The School of Science & Technology (SST) hosted a hackathon encouraging students to come up with technology-based solutions to challenges faced by displaced peoples.

By City Press Office (City Press Office), Published

In June, City, University of London collaborated with the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists (WCIT) and successfully organised a hackathon. The hackathon was centred around the theme of solving issues faced by displaced communities.

Schoolchildren find solutions for displaced communities through tech

This event brought together bright and compassionate sixth-form students from Hammersmith Academy and Lillian Baylis Secondary School. The primary aim of the hackathon was to address the ongoing challenges faced by displaced individuals and explore the potential of technology in offering solutions.

Displaced people are individuals who have been forcibly removed from their homes due to conflict, persecution, natural disasters, or other occurrences. They include refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons and those who face precarious living conditions in their home countries.

The participants exuded dedication and presented a wide array of solutions utilising various technologies like AI, biometrics, wearables, alternative communications and personal thermal power sources. Their ideas included streamlined information sharing, language translation, job market integration, mental health support and cultural exchange platforms.

The students showcased creativity and were able to work together to spawn innovative ideas related to how technology can be used to support displaced people.

"We’re delighted to have hosted this inaugural hackathon to generate ideas about how technology can help displaced people," said Ron Wirszycz, Master at the WCIT.

It was great to see what talented STEM students can do when they put their minds to it.

The distinguished panel of hackathon judges, consisting of Rob Wirszycz, WCIT Master; Nick Santos-Pedro, Digital Manager for the Refugee Council and Professor Sue Black OBE, a renowned computer scientist and social entrepreneur, provided their expertise and insights throughout the event.

"The teams all took the Hackathon seriously and worked together to produce a great result,” said Nick Santos-Pedro, Digital Manager for The Refugee Council.

“You could tell that all the students who took part really cared about displaced people and were thinking deeply about how technology could help them in their everyday lives.

Staff and students at the WCIT hackathon hosted on campus at City
Staff and students at the WCIT hackathon hosted on campus at City

And the winners are…

Among the impressive pool of entries, Team White from Lilian Baylis emerged as the victorious champions. Their talent and passion for harnessing technology to address the challenges faced by displaced people won the unanimous favor of the judges.

The hackathon showcased the transformative potential of technology in empowering displaced people and fostering a more inclusive society. By bringing together bright young minds and inspiring them to use their skills for a greater purpose, WCIT and City set a remarkable example for future hackathons.

The hackathon, organised by Jason Scott-Taggart from WCIT and Mohson Khan from City’s Corporate Relations and Employability Unit (CREU) demonstrated how the power of technology could be used to address the needs of individuals forcibly uprooted from their homes due to conflicts or natural disasters.

About City’s Corporate Relations and Employability Unit

The event was coordinated by the CREU in the School of Science and Technology, a dedicated team focused on enhancing the employability of City students. Their primary objective is to establish meaningful connections between employers and students through various opportunities such as internships, modules or competitions.

About The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists

The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists is the 100th livery company of the City of London, combining centuries-old tradition with a modern focus, energy and innovation. Like all livery companies, they look to give something back to the industry and community and focus on four pillars of activity: raising money and providing IT skills to improve lives through a range of charitable vehicles, building Hammersmith Academy (with the Mercers) and supporting other schools. The organisation helps to promote and shape the IT industry.

Written by Donjeta Pirraku, Communications Assistant at City, University of London.


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