Did you notice how dynamic are our new-born local chapters these days? After Techfugees’ first African hackathon in Nairobi early April and before Techfugees New Zealand’s one at the end of May, Techfugees Barcelona is hosting its first #hack4refugees on May 4-5th. What a perfect timing to introduce you to Laila, our local chapter’s co-lead, isn’t it? 🎙
Techfugees: Could you please introduce yourself and your team to the Techfugees community?
Laila: My name is Laila and I co-lead the Techfugees local chapter in Barcelona! I grew up in Oslo, where I took a degree in marketing at Christiania College University. I ran my own startup in Norway before relocated to Barcelona where I’m currently working with Industrial IoT and AR in PTC Advising businesses in the Nordics on their digital transformation. My co-chapter lead is Oriol. We can also count on a great team of volunteers: Caroline, Ana-Sofia and Eloise.
How did you hear about Techfugees?
During my time in Norway, I wanted to contribute to what the world called the “refugee crisis” in 2015. My good friend Ida Faldbakken told me about what Mike Butcher was doing in London. So we decided to team up and see how we could gather the growing local community of refugees and techies to collaborate and build solutions together. That’s how Ida, Henriette and I hosted the second Techfugees hackathon in Oslo, only two weeks after its kick off in October 2015.
Which are the displaced people’s main needs in your country?
Even if could take two years, the integration process in Spain is brutally short. This is due to the uncertain politic, economic and financial situation with subsequent budgetary reductions for social services and increasingly limited employment opportunities. Resettled refugees in Spain are therefore likely to experience challenges in their integration and settlement, and it is feared that many refugees will not be able to go into jobs and restart their lives here as normally as possible.
What are your projects for the next days, weeks and months?
We are very excited to host our first hackathon on May 4-5th in Barcelona!
With which kind of organization (tech, NGOs, universities, officials,…) do you plan to partner with?
For this first event, we partner with Playground Magazine, Chapter2, Glovo, PeaceWorx, Singa in Spain, Barcinno and Seedrocket. We would like to warmly thank every single one of them for understanding what we are trying to do and supporting us!
How can the Techfugees community help you? What are you looking for now?
Spread the word that we are in Spain and hosting our first event early May! And if you know people that would love to collaborate or if you want to team up with us, please let’s connect!
Anything to add?
I want to warmly thank my team for the amazing work they are doing for weeks to make our first event happen! I am very happy to see that there are so many people that want to get involved and make the change. And of course Techfugees’ HQ team for their support in setting up our local chapter here in Spain!