Hacking Homelessness at Business Rocks

What do you get when you combine a hundred hackers with a bunch of business billionaires? Just maybe a solution for global homelessness!

Manchester, UK, April 15, 2016:  At 9:00 a.m. on April 21, the Business Rocks conference in Manchester will welcome the 48-hour Hackathon for Homelessness, bringing together hackers from around the globe, billionaire business leaders, and international activists to collaborate on producing a technological solution for the growing problem of global homelessness.

“They say that a nation should be judged by how they treat their most vulnerable and if trends in criminalization of the impoverished and homeless is any indication, the U.S. & U.K. are absolutely losing this battle,” says U.S. activist and actor Joe Fionda, one of the Hackathon panelists. Fionda introduces himself in the Vine loop here:

Fionda continues, “The objective to the hackathon is to develop a universal human rights framework. We have government systems that have now devolved to the point in which the homeless and impoverished are criminalized, thus adding an even more crushing burden for those trying to escape this vicious cycle. This behavior is antithetical to the idea of the Social Contract and undermines the legitimacy of these institutions. The framework will also seek to establish an easily locally deployable decentralized model to bring aid to the homeless, wherever it may be, and do it at minimal cost. The amount of capital being used to criminalize the homeless, at the end of the day, is even more than it would cost to effectively deploy sustainable shelter and communities.

“There is also a medical component to this. Many homeless are often burdened with illness, be it physical or mental. Homelessness also can drive further mental illness. A universal framework will integrate recognition of mental illness not as a stigma to further ones homelessness but just the opposite. Effectively deployable technology to aid medical emergencies will be essential.”

The hackathon is a competitive event in which participants will form into teams and work to create an app or tool that directly impacts the lives of the homeless in a positive way while fitting into the framework of human rights that is also being developed on-site. Judging by the distinguished international panel takes place at 3:00 p.m. on the 22nd, and the prize will be awarded at 4:30 on the main Business Rocks stage. A panel consisting of the homeless from Gary Neville’s Stock Exchange project, scientists, developers, technologists, social housing workers and experts on the current migrant crisis will set the ‘tech for good’ challenge.

Judges will include Lord John Bird, founder and editor in chief of The Big Issue; Wesley Dove, a campaigner in the fight against homelessness who is homeless himself; Joe Fionda of NYC; Amy Varle of the People’s Property Shop; Steve Carr, whose walking protest and meditation Mind Canyon takes him from Land’s End to John O’Groats; Kieron Kirkland of CAST; Paul McNamee, award-winning editor of The Big Issue; Karl Sieber, Occupational Therapy Lead at Ticehurst House for Priory Group; and Daniel Robinson, evaluation funder at social tech funder Nominet Trust.

From Manchester’s City Centre to the shores of the Mediterranean, homelessness isn’t just about rough sleepers and migrants fleeing war zones, it’s about the needed change in the hearts and minds of those in a position to use their skills to help solve the growing crisis.

This is a project inspired by the homeless, for the homeless.

Follow the hackathon:

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/hackathon_br

On the web: http://www.business-rocks.com/hackathon.html

Or in person at Business Rocks in Manchester, UK, on April 21-22. Business Rocks is actively seeking partners with a development, education, technology and humanitarian focus to join us in a mass-scale effort to affect social change.

* * * *
A guest post by raincoaster.

About raincoaster
raincoaster: a small, hobbit-like creature of limitless megalomania and occasional homicidal tendencies. Like that’s bad or something
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  1. Damien Riley · April 16, 2016

    Great Britain is way ahead of us on this. I think our top psychologists should get with theirs, They’re doing it right.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Aldrich · April 16, 2016

      They seem to be! Steve Wozniak will also be attending this.


  2. Anton Wills-Eve · April 16, 2016

    Mark, the big problem is curing depressive mental illness. Until that is done homelessness will continue in developed countries. Third world destitution is a much worse & more complex problem. Pouring in billions of £in aid just funds dictatorships: I wish I knew the answer! Anton

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anton Wills-Eve · April 16, 2016

    Regarding the Manchester conference, many observers here just see it as a way to keep Manchester in the political limelight. Few expect anything concrete to come of it. I note one comment about our psychologists doing a better job on this problem than yours. Not quite true. Ours shy away from it and leave the solving of homelessness up to those who care and do something about it. Professional meddlers do NOTHING! cynical remark for today out of my system ! 🙂 Anton

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: #BR2016: Hackathon for the Homeless | The Gad About Town
  5. Pingback: The 6 commandments of creating a viral article - Tech Zillah

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