Global hackathons inspiring solutions to deter urban conflict announced

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International Alert, a leading peace building charity, has announced a series of global hackathons to ‘generate innovative solutions for using technology to build peace in cities.’

The events, launched to commemorate the UN’s International Day of Peace on September 21, will run across the weekend of September 26 and 27 with Barcelona, Beirut and London already confirmed. Four other cities – Colombo, Derry, Medellin and Washington DC – are pencilled in with concrete details to be finalised later in August. Each city will have a distinct urban challenge to answer, from violent extremism in London to access to resources in Lebanon.

The inaugural ‘peace hack’ took place in London last year, with a Storify entry from International Alert detailing how it took just over two weeks to go from ideation to creation. Dan Marsh, head of technology at International Alert, is confident about the prospects of this year’s hacks.

“Technology can be used to incite, or even perpetrate violence. But it can also bring people together, make voices heard and improve lives,” he said. “Our peacehacks present an exciting platform for exploring these opportunities on a global stage.

“We expect this movement to generate a number of innovative ideas that will underline the enormous potential of technology to contribute towards peace building efforts around the world,” he added.

The hackathons will take place in leading technological hubs including the Google campus in London and Berytech Digital Park in Beirut. The events will run as part of the month-long International Alert Talking Peace Festival. You can find out more about the series of hackathons here.

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