Hacking our way to a better future through collaboration

Hacking our way to a better future through collaboration

Manuel Meneses Namihira

Manuel Meneses Namihira

Chevening Scholar

As a student in Innovation for Sustainable International Development at University of Sussex, and a social innovation practitioner, I am very interested in understanding how different platforms and collaborations can help us solve some of the most pressing societal challenges. When I saw the call to participate in the #Hack4Humanity event that would take place during the first World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, I didn’t think twice and applied.

The event would be a 24-hour ‘hackathon’ involving more than 100 hackers, entrepreneurs, developers, and humanitarian experts from around the globe. Together we would work alongside five UN agencies and four leading technology firms to co-create solutions to respond to the current refugee crisis.

Hack4Humanity

After being notified that I had been selected, I posted a message in the Chevening Scholars Facebook group to connect with other scholars who knew about the crisis first-hand, or had some experience working in or studying it, to tap into their knowledge. That was how I met Samuel Odawo. He is a Chevening Scholar studying Management of Special Education in Developing Countries at the University of Birmingham, and a special education and disability expert. Before coming to the UK, he was working as an education teacher at the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. His mission is to make sure that children with disabilities receive the right education so that they can be empowered rather than helped.

Hack4Humanity

We had our first conversation via Skype, where Samuel gave me many insights that I then took to the hackathon in Istanbul. During the 24 hours, my team worked alongside UNICEF, Global Citizen and Ericsson in the educational challenge. Our solution was a technological platform that helps children at refugee camps identify their aspirations and, through a gaming experience, empowers them to reach their goals. Before the final presentation, Samuel and I had another Skype call to get his feedback.

Our team won third place out of the ten proposals presented, and we are now following up with Ericsson and Global Citizen to find the best way to bring this project to fruition. Samuel and I will also keep collaborating on future projects.

Manuel also blogged about the experience on Medium. Read the blog post (in Spanish) here: https://medium.com/cirklo/lo-que-aprend%C3%AD-hackeando-para-la-humanidad-6f6f63e041d7#.2ig2i1p7g

Related news

Building a Kenyan future, one classroom at a time

I am often humbled by the peculiar generosity of the strangers who contribute towards schemes such as the Chevening Scholarship to fund strangers such as myself, majority of whom they will never know or meet. That is why in 2010, when I learnt that there was an opportunity to support the construction of a school […]

Empowering disabled people across Pakistan

Disability is a diversified way of living and the foundation of an inclusive society is based on embracing diversity; this is what I have learned from my professor Mark Harrison at University of East Anglia while I was studying on the prestigious British Chevening Scholarship in 2007. I was born with a physical disability and […]

100 young leaders visit Glasgow for the 33sixty leadership programme

Common Purpose’s 33sixty leadership programme brought together 100 exceptional young leaders from the Commonwealth for a few days of in-depth conversations and leadership training. One out of every three people on this planet lives in the Commonwealth, of whom 60% are young people under 30! That is why the programme is called 33sixty. I was recently […]