What do you get when you combine a hundred hackers with a bunch of business billionaires? Just maybe a solution for global homelessness!
Manchester, UK, April 15, 2016: At 9am on April 21, the Business Rocks conference in Manchester will welcome the 48-hour Hackathon for Homelessness, bringing together hackers from around the globe, billionaire business leaders, and international activists to collaborate on producing a technological solution for the growing problem of global homelessness.
“They say that a nation should be judged by how they treat their most vulnerable and if trends in criminalization of the impoverished and homeless is any indication, the US & UK are absolutely losing this battle,” says US activist and actor Joe Fionda, one of the Hackathon panelists. “The objective to the hackathon is to develop a universal human rights framework. We have government systems that have now devolved to the point in which the homeless and impoverished are criminalized, thus adding an even more crushing burden for those trying to escape this vicious cycle. This behavior is antithetical to the idea of the Social Contract and undermines the legitimacy of these institutions. The framework will also seek to establish an easily locally deployable decentralized model to bring aid to the homeless, wherever it may be, and do it at minimal cost. The amount of capital being used to criminalize the homeless, at the end of the day, is even more than it would cost to effectively deploy sustainable shelter and communities.”
“There is also a medical component to this. Many homeless are often burdened with illness, be it physical or mental. Homelessness also can drive further mental illness. A universal framework will integrate recognition of mental illness not as a stigma to further ones homelessness but just the opposite. Effectively deployable technology to aid medical emergencies will be essential.”
The hackathon is a competitive event in which participants will form into teams and work to create an app or tool that directly impacts the lives of the homeless in a positive way while fitting into the framework of human rights that is also being developed on-site. Judging by the distinguished international panel takes place at 3pm on the 22nd, and the prize will be awareded at 4:30 on the main Business Rocks stage. A panel consisting of the homeless from Gary Neville’s Stock Exchange project, scientists, developers, technologists, social housing workers and experts on the current migrant crisis will set the ‘tech for good’ challenge.
Judges include Lord John Bird, founder and editor in chief of The Big Issue, Wesley Dove, a campaigner in the fight against homelessness who is homeless himself, Joe Fionda of NYC, Amy Varle of the People’s Property Shop, Steve Carr, whose walking protest and meditation Mind Canyon takes him from Land’s End to John O’Groats, Kieron Kirkland of CAST, Paul McNamee, award-winning editor of The Big Issue, Karl Sieber, Occupational Therapy Lead at Ticehurst House for Priory Group, and Daniel Robinson, evaluation funder at social tech funder Nominet Trust.
From Manchester’s City Centre to the shores of the Mediterranean, homelessness isn’t just about rough sleepers and migrants fleeing war zones, it’s about the needed change in the hearts and minds of those in a position to use their skills to help solve the growing crisis.
This is a project inspired by the homeless, for the homeless.
Follow the hackathon:
On Twitter https://twitter.com/hackathon_br
On our website http://www.business-rocks.com/hackathon.html
Or in person at Business Rocks! Business Rocks is actively seeking partners with a development, education, technology and humanitarian focus to join us in a mass-scale effort to affect social change.