capture mobile app that photographs and records student test papers.

Computer vision understands the test paper results, and instantly records this against the student and test IDs from the one photograph.

A facial recognition feature is also available where the student doesn’t have their student ID. This is stored locally in the teachers own mobile device until they are within wifi and an upload to the SenseiHub.online repository can be completed and the test data securely archived.

Watch the video and find out more about the team: Luka Topolovec, Blaz Magdic, Tine Postuvan, Joanna Alpe.

 

What’s next for the winning teams?

Techfugees has offered to support the three teams in developing their prototype into a working MVP with the help of partners TechHub, AltCity and TheToolBox. They will also support field trips to Calais and Lebanon.

After the winners were announced Josephine Goube, CEO of Techfugees, said:

“The prototypes that have been presented have the potential to provide relief to millions of refugees, because unlike distributing aid, tech solutions scale. We were delighted to see so many teams pitching solutions and so many of them really understanding the potential of AI, chatbots and voice recognition systems, thus saving time for refugees and NGOs by automating many time-consuming tasks. Especially in the domain of education, knowing that one out of two refugees is a child, we can’t stress the importance of the need to create solutions that scale now and can be deployed as soon as possible. A child that does not go to school for years will find it extremely hard to catch up later and may never get another chance.”

As part of the hackathon, Techfugees partner Lebanon-based entrepreneur and AltCity CEO, David Munir Nabti, mentored the hackers taking on the Techfugees challenges.

“It was great to see so much energy at the hackathon from teams working to build scalable solutions for refugees and other marginalized communities. We’re excited to see how we can mobilize some of that great talent and energy to support innovation emerging from refugees themselves. If we can build stronger links between these innovators and entrepreneurs and the refugee communities, we can make great strides towards addressing deep challenges that affect us in Europe, the Middle East, and beyond.”

Elizabeth Varley, CEO of TechHub, explained:

“Technology has the ability to transform lives, from everyday experiences to times of crisis. As an advocate of diversity and inclusion in tech, TechHub is delighted to partner with Techfugees in recognising the efforts of entrepreneurs seeking to improve access and opportunities for refugees. We look forward to having the winning team as part of the TechHub community to support them in their awesome work.”

More information

See what else went on at the TechCrunch Disrupt London Hackathon
Find out more about TechCrunch Disrupt

TF France: Data for the good of refugees

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By Aline Mayard

How many migrants are there? Where do they come from? What routes do they take? What do they need? How do they integrate in their new countries? What are their final destinations? Who are they? – To help migrants, you need to understand them. And that’s the biggest challenge.

tffrance_dataforgoodScreen capture of The Migrant Files

Data enables us to better understand migrations and migrants’ needs.

Because migration is rarely declared and is managed by governmental organizations, NGOs and associations don’t work together and lack funding, professionals and volunteers don’t have access to the data they need to analyze behaviors and obtain accurate information.

On September 15th, we, Techfugees France, organized with Data4good a talk to raise awareness on the importance of data to help refugees. A mixed crowd of analysts, migration professionals, and volunteers were there.

Even if obtaining information on migration is extremely difficult because sharing info about their life can put migrants in danger (human trafficking, repression from their home countries, illegality…), it is essential in order to offer services and products that answer migrants’ needs.

Data journalism

Data journalism is a type of journalism based on the use of data. The journalistic company J++ used this approach to investigate migration.

During our event, their CTO, Pierre Roméra, presented The Migrant Files, a consortium of European journalists who investigated for two years on the cost of the fight against immigration. A first investigation, called Counting the Dead, counted the number of people who died trying to get into Europe and highlighted the most dangerous places to cross the border for migrants. A second one, called The Money Trail, showed the financial cost of European politics to stop immigration. The results of those investigations could help politicians adapt their politics to save lives and money.

Gathering the data wasn’t easy. For Counting the Dead, they had to use the data gathered by journalists and migration organizations. Because it isn’t their job, they have a hard time structuring that data.

The Migrant Files team had to structure the database, and reformat and cross-check the data. Then they had to delete the duplicates and check via press articles if those deaths truly did happen and if more info was  available. A daunting job that reminds us that time, patience, and technical knowledge are needed to create a clean and usable database.

In the end, the consortium counted 30,000 deaths since 2000. The second investigation estimated that border protection cost 1.3 billion Euro at least since 2000. Those figures are imperfect, many more deaths and expenses weren’t taken into account for a lack of information.

So what is the use of this information?

Giving journalists the info they needed to become experts on migration and raise awareness wasn’t the main goal. J++ wanted to prove that the political institutions could do this as well but simply didn’t want to gather this information.

Data guiding social entrepreneurs

Data is useful in many other sectors. Techies could also exploit the data power to evaluate the migrants’ needs and improve their products and services.

Data for good is a non-profit that gathers over 250 data scientists looking to volunteer to help solve social problems.

One of their initiatives is a 10-week accelerator that enables social business managers to be followed by mentors (Bayes Impact, Snips, Etalab), to attend workshops, and to use a workspace at Liberté Living Lab in Paris. The program ends with a Demo Day that welcomes 200 to 300 people.

In early October, Data for good kicked off the second season of this acceleration program and two migration-related projects were selected:

  • Basefugees is the platform, launched in beta in June 2016 by Techfugees, that mobilizes the tech community and helps NGOs deal with the challenges of this crises.
  • Quickbed is a free platform that connects immigration players with emergency housing solutions to allow cheaper and smarter integration. Thanks to Data for good, founder Paul-Emmanuel Levy will bring to life a project called Newbed. Newbed spots hotels that could host migrants.

Now, have YOU thought about how you can leverage data to improve your solution?

By Aline Mayard

 

Related event

TF France: Data4Good event in September 2016

Techfugees at TechCrunch Disrupt Hackahon: donate to win your ticket!

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Saturday, December 3 at 12:30PM – Sunday, December 4 at 2:00PM

Copper Box Arena

London UK

Techfugees is partnering with TechCrunch Disrupt at one of the most anticipated hackathons of the year – TechCrunch Disrupt London Hackathon 2016! Together with other amazing partners – Twilio, IBM Watson, Amazon Alexa, etc. – we will present our key challenges and support teams during this 24-hour contest. The contest will be announced on the Hackathon website and on-site during the opening remarks. Techfugees will also provide and present the prize during the award ceremony on Sunday, December 4. 

For a chance to be part of it, make a minimum donation of £25 to our crowdfunding campaign with a TC Disrupt reference by December 1, 2016 – the deadline has been extended!

And if you donate £100 and above with a TC Disrupt Conference reference – you could win one of the 12 tickets to the Disrupt Conference worth £1200 each!!! Please find more information below

Donate by December 1, 2016 and win:

  • Donate £25… enter a draw to win 1 of 10 TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon tickets happening in London this December 2016.
  • Donate £100… enter a draw to win 1 of 12 TechCrunch Disrupt Conference tickets (Face Value £1200) happening in London this December 2016.
  • Donate £500… enter a draw to win 1 of 2 TechCrunch Disrupt VIP Dinner Tickets on Monday 5 December — £2,000/each value, AND be on our thank you wall of donors publicly available on our website and receive exclusive free tickets to all Techfugees events.

tfattcdhackathon

About TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon 

Preceding the Disrupt Conference is Hackathon weekend on December 3-4, where  developers and engineers descend from all over the world to take part in a 24-hour hacking endurance test. Teams join forces to build a new product, present it on the Disrupt stage to a panel of expert judges and an audience of tens of thousands and compete for a variety of prizes, including the chance to win free tickets to the Disrupt Conference. Products created at the Disrupt Hackathon have seen great success beyond the event, like GroupMe which was created overnight and ultimately acquired by Skype for $80M.

About TechCrunch Disrupt

TechCrunch Disrupt is the world’s leading authority in debuting revolutionary startups, introducing game-changing technologies, and discussing what’s top of mind for the tech industry’s key innovators. Disrupt gathers the best and brightest entrepreneurs, investors, hackers, and tech fans for on-stage interviews, the Startup Battlefield competition, a 24-hour Hackathon, Startup Alley, Hardware Alley, and After Parties.

Can you help Project Elpis increase the impact of their solar hubs?

Posted on Posted in Infrastructure, News

By Samuel Kellerhals

Project Elpis has developed six solar-powered hubs, which are charging 18,000 phones per month in Greece. The goal is to upgrade these hubs so refugees can access educational, legal and other useful content securely and reliably. Find out three ways you can help.

elpis1 elpis2

We are Project Elpis (Greek for Hope) and we have developed a solar-powered charging station for refugee camps that charges up to 120 mobile phones every single day. We are upgrading our design and will include a Raspberry Pi 3 as a Wireless Access Point within our solar hubs so that users can connect to it over a wireless network and access locally stored educational, legal and other useful content securely and reliably. This content will include a myriad of useful mobile applications, along with educational content such as a library of books that refugees will be able to access on their mobile phones!

Our platform will provide a place where humanitarian digital service providers will be able to directly disseminate their content to refugee communities, by by-passing the knowledge and connectivity gap often encountered when first trying to reach out to refugees with an innovative humanitarian digital service. Currently, there are six solar hubs in operation, charging more than 18,000 phones per month in Greece. The aim is to expand our impact and upgrade all our units with the Raspberry Pi’s at the end of February 2017.

How can you help?

  1. Content ideas

We welcome ideas, feedback and advice from the Techfugees community on what content we should integrate on our platform. What would be most useful? Do share your thoughts.

  1. Tell us about your humanitarian digital services

Would you like to feature your own services on our platform? We are seeking voluntary help from programmers, developers, web designers and anyone who would like to partner with us on our platform to disseminate their digital services to refugees.

  1. Help us develop our user interface

We’re looking for people skilled in web development to help us build a web-based interface similar to the one pictured. We need to lay out the content in a simple manner and offer the option to search.

This includes the following actions:

  1. Setting up an efficient server and ensuring its security and reliability. Our current server of choice is Jetty, which is built in with Pippo (pictured).
  2. Ensuring the Wireless Access Point of Raspberry Pi 3 is reliable and adjusted to the anticipated load.
  3. Developing the website to display the content and setting up a database.

Our primary criterion is performance, since the connection is going to be limited in speed and capability. Therefore, we want to develop the application as lightweight and efficient as possible, while keeping it maintainable.

Our choice for a web framework is Java Pippo. Since the same criteria apply to the database, we want to develop with H2. For the user interface, we want to keep it simple and intuitive, both for user experience and performance reasons.

  1. Setting up automated deployment. We want to be able to set up any new Raspberry with the help of automated deployment. This should make it very easy to keep the different Raspberries across developers in sync as well.
  2. Ensuring the Raspberry is running on minimal possible power consumption. This would include disabling unnecessary interfaces and removing unnecessary packages, possibly doing other tweaking as well.
  3. Measuring the server and Raspberry performance and power consumption for statistics. This could be useful to us in order to know where we could improve, and to people doing similar projects. Also, we want to keep logs of user activity.

Keep in touch with Project Elpis

If you can help with the website build, have ideas for content or would like to put your own humanitarian digital services on our platform, please get in touch!

Looking forward to hearing from you all!

Project Elpis Team, Students at the University of Edinburgh

elpislogo

Data for Development workshop focuses on health, agriculture and refugees

Posted on Posted in Events, News

By Michele Tizzoni

Find out what happened at the one-day workshop Data for Development in Milan, the second of three events looking at how data science can support organisations that work to make the world a better place.

The one-day workshop Data for Development was the second of a series of three events looking at how data science can support organisations that work to make the world a better place.

Held at the Cariplo Factory in Milan, about 60 people came along – about 75% were representatives of NGOs working in the international development sector, plus we had lots of people from academia, companies like Vodafone and the IT sector.

What was the thinking behind the workshop?

The workshops were organised by me, Daniela Paolotti and Ciro Cattuto. We are research scientists and we work at ISI Foundation, where Ciro is the scientific director of the Institute. Three Italian foundations are supporting the project: Fondazione Cariplo, Fondazione CRT and Compagnia di San Paolo.

Our research is highly interdisciplinary and we have a core expertise in data science. We work on network theory, computational epidemiology, machine learning. With these events, we want to identify issues that are relevant for non-profit organisations and that can be tackled using the power of data science.

datafordev1

Who was speaking?

We had four great speakers:

  • Josephine Goube, Techfugees
  • Giulio Quaggiotto, Nesta UK
  • Erin Akred, DataKind
  • Natalia Adler, UNICEF

You can also download the slides of their presentations and take a look at the Storify of the event to see their highlights!

What did people take away from the event?

After the talks, we organised three working groups on three different topics: Health, Agriculture, Refugees.

The goal of the working groups was to come up with ideas about data-driven projects that could impact the work of the organisations that were present. We ended up with some good ideas and some case studies that will be further discussed in the next weeks.

When’s the next event?

There will be a third workshop in Torino on 15 December 2016 (please note this is a change from the original date of 16 December). And we will keep in touch with the participants through a mailing list, to have more face-to-face meetings and design the pilot studies we initially defined during the event.

How can people contact you?

Please visit the website

Register for more info here

ARctic Challenge hackathon brings together apps and augmented reality

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By Santosh Hejmadi

“There is such a buzz amidst the silence of brilliant minds all working together for a common goal.” Santosh Hejmadi from TF Sweden explains what happened at the ARctic Challenge, the first Techfugees hackathon to take place in Sweden.

dsc_9429

Who took part in the ARctic Challenge?

We had 50 participants including people from tech companies, along with immigrants and students from various parts of the world studying at the nearby Luleå Technical University (LTU). They came from Skellefteå city, Umeå city as well as Lövånger, Jörn, Skelleftehamn – this is where most of the refugees live.

It all took place over the weekend of 19 November 2016 at The Great Northern, Skellefteå’s new innovation arena, and was run by Skelleftea Digital Alliance and the Smart Sense Region Project in collaboration with the municipality of Skellefteå, Smart Growth, Science City Skellefteå, Luleå University of Technology, and Techfugees.

What happened on the day?

One of the tasks for the participants was to suggest in augmented reality apps that can help newcomers and refugees integrate into society.

The participants developed some amazing apps which provided smart solutions for residents and immigrants alike. They covered an impressive mix of topics:

  • immigrant integration
  • natural resources
  • renewables
  • visitors/tourism
  • disabilities, particularly focusing on blindness
  • language training and learning

We started off with eight teams, including two teams whose members were refugees themselves. However, one of these teams could not come on day two so the final count was seven.

dsc_9332 dsc_9402

Who were the winners?

Whilst all of the apps were interesting, one finalist and one runner-up were selected by a jury of four.

First prize went to Skellefteåll who developed an interactive game for children, tourists and immigrants to get to know Skelleftea. You take a picture of a building or an object in town, and the app recognizes the object and tells you what it is. You also get points by collecting the items.

On the team: Olga Rybnytska, Felipe Leon, Victor Araujo, Atefeh Maleki, and Chandara Chea.

The runners-up were Team AD-HOC with their app Sortly, which helps with recycling. You read a QR code on a bin with your mobile phone and see pictures and text in your chosen language explaining what to put in the bin. You can also read barcodes on packages and find out whether you can recycle it at home or if you have to take it to the recycling station.

On the team: James Zhou, Greger Burman, Christopher Lundberg, Mattias Svedjevik and Simon Larsson.

What did people say about the Arctic Challenge?

We got some lovely comments!

A participant from Brazil

It was really nice indeed. I liked everything. The organization was amazing. Thank you for everything.

Bengt Ivansson, Head of the Business Development Office, Skellefteå Kommun

I’m really happy and proud to see so many different nationalities creating magic for people entering and starting their new life here in Sweden. It fits well with the municipality’s priorities on digitalisation, entrepreneurship and integration.

Nazia Hussain – a visitor who helped at the Hackathon

There is such a buzz amidst the silence of brilliant minds all working together for a common goal here at The Great Northern.

You can also read write-ups of the event in the local press:

What’s happening next?

“Some of the proposals will be presented to the municipality of Skellefteå and the plan is that we will organize more similar hackathons”, said Emina Kovacevic. innovation manager at Skelleftea Science City.

How can people contact you?

Take a look at the ARctic Challenge website

Techfugees partnered with Startup Weekend Amman and UNICEF Jordan on refugee challenges

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Software developers, designers and entrepreneurs of all ages competed in a 52-hours Startup Weekend event in Amman, Jordan, to develop innovative business solutions. Techfugees worked with UNICEF Jordan & Oasis500 to create a refugee track to the event – for participants to pitch innovative ideas to help refugees

Techfugees Amman Hack Winners Profugees

Techfugees in partnership with the team of Startup Weekend Amman, launched a refugees track to the event which took place on 17th-19th November at ZINC, Zain’s incubator space. Supported by UNICEF Jordan and Oasis500, three teams came to pitch for the track. The winner of the refugee track, ProFugees, a crowd-funding platform for refugees’ stories, won three months of weekly coaching and mentoring from Oasis500’s Chief Coach.

The weekend event brought together young software developers, designers and entrepreneurs, aged between 12 to 30, all from the region – migrants and refugees included.

Eva Kaplan Techfugees Refugee Event

In line with Techfugees’ events, the track aimed at developing local innovative & tech solutions for refugees.The challenge was to provide refugee kids with a voice, as explained by UNICEF Jordan’s Innovation specialist, Eva Kaplan:

“Anywhere in the world, when you pick up a newspaper, you will see a story about refugees.  Most of those stories will be negative. In addition, all over the world, government officials are making decisions that impact the lives of refugees.  The voices of refugees are rarely heard in these conversations.  They do not have the opportunity to tell their own stories, and they do not have the ability to provide their perspective on the issues that impact their lives. How can we use technology to amplify and elevate the voices of refugee children?  How can we make sure that those stories and perspectives are heard?”

15123429_1373396642672506_8641876401562280292_o

The winning team, Profugees, led by Hassan Al-Nouri, presented a prototype of a crowd-funding platform for young refugees. Here is how it works: a young refugee can pitch their story to a content creator (video producer, writer, journalists) and these content producers will create a whole crowd-funding campaign online around the story – this will generate revenue for the refugee and for the content producer. This enables for stories of young refugees and dreams to be more visible and potentially financially supported.

Two other teams pitched projects beyond the initial topic of young refugees’ voices, and found creative ways to provide innovative shelter solutions and education opportunities to refugees.

Techfugees Amman REfugees smart tent

Refugee Smart Tent (R.S.T.) wants to make camp tents that are self-sustained with solar powered energy, insulated against flood and equipped with a smart beacon, that can alert the administrator of the camp about emergency issues.

Study First, is an app that provides online homework content, controlled by local teachers, in arabic – and at the same time shuts down all social media applications on the device – so the student cannot be distracted while studying.

Want to know more about Techfugees’ next event and how to get involved? Check our calendar of events – or simply your city’s Techfugees local chapter.

Donate to Techfugees & win tickets to TechCrunchDisrupt Hackathon

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Techfugees is giving away 10 tickets to the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon 2016 (3-4 December) to its members and we want you to be part of it! For a chance to get one, make a minimum donation of £25 to our crowdfunding campaign with a TC Disrupt reference by midnight on November 29, 2017. We will be picking the 10 winners at random and notifying them via email.

Plus,

Donate £100… enter a draw to win 1 of 12 TechCrunch Disrupt London 2016 Conference – tickets worth £1200 each.

Donate £500… enter a draw to win 2 x VIP TechCrunch Disrupt Conference Dinner tickets on Monday 5 December, worth £2,000 each!

…AND be on our thank you wall of donors publicly available on our website and receive exclusive free tickets to all Techfugees events!

Donate to Techfugees to help us enable and coordinate the tech community’s response to improving the lives of refugees.
https://uk.gofundme.com/donate2techfugees

Thank you so much for your support and good luck!

#HacktheCamp Hackathon in Athens – December 2-4, 2016

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Impact Hub Athens, the Onassis Cultural Center and the U.S. Embassy in Athens are joining forces for Hack the Camp, a two-part hackathon on refugee and integration challenges. Hackathon solutions and outcomes will focus primarily on the refugee and migrant populations currently in Greece, and aid organizations offering services to refugees. The event is supported by Techfugees Athens.

Programmers, designers, social entrepreneurs, humanitarian workers, educators, artists and other interested professionals are all invited to work together and find sustainable and scalable solutions for and with refugees and migrants in Greece. Migrant and refugee populations are also invited to participate in the process, voice their concerns, and share their knowledge and expertise.

Hack the Camp will be comprised of two events: #MeetTheHackers event on 21-22 October 2016 at Diplareios School, where experts will announce challenges and methodology while participants will form teams and start brainstorming, and the main #HackTheCamp event on 2-4 December 2016 at Impact Hub Athens, where the selected participants will prototype their idea and develop it into a sustainable solution, with the help of mentors.

Here are some of the challenges that #HackTheCamp will attempt to address:

  • How can we improve living conditions for refugees?
  • How can they access reliable information on their legal status?
  • What kind of opportunities are available or can be created for refugees?
  • How can we tap on the many skills that moving populations bring with them?
  • How can populations in transit and local populations come closer and develop an intercultural dialogue?

During the final day of Hack the Camp, the teams will present their projects and a Judging Panel of experts will decide on the top three teams/hacks. The winners will receive monetary awards, as well as free incubation services at Impact Hub. The teams and hack projects will be judged based on the following criteria: impact, user experience and presentation, sustainability, innovation, and reusability.

For additional information on #HackTheCamp please visit #HacktheCamp Facebook Page or contact us at athens.hosts@impacthub.net, or (+30) 210 3210146.

To attend – please visit #HackTheCamp Eventbrite page

Techfugees launches funding campaign and new Portugal chapter at Web Summit

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PRESS RELEASE:

TECHFUGEES LAUNCHES CROWD-FUNDING CAMPAIGN
AT WEB SUMMIT

– New Portugal chapter headed by Inēs Silva –

8 November, 2016, Lisbon: Techfugees, the social enterprise coordinating the tech industry’s response to the refugee crisis, is excited to announce the launch of its crowd-funding campaign and the opening of the Techfugees Portugal chapter at a special evening event Web Summit 2016.

Techfugees Portugal, headed up by Inēs Silva from Global Shapers, Lisbon, will be part of an international network made of tech engineers, designers, social entrepreneurs, and NGOs all dedicated to working together, sharing learnings, to come up with tech solutions to help refugees from their first journey to their arrival and societal integration.

The former Prime Minister of Greece, George Papandreou, who addressed an evening event to launch the fund-raising campaign, said: “I whole-heartedly support the aims of Techfugees. It’s time for the technology world to engage with this issue, we need more activism like this. Refugees are are change agents a lot of them have changed their host communities for the better.”

Techfugees first phase of development was mainly focused on advocacy and education of the world of tech to the real needs of refugees. As the second phase now begins, a crowd-funding campaign is being launched to enable Techfugees to deliver full-blown deployment of tech innovation in the field to refugees and partner NGOs.

Here: https://www.gofundme.com/donate2techfugees

The raised funds will be used to deploy tech solutions specifically in Northern France, Greece and in Jordan during the first half of 2017, with the help of existing Techfugees partners on the ground. The first projects will help bring connectivity and education opportunities to refugees in camps and urban areas.

Joséphine Goube, CEO of Techfugees, comments: “There is no better time to launch Techfugees official crowdfunding and phase 2 of our activities than at Web Summit. Similarly to the way Web Summit has grown from 400 attendees to 50,000 in only six years, Techfugees has, in only one year, successfully sparked the interest of the international tech community across 27 countries and mobilised more than 15,000 worldwide to join the cause of deploying technology solutions to the refugee situations. We are only just starting to disrupt the humanitarian response by supporting more than 100 innovative projects on the ground, and looking at phase 2 to deploy and scale more. We are taking the opportunity to be on stage this week, for the tech industry to hear that the refugee challenge is not going away and that it will need significant donations from the sector and tech people to get involved, because tech scales.”

Mike Butcher founder and chairman of Techfugees, and Editor-At-Large of tech news site TechCrunch, adds: “It has been a year since Techfugees launched with a Facebook Group and a meet-up in London, bringing together the tech community, refugees and NGOs. We have quickly grown to a global community of over 15,000 people, sharing information on challenges of refugees and reports on pockets of innovation addressing these challenges.”

“We have grown organically across 27 countries around the world by running events and hackathons tailored for advocacy around the refugee crisis. Our local communities of volunteers have helped run over 35 conferences and hackathons. Our events have brought together more than 2,000 innovators, including 350+ refugees, to co-create solutions. Without these community events and the hard work of our local volunteers, many of these ideas would have never seen the light and never been tested today. Techfugees has successfully galvanised a global community — but we still have a long way to go in scaling this impact. Goodwill gets us so far, but we now need money to scale that impact! Please donate to enable us to deploy solutions to the field,” Butcher said.

To donate to the Techfugees cause, please go here: https://www.gofundme.com/donate2techfugees

**** Ends ****

Notes to Editors:

‘Refugee technology’ refers to web platforms, mobile apps and hardware, which either assists refugees directly or aids NGOs working with refugees.

About Techfugees
Techfugees is a social enterprise coordinating the international tech community’s response to the needs of refugees.

Techfugees curates refugee projects and accelerates the deployment and development of technology for refugees, in camp, on the move or in host communities. Disrupting the traditional humanitarian response, Techfugees works mainly with the business and tech sector in partnership with big NGOs and government institutions, to make refugees free and independent individuals again.

Moved by the plight of refugees in Europe, and led by Mike Butcher, the Editor-at-large of TechCrunch.com, Techfugees is formed by teams of volunteers in 25+ local chapters around the world creating series of non-profit “Techfugees” conferences, hackathons, and working with a global network of collaborators.

TechFugees HQ is supported by the following sponsors and partners:
Schibsted & IHorizon

https://www.facebook.com/groups/Techfugees/

https://twitter.com/Techfugees

For further information, please contact:

Joséphine Goube, CEO, Techfugees (pictured)
Email: josephine@techfugees.com
Mobile: +44 7580 428278

Mike Butcher, Chairman, Techfugees (pictured)
Email: mike@techfugees.com
Mobile: +44 77202 91095

Joanna Ayre, PR lead
Email: press@techfugees.com

Event details and tickets link:
https://techfugees.com/news/techfugees-lisboa-web-summit-2016/