How the Hack for Peace Hackathon for Ukraine began
The day after the war started in Ukraine, Iryna Nikolayeva, Product Manager, and François Taddei, Co-Founder, both from the Learning Planet Institute, met together and had a conversation about what could be personally done. They decided to organize a ‘sharing circle’ with staff members from the Institute who felt affected by the war and there the idea emerged to organize a special event. Pashû Christensen, Anna Skrypalshchykova, and Daria Vilkova also accepted the invitation to join forces and go further by organizing a hackathon that would help support solutions for peace.
With our respective experiences, we reached out to the Co-Founder of Eventornado, Kai, who offered their platform in support of the event and ran us through all the basics in order to organize the hackathon. The platform they provided made it very fluid and simple to put together the whole event in just a few days.
In just 10 days, we gathered over 60 participants from 10+ different countries as well as 6 projects presenting their initiatives for the hackathon.
A special thank you to the mentors and partners who quickly dedicated their time to spreading the word and supporting these projects and the initiative as a whole. Special thanks as well to the #LearningPlanet Alliance, Learning Planet Institute, Liberté Living Lab, MasterPeace, Startup Palace and World Youth Alliance for their prompt responses and support of the initiative.
The presented projects
These projects were either very early stage (idea) or with some research and little prototyping. We were impressed by the young project leads’ determination and willingness to have a positive impact on the world.
Using a massive multiplayer online (MMO) roleplay game to introduce peacebuilding into popular discourse to raise awareness of this topic’s importance amongst the citizenry, especially in developed countries.
The idea is to build a Wiki page about emigration in France. Everyone who has an experience of integration in the French community or who could respond to frequent questions can participate in the project.
For the ‘Hack For Peace-Ukraine’, I have been contemplating on finding inner peace, rehabilitation and rejuvenation of the survivors’ traumatized states, brought into their lives by the Russia-Ukraine War. ‘Sharing Circles’ aims at building safe spaces for deep listening circles.
The “Esprit de Corps” project addresses the current situation of refugees living on the streets of Paris and their life conditions.
This project aims at working against misinformation using aggregation of information via machine learning (NLP) algorithms. During the hackathon the team managed to come up with 4 algorithms and tested 2 of them manually. In addition, a web platform design was developed in Figma.
The selection committee & the prizes
On the last day, each project lead presented their ‘final pitch’ in 3 minutes followed by a 3-minute Q&A. They were ‘judged’ on 4 main criteria: the team, the solution, the vision, and the impact on peace.
Therefore, each team has been attributed a special prize as follows :
- Winner: Sharing Circles
- Special recognitions for:
- Most ambitious project: Project “Reliable Information”
- Long-term investment for peace: “Project “Esprit de Corps”
- Fostering understanding: Project “Inner peace rehabilitation”
- Practical solution to a need: Project “Welcome to France”
- The best vulgarisation effort: Project “PeaceKraft”
We won’t stop here. We are looking forward to continuing working with each one of these projects who are interested in getting some support. We will bring them as many opportunities and support as we can. With our partner MasterPeace, we aim to give them visibility during their annual event SkyConcert, the biggest #MusicaboveFighting concert celebrating peace, hope and togetherness at the International Day of Peace with 200+ Rooftop stages and Virtual concerts on September 22nd.