Eight months has gone so fast. I can vividly record when I arrived at Creative Associates International on January 26, 2015 as an Atlas Corps Technology for Development Fellow. The people, the workspace and state of art tech equipment looked so different from what I was used to in Liberia. Now! I have adapted to the people, the environment and most importantly I have done some really interesting projects with very technologies that looked so different to me eight months ago. I can confirm that I have learn a lot personally and professionally, shared my experiences with colleagues, at conferences and events and importantly built some great relationships that will last a life time.
It’s September already and one of the biggest project, my team, the Technology for Development Unit at Creative is working on is, hosting the #peacehackdc.
Peacehack is a global hackathon bringing together technologists and peace practitioners in 7 cities worldwide to develop solutions to promote peace and stop violent conflict. It is a hacakathon for passionate and skilled developers, designers and peace practitioners who believe technology can be used to mitigate violence and build peace.
Creative Associates International (Creative) has partnered with International Alert to convene #peacehackdc. The first #peacehack took place in September 2014 in London as part of International Alert’s Talking Peace Festival. Following on from the success of #peacehack 2014, several organizations are organizing simultaneous hackathons in London, Barcelona, Beirut, Colombo, Medellín, Derry, and Washington, DC.
The objective of #peacehack events is to bring the technology and peacebuilding communities closer to each other, and encourage collaboration. We believe it can be the seed for future collaborations, the beginning of a movement where practitioners and technologists work together for peace.
The theme selected for the Washington, DC hack is to develop digital solutions to counter violent extremism. Violent extremists are individuals who support or commit ideologically-motivated violence to further political goals. Today violent extremist groups, such as ISIS, use technology for recruitment and to further their message. Creative solutions are needed to counter their efforts and work toward a more peaceful world. This hackathon will focus on solutions that help to combat the messaging of extremists and allow those working for peace to reclaim the narrative.
We’re looking for participants who have strong technology skills (programming and design) and an interest in making a difference – though they may lack the field expertise in peacebuilding. Peacebuilding practitioners are also needed to talk about big problems they have in their programming and / or ideas they have for technology that could be helpful in peacebuilding. To ensure the best possible outcomes from this hack the number of spots is limited and we are looking for the right mix of people and skills.
Peacehackdc will provide a unique opportunity for participants to showcase their ideas to a global audience of technologists, peacebuilders and international development professionals. The winner of the DC hack will receive mentorship and support from the Creative Development Lab to help their idea come to life by providing the opportunity to pilot the innovation in a Creative project. A sponsored prize is also in development.
The prototypes produced by developers will be judged by a panel of builders and technologists according to the following criteria:
Impact: Does the app/project have a measureable impact?
User Experience and Presentation: Is the project simple, well-designed, and easy to use by non technical users?
Sustainability: How likely is the project to survive beyond the hackathon? Is this a viable project? Is the idea promising enough to warrant sustained development and attention?
If you think you have the expertise, creativity and passion we are looking for, apply for a spot today. Please help us spread the word too.