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WSIS Forum 2019 Hackathon: Hacking Solutions for Lifelong Learning and Livelihoods
Images by ITU pictures

This year, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Geneva Tsinghua Initiative and the ImpactHub Geneva organised a hackathon for education (#Hack4Education) to inaugurate the start of the WSIS Forum 2019.
During the 2-day event, 7-8 April 2019, they brought together groups of university students coming from Zambia, Iran, Norway and Switzerland and divided them into three different teams. The purpose was that each team develop their concrete solution through a creative and highly collaborative approach for designing and implementing digital solutions for the users who need the most support.  
Throughout the Sunday and Monday there were many different activities: an introductory session, facilitated by Ilse Nols, Product Development Officer and teacher, where the students ‘mapped out' what they would like to be working on and make connections to set the teams or a mid-term review where the progress, so far was discussed and a pitching workshop. The students received support from experts working in education and technology, asking critical questions on the viability of their initiatives. 
The hackathon ended on Monday, 8 April 2019 with the presentation of the three different projects of each team.
  • Smartphone application for women in the middle- and lower income countries (specifically targeted: Pakistan) that forms a platform for learning and exchange on sewing, and also allows these women to sell the products/fabrics/patterns that they have produced. 
  • Smartphone application for students that facilitates peer-2-peer tutoring and enables youth to build up their own tutoring business as well as provide focused support for students that have gaps in their knowledge because of a high student/teacher ratio in their schools. 
  • A platform that connects NGO's working on mental health with schools and other stakeholders, to raise awareness and facilitate collaboration on this topic.
All teams won a prize: best pitch, most impact, most promising. The Geneva Tsinghua Initiative will select some of the participants for a scholarship for the SDG Summer School.