THE Port humanitarian hackathon took place at CERN’s IdeaSquare during 10.10.2019 – 13.10.2019. During less than 72 hours, people coming from humanitarian sciences, physics and other fields met for exchanging knowledge and aiming to solve current issues in the humanitarian sector.
Weeks before this yearly event took place, every team met remotely and discussed about ideas to come as close as possible to reach their goal during that limited time. The teams learned that it is not only important to develop working prototypes, but that it is more important to convince policy makers of their ideas so that they come true.
Two teams have been exceptional: Remotely Green aiming to reduce the carbon footprint by establishing a participation on remote conferences and Reego trying to reduce car bribery in Africa.
Reego: Car registration against corruption
The CERN cleaner Mussa Cande had the idea to reduce corruption during the process of car registration, which won the humanitarian prize at the CERN Webfest 2019. This prize granted him access to this hackathon.
A car is essential because there is no public transport system and hospitals are not easy to reach in case of an emergency in his home country Guinea Bissau. But a car registration involves a lacking transparency in issuing unique license plates or in getting a valid insurance due to bribery in some African countries.
Solving these problems has meant to address Mussa’s mission from a holistic perspective. Not only technical aspects are vital but creating trust in the public, identifying stakeholders and persuading decision-makers of the benefits of a legal car registration are fundamental. A team of behavioural and communication experts as well as a software engineer supported Mussa by developing strategies to achieve these goals during the hackathon.
Equipped with the findings of this 2.5-day hackathon, Mussa presented his idea and a working prototype of his application at the African Union in Addis Ababa. He recently founded Reego Association, an NGO, named after the project’s name.
Remotely Green: A hitchhiker’s guide to conferences
Remotely Green’s vision is a tool for remote conferences by providing the best possible overview before an event, giving a dynamical overview during the event and summarising learnings and interactions afterwards. “Their concept is a hitchhiker’s guide to conferences, where you can tailor your experience uniquely” says Karolos Potamianos, ATLAS physicist and Co-Founder of THE Port, when he thinks about the team that consists of LHC physicists and software engineers. Another appealing advantage of this idea is a reduction of each attendees’ carbon footprint.
“Their concept is a hitchhiker’s guide to conferences, where you can tailor your experience uniquely”Karolos Potamianos, gluoNNet CEO
But Remotely Green recommends joining physical conferences, as well. “We aim to get the best of two worlds – a hybrid event with a physical conference including virtual meetings and virtual follow-ups” specifies Nina Laribi, one of Remotely Green’s core members. A survey lead by the team revealed that the main reason why people attend conferences are networking aspects, such as meeting and discussing in person. This means to ensure spoken and written contributions. Remotely Green proposes transcriptions of talks and discussions as well as summarising every conversation by a chat tool. The original idea of this feature traces back to a project of the CERN Webfest 2019.
Further development took place during the 24-hour long Climathon in November in Geneva. With these findings, Remotely Green has been selected for the Circular Economy Incubator 2020 that offers funding and mentoring to perfect the project in January.
“We aim to get the best of two worlds – a hybrid event with a physical conference including virtual meetings and virtual follow-ups”Nina Laribi, Core member of Remotely Green
Their idea gets even more important, since the corona virus started to spread over the world and conferences are cancelled and hold remotely, such as the Dialogue no. 2 in the Road to Bern, in which Remotely Green tests its pilot as a networking session.