Announcing the Techfugees Global Challenges Competition’s jury

We are excited to announce the first few names of the people composing the Techfugees Global Challenges Competition’s Jury and who will get to assess all the #tech4refugees applications submitted online by the new deadline: Sept 12th 2018.

These leaders and experts in their fields, all passionate about refugees and/or migration, will go through applications looking at:

  • the definition of the problem the project is offering to solve;
  • the relevance of the proposed solution;
  • the context and ecosystem in which the proposed #tech4refugees project is developed;
  • the key performance indicators suggested to evaluate its impact ;
  • the scaling potential of the product or service;
  • the business model and economic viability;
  • the vision of the project in the future and its roadmap to achieve it.

Only 25 projects will remain, 5 selected out of each of the Techfugees’ Challenges (access to rights & information, health, education, employment, and social inclusion) for which the jury will have given the highest scores. The 25 teams behind these projects will get two free passes in order to pitch at the Techfugees Global Summit on October 26th at Station F, the world’s biggest startup campus in Paris, in front of a second jury made of high-profile representatives of NGOs, impact investors, and tech leaders.


Get the following leaders and experts to provide you with feedback on your project by applying to the Techfugees Global Challenges Competition before September 12th at midnight! ⏳


📌 Benjamin Hounsell, Co-Director and Head of Implementation Research at Samuel Hall

🌍 Kenya

Ben has over 15 years experience as a researcher, technology entrepreneur and development practitioner in low and middle-income countries, with a longstanding background in exploring the role of technology and innovation in the global south. Ben has authored multiple innovation studies for a range of organisations including UNICEF, UNHCR, UNDP, the Norwegian Refugee Council and Terre des hommes and the Humanitarian Innovation fund. In his work, and as co-chair of the Techfugees Chapter in Kenya, Benjamin encourages collaboration between NGOs, multilaterals, academics and entrepreneurs to develop digital services that better serve refugees and low-income communities. Benjamin holds a PhD in Information Engineering from the University of Edinburgh and a cum laude Master in Development Practice from Sciences Po, Paris. He has also earned multiple honours and awards for his entrepreneurial achievements, including the EBAN Most Investable Business Award, the Scottish Entrepreneur Award and the Enterprise Fellowship from the Royal Society of Edinburg

📇 Learn more about Benjamin on Twitter (@Thehounsell), LinkedIn and on


📌 Thomas Roca, Data Strategist, Microsoft

🌍 Belgium

Thomas is Data Strategist at Microsoft & LinkedIn within the Government Affairs team. Thomas conducts economic research about the future of work, the impact of Artificial Intelligence and automation on the labor market. Thomas’ favorite field of research is at the cross roads between data-science and socio-economic analysis. Thomas gives data-training for the United Nation System Staff College in collaboration with Data-Pop Alliance (ODI, MIT media Lab, Harvard HHI) In his previous roles, Thomas was researcher and statistician, then Data Officer at the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) – France’s Bilateral Cooperation Bank. Thomas lead a research program on alternative welfare indicators, Big Data for Development and data visualization, with MIT media lab, Orange and Data-Pop Alliance as partners. Thomas developed AFD’s data portal to help inform development practitioners about economic and social situation of developing countries. Thomas holds a PhD in Development Economics from Bordeaux University and a MSC in Economics from University Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne.

📇 Learn more about Thomas on Twitter (@Thomas_Roca) and LinkedIn 


📌 Stephanie Hospital, Founder and CEO of OneRagtime

🌍 France

Stéphanie Hospital is the CEO and Founder of OneRagtime, the disruptive venture platform, which backs early-stage start-ups in Europe in their full journey to success and makes investment seamless for its community of over 500 investors. OneRagtime works closely with Corporates, and portfolio companies include Keli Network, Gestoos, onoff,, Glose, Muzeek, Marie Quantier and +Simple to name a few. Prior to this, Stephanie was the Executive Vice President of Orange Digital, the Digital & New Growth Business Unit. She has an extensive international and management background in the digital sector with a proven track record in setting up and growing new ventures, investing, building best-in-class teams and forming international partnerships. Stephanie has been an Executive Director at Dailymotion till June 2015 as well as Vice Chairman for IAB Europe. Stephanie graduated from Grenoble Ecole de Management. Stéphanie has been recently selected as part of the 50 most inspiring women in tech in Europe.

📇 Learn more about Stéphanie on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram (@stephhospital) and Linkedin 


📌 Benjamin Siegel, Global Project and Partnership Lead at ConsenSys Social Impact

🌍  United States

Ben Siegel is the Global Project and Partnership Lead at ConsenSys Social Impact. Focusing on areas such as human rights and financial inclusion, he is leading ConsenSys’ efforts in equipping social impact organizations with blockchain solutions. After spending time working in the political sphere, including an internship with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, and a stint at the European Parliament, Ben spent his senior year of college taking an in-depth look at the way we currently handle humanitarian aid. As a result, he became extremely interested in experimental technologies, specifically, the growing role they have to play for the impact sector. Post-graduation, Ben became increasingly enthralled with blockchain’s potential as a tool for social change. This led him straight into ConsenSys, where he co-founded the Social Impact team as well as the broader Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition (BSIC). He is dedicated to bringing blockchain technology more directly into social impact work, and bridging the gap between technologists and humanitarians. Outside of ConsenSys, Ben is an advisor to NeedsList, a social startup that allows donors to directly buy necessary supplies for refugees across the globe. He is also a mentor for the Katapult Accelerator program, based in Oslo, Norway.

📇 Learn more about Benjamin on Facebook, Twitter (@BenLLS), Instagram (@bsiegz13) and Linkedin 


📌 Meghan Benton, Assistant Director of Research at the Migration Policy Institute

🌍 United States

Meghan is Assistant Director of Research for the International Program at the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), a think tank in Washington, DC; and a Fellow at the Migration Policy Institute Europe (MPI Europe) in Brussels. She works on immigrant integration, citizenship policy, digital and social innovation, and Brexit and free movement. She is currently leading a project entitled Integration Futures, which is working to develop a fresh agenda for integration policy in Europe by bringing together senior integration policymakers and experts, civil-society officials, and private-sector leaders to create a platform for long-term strategic and creative thinking. She has a PhD in Political Science from University College London. Her PhD considered the changing nature of citizenship in an increasingly global world.

📇 Learn more about Meghan on Twitter (@meghan_bentonS) and Linkedin


📌 Alexander Dale, Sustainability Lead, MIT Solve

🌍 United States

Alexander Dale is the Sustainability Lead for MIT’s Solve initiative, where he supports and connects myriad people and organizations passionate about tackling the world’s most pressing challenges. He has an academic background in the life-cycle impacts of energy and water infrastructure, and a professional background in environmental policy, engineering education, and nonprofit management. He is a relentless pragmatic optimist – sees the world as it is, and believes that the future can be better if we roll up our sleeves and get to work. Alexander has been the Executive Director of Engineers for a Sustainable World, served as a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow hosted by the US EPA’s Transportation and Climate Division, and taught courses in social entrepreneurship, energy & science communication, and technical sustainability. Outside of work, he enjoys being outdoors, cooking local and seasonal food, reading hard science fiction, and exploring everyday life in new places. Alexander was born in Massachusetts and raised in Pennsylvania. He has a Ph.D. in Civil & Environmental Engineering and a B.S.E. in Engineering Physics, both from the University of Pittsburgh.

📇 Learn more about Alexander on Twitter (@alexandertd) and Linkedin


📌 Stuart Campo, Researcher, Signal Program on Human Security and Technology at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative

🌍 United States

Stuart Campo is a Researcher with the Signal Program on Human Security and Technology at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. In this capacity, he conducts translational research on humanitarian technologies, standards and ethics. Prior to joining the Signal team, Stuart served as the Senior Innovation Deployment Specialist with UNICEF’s Global Innovation Center. In this capacity, he led globally on remote and in-country support to UNICEF and partners in the strategic adaptation and deployment of a range of solutions, including real-time information platforms like RapidPro and U-Report. During his tenure at UNICEF (beginning in 2010), Stuart held extended assignments in Kenya, Madagascar, South Sudan, and supported the design and activation of innovation initiatives in over 50 countries.

📇 Learn more about Stuart on Twitter (@stucampo) and Linkedin


📌 Romain Tales, Chief Open data officer at Etalab

🌍 France

After working several years with major players in the web tv and web analytics sector, Romain joined the Etalab team in February 2011 to launch the first version of “”, the french open data platform, and to help the french administration to publish their data on the platform. In direct contact with administrations, local authorities and private data producers, he coordinates the publication of data on the platform and identifies data with strong potential for innovation, democratic transparency and modernization of public action.

📇 Learn more about Romain on Twitter (@RomainTales) and LinkedIn


📌 Josh Russell, Technology Strategist and Activist

🌍 United Kingdom

Over 20 years working in digital has given Josh a broad experience of planning and implementing technology across sectors, industries, and scales in a range of often high-pressure scenarios. Working in Comic Relief, the UK Government Digital Service, and a range of voluntary organisations Josh knows firsthand how well-designed and efficiently delivered technology can bring real and effective business transformation or social change. He brings pragmatic and critical thinking and the lean and agile approach that’s a necessity of small organisations to large challenging problems. Josh has also judged the Tech4Good Awards for 5 years, and is a fellow at Newspeak House civc tech community.

📇 Learn more about Josh on Twitter (@joshr), Instagram (@joshrussell), Facebook and LinkedIn


📌 Pui Kwan Lee, Senior Technical Product Manager at Expedia

🌍 Singapore

PJ Lee is a senior Technical Product Manager at Expedia leading internationalization technology in Customer Relevance. She leads teams based in Budapest and Singapore to deliver technical solutions to be locally relevant. PJ volunteers in Expedia Singapore’s Corporate Social Responsibility team and has helped to organize activities for social impact. She holds a Masters of Science in Business Analytics from the National University of Singapore. PJ was a founding chapter leader for DataKind Singapore, which was established in August 2014. Headquartered in New York since 2011, DataKind is a non-profit organization which harnesses the power of data science in the service of humanity. In her capacity as chapter leader, PJ has helped to connect and rally the local data-for-good community in working with mission-driven organizations. She stepped down as chapter lead end 2017 and now serves in the DataKind alumni association.📌 

📇 Learn more about PJ on Twitter (@puikwan) and LinkedIn


📌 Ahmad Sufian Bayram, Techstars MEA Regional Manager & Jusoor Program Director

🌍 Germany

Ahmad is Techstars Middle East and Africa Regional Manager, a worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed with a portfolio of over 1,500 companies and a total market cap of $13.9B, Techstars operates in 150 countries with a variety of programs including Startup Weekend and Startup Week to support entrepreneurs from inspiration to IPO. Ahmad is social entrepreneurship, startup, and collaborative economy, expert. His website is one of the most prominent blogs in the Arab world that tackles the power of the collaborative economy and Blockchain in Arabic. In addition, he is also, Jusoor Program Director, Entrepreneurs in Residence at Aliqtsadi, and board of advisor Techfugees. He mentored several startups and non-profit organizations and has published two books on entrepreneurship in conflict zones and the refugees community.

📇 Learn more about Ahmad Sufian on Twitter & Instagram (@ahmadsb_), Facebook and LinkedIn


📌 Roya Pakzad, Research Associate and Project Leader, Technology and Human Rights

🌍 Iran & United States

Roya Pakzad serves as a Research Associate and Project Leader in Technology and Human Rights at Stanford University’s Global Digital Policy Incubator (GDPi). Roya has worked on initiatives relating to everything from the role of technology in the Syrian refugee crisis to the human rights implications of Artificial Intelligence. She also researches the human rights policy and practices of technology companies and explores the role of technology in empowering marginalized groups. After three years working at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) as an electrical engineer, she decided to converge her interests in technology and human rights. She holds degrees from Shahid Beheshti University (B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering), the University of Southern California (M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering) and Columbia University (M.A. in Human Rights Studies). Roya was born and raised in Tehran, Iran and currently lives in Santa Cruz, California

📇 Learn more about Roya on Twitter (@RoyaPak) and LinkedIn 


📌 Mike Mitchell, Associate Vice President, US Programs at HIAS

🌍 United States

Mike is a social sector entrepreneur with a background in NGOs that emphasize refugee, housing, and livelihoods services in the US. Currently, he leads US Programs at HIAS where he oversees the resettlement, legal rights, and integration of refugees, asylum seekers, and other displaced persons who come to the United States through HIAS. Founded in 1881 originally to assist Jews fleeing pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe, HIAS has touched the life of nearly every Jewish family in the United States and now welcomes all who have fled persecution. At HIAS, Mike focuses on making sure that partner affiliates, who provide direct services to 20 cities across the country, have the resources and tools they need to best serve new arrivals. Prior to his work in the social sector, Mike’s background included time in banking and government where he served Vice President Gore. Mike’s latest focus has been how to use technology to improve decision-making and services for refugees.

📇 Learn more about Mike on LinkedIn


🏆 Applications to the Techfugees Global Challenges Competition are open until September 12th!

🎟 Secure your ticket to attend the Techfugees Global Summit 2018 here!

👩‍💻 Follow Techfugees on TwitterFacebook & Instagram

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