Social, civic problems: Tech-savvy minds offer innovative solutions

Prizes worth Rs75,000, Rs50,000 and Rs25,000 were reserved for the first, second and third positions, respectively


Our Correspondent July 18, 2016
Javeria Masood, Content Director at C-Design Thinking, said that she is always encouraged by platforms that aim to improve existing services by facilitating interaction between different stakeholders. PHOTO: http://codeforpakistan.org/event/isbhacks/

ISLAMABAD: Young professionals, innovators and students of the twin cities gathered over the weekend to offer innovative solutions and ideas to address social and civic problems through technology and digital tools.

They shared their ideas and plans at the two-day Islamabad Civic Hackathon competition that ended on Sunday.

Organised by Code of Pakistan, Islamabad Civic Innovation Lab and Organisation of Pakistani Entrepreneurs, the second annual event invited professionals, students, designers, data analysts and innovators to strategise how to make citizens’ lives easier through technological solutions.

The hackathon encouraged the participants to develop solutions surrounding education, health, social change, sustainable cities, as well as poverty and development.

Experts in various fields mentored the participants as the teams worked for two days to develop their own prototypes.

Prizes worth Rs75,000, Rs50,000 and Rs25,000 were reserved for the first, second and third positions, respectively.

Additionally, winning teams will receive assistance and will also have access to services from Google and Microsoft. Some of the winning projects include ‘Bagh Bagh’, ‘Bijli Pay Nazar’, ‘Shafaaf Voting’, ‘No Food Wastage’ and ‘Dastawezaat’.

One of the mentors and board members of Open, Awais Anjum, said that the quality of competition and ideas has improved substantially from the previous year.

“This time around, people seemed a lot better prepared”, he noted, adding, “I think some of the ideas have the potential of growing big in the next two to three years”.

“It was inspirational and it makes me feel incredibly hopeful for Pakistan. If these [participants] are all in charge of Pakistan in 10 years, then we won’t have any problems at all,” said Helen Kamal, Education Adviser of Ilm Ideas2.

One of the judges, Ather Imran, stressed that cities and communities develop when its residents participate in its civic development.

“The key is adoption and sustainability of these initial solutions so that we can make a real impact. All of us, especially the public sector, need to engage with these solutions to have a meaningful impact,” Imran said.

Javeria Masood, Content Director at C-Design Thinking, said that she is always encouraged by platforms that aim to improve existing services by facilitating interaction between different stakeholders.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2016.

 

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