REFUGEE HACK SUMMIT
On Oct. 1, 2017, we brought together teams from 12 great companies with the shared purpose of changing refugee lives with design thinking.
in partnership with HIAS, a refugee resettlement agency in NY, we identified 3 key problem spaces that Refugee Hack Summit was designed to address.
The event was held at the beautiful offices of Spotify, our corporate partner.
What it looked like
We kicked off the day with a few short speeches. Amos Schorr, the facilitator of Refugee Hack Summit, shared why he decided to do this, what the goals of the day were, and what would happen after the event. And then George Batah took the mic. George was born and raised in Syria, and was living in Damascus when the crisis started. He made it to the US and was able to successfully petition the White House and met with Joe Biden and John Kerry to change US policy and increase the number of Syrian refugees they were admitting into the country.
After that, each team shouted out their team name and the problem they were attacking before getting to work.
Each team interviewed 4 real refugees that we had on-site, as well as 3 staff members from HIAS (our refugee agency partner). This was absolutely critical to the impact of the day, and most participants reported that the opportunity to meet and speak to the people afflicted by these problems is one thing that made the experience so powerful.
After some pitch mentorship from the best coach in NYC (Stacee Mandeville), the 13 teams each pitched their projects, and while so many of them were wonderful, only 3 could be winners.