For the first time, I took part in a 48 hours hackathon and it was a great experience despite my lack of programming skills. According to Wikipedia, a hackathon seeks to create a functioning software or hardware by the end of the event. Also this hackathon´s goal was to develop solutions with the help of technology. The scope lied on challenges for our society caused by the current COVID-19 pandemic. Actually, it was the first hackathon with such a large participation worldwide (42.000 people!).
Organised by the German government and various tech companies (see here), the hackathon brought together participants from various professions including IT, communication, health and legal sector, creative minds and many others. From 20 to 22 March, the participants initiated various projects dealing with the issues of medical care, isolation, infection, access to food, crisis management for companies and solidarity between people.
After all, it was a great success and a light of hope that Germany and Europe will manage the crisis in integrating the potential which lies in solutions through technology and the human power in Europe. Hopefully, the hackathon will be repeated in the future.
My group of choice #leavenoonebehind dealt with the protection of refugees as a risk group due to insufficient health care and lack of individual space in the refugee camps. We created the website www.cantwashmyhands.eu to present information on the situation of refugees at the EU´s external borders during the COVID-19 pandemic and to raise awareness on this issue. We ask the EU Member States to receive refugees to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe. My tasks encompassed writing articles as well as collecting and translating information on organisations working with or for refugees. Participating in various chats and phone calls, I got to know an amazing group of people. In the future, we will continue our work on the website. For now, you can check out the description on Devpost.
What will happen now? The organisers are in the process of evaluating the different concepts and picking those ideas which fulfil the parameters impact, practicability, quality and openness. They will decide which projects they will support in the future in the next days.
Also in isolation, we can strive for solutions in a crisis and explore the possibilities offered by technology and creativity.