By domcushnan On

In Hackathons, Journal, Social Responsibility

This has been a very interesting week for UK, Europe and the World with UK Referendum and I am sure it won’t be the end of the conversation. Before even the result of the referendum, I was given the great privilege to help sponsor and be a judge for a volunteer hackathon on how digital can help refugees in Bristol.

We now live in the age of the Internet and have much more freedom with travel and communication thanks to technological advancements. Everything is inevitably becoming more global as a result of this; that’s a given. We’ve witnessed how these significant improvements are making the world a smaller place. I believe this progress is a great thing for humanity, and I believe the way for us to flourish is to embrace it. Robots, AI included.

One way to go about this is with the use of digital technology to empower and help those in a way that only technology can as it breaks down barriers and becomes the standard language.

Enter the Bristol Refugee Hackathon a volunteer run event setup by Ruth Hennell and Charlotte Bella that brought refugees, community members, coders, people from charities and public service organisations together to work to find solutions on issues that can be solved using technology.

How is digital helpful for all communities?

The inevitable future, I believe, is one in which we grow closer and have empathy and respect for one another. I think many of us are starting to realize that we might have a lot in common and get along with our immediate neighbors, but we may be just as likely to find companions with similar life values across the other side of the world, speaking a different language.

What I do know, is that the world I want to live in is a more global, inclusive and generous one.

The pitches:


(1) Refugee Stories

Refugee stories: A platform to share stories thru video, image&creative methods


(2) Contact guardian (creative award)

A working application that allowed refugees who got held at ab immigration detention station with only one number to call would notify all people they had set up before hand to be notified where they are.


(3) Food connections collaboration award 

Bristol food network solution to real time update of when food is available


(4) Sleep & Eat (where to) immediate need award (joint)

A simple online guide or where to eat and sleep in

(5) Learning & Skills share

Improving access to skills and training programmes already available in


(6) Open Data

The refugee data team discovered that actually: there is no public data &they are keen to solve it!

(7) Asylum Dawn immediate need award (joint)

Asylum Dawn wants to connect refugees who arrive to Bristol to the organisations they need to know

This was such a great event to be part and it was encouraging to see so many teams wanting and are going to continue development around their ideas and have got buy in from local organisations to share with new refugees and collaborate with other further.
 Faith in humanity restored.

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