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David and Christopher Mikkelsen

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Refugees United - London Hack Weekend

Posted: 13/04/2012 15:24

The buzz of London swirls around me as I settle in to write this post. I don't get to come here nearly as often as I'd like, and each return finds me swearing greater attendance in this school of wonder.

And I'm double-wondered this time as we're here on a tech-mission to run a Refugees United Hackathon with Rewired State. The hack is focused on helping Refugees United solve some of our challenges in aiding separated refugee families to reconnect following their flight from conflict, famine and natural disasters - incidents that often see entire families scattered between different refugee camps, regions and even countries.

Gathering in the Westminster Hub, in the New Zealand House, RU will spend the weekend with a group of wonderfully smart developers, user experience experts and other tech folks interested in helping refugee families by chasing down some of the challenges Refugees United are facing, and helping us to solve them.

It's a humbling experience to know that a group of your peers gather in the name of conjuring up - from the wild and thin air of inspiration and curiosity - simple to advanced solutions that can radically alter the life of a person somewhere in Somalia, Sudan or elsewhere. The connection between the UK and Uganda can seem distant, but through the fiber optics that tie our world together, this weekend we'll move to cohabitate a space of inventiveness that will see aid take the form of 0's and 1's, as Westminster becomes the code-central to restore communications between desperate refugee families trying to find their loved ones.

Refugees United would like to thank the inspiring guys and girls rendering available to us their talents and look forward to reporting on their accomplishments. Moreover, we'd like to thank Ericsson for the financial support to make this happen, as well as Wired Magazine, our media partner and sponsor.

If you'd like to follow the Hack on Twitter, the hashtag is #rsrefutd - kick-off is on Saturday the14th at 9:30am GMT.

On behalf of the Refugees United Team,

David and Christopher

 

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