Ericsson and Refugees United announce Global Hack for Good to connect refugees to missing families


In order to raise awareness of the plight of refugees, and find new ways to reconnect refugee families in some of the most remote areas in the world, Ericsson and Refugees United will run a series of developer competitions leading up to World Refugee Day, on 20 June 2013.

The unique series of “hackathons” – a weekend-long marathon of developing applications on mobile networks will be held in three cities Cairo, San Francisco and Nairobi, on three separate weekends.

Christopher Mikkelsen, co-founder of Refugees United, says: “Everyone has the right to know where their family is. To separated refugee families, this for many years seemed impossible. Today, we’re at a tipping point where technology can help them reconnect. Now it’s up to us to act and help.”

Elaine Weidman-Grunewald, Vice President of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, Ericsson, said: “We have a long-term commitment to the refugee cause, and have been working with Refugees United since 2010 to create a mobile platform for refugees to reconnect with family and loved ones. We now want to harness some of the new innovation and technology of the developer community with this Global Hack for Good, in order to scale and amplify the great work that is already underway.”

The first hackathon will be in Cairo, Egypt, on 31 May-1 June. Then, a new batch of developers will gather in San Francisco, USA, on 7-8 June, and the third part of the Global Hack for Good will be held in Nairobi, Kenya, on 15-16 June.

The jury, including experts from both Ericsson and Refugees United, will select two finalists at each location. On World Refugee Day, June 20, 2013, a winner from each location will be announced. The three winners receive a trip to Kenya and will be invited to test their prototypes in the Kakuma refugee camp in late 2013.

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