Success! Digital Pride Hackathon 2020 – Rise of the Pride Polyphony

The first Digital Pride Hackathon, organised by Unicorns in Tech, in partnership with other proud organisations, took place between May 15th and 17th 2020. It was organised to coincide with IDAHOBIT (International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia), and bring the LGBT+ community together, to tackle the current challenges faced around the world.

Bringing more than 70 participants together, the hackathon saw ten teams working on different projects, and aiming to bring the global LGBT+ community together, to support and help each other.

From ‘Queerin’’, an app to find LGBT+ friendly locations, to ‘Queerboost”’ a queer council bringing activists together on a news network, the goal of the hackathon was to tackle the cancellation of the Pride Parades this year, by offering alternatives and solutions to keep up the Pride Month spirit, and the solidarity in the community.

The winning project of the Digital Pride Hackathon 2020 is the ‘Pride Polyphony’, a library of audio hugs around the world for the LGBTQ community.

“The library takes recordings from anyone (including allies), anywhere in the world, in any language, and releases them for people to listen to connect to others through the power of voices,” explains Athena, one member of the team of three non cis-male people who developed the project.

“I think it’s an elegantly simple solution that gets to the core of our human needs.“

As product manager of the project, Ghonche agrees:

“I am from Iran and coming from a country that suppresses the LGBTQIA+ community, I cannot think of a better gift to my community than a platform, an opportunity to share their voices and their stories and for their first time ever to participate in a global Pride celebration.”

The 36-hour event brought together more than 15 nationalities, with and without technical skills, each bringing their own expertise in development, marketing, and business, along with their experience as LGBT+ people.

“The Digital Pride Hackathon was a perfect opportunity for the community to support each other in this difficult time. We brought strangers from all over the world to work together and make a difference,” says Stuart Cameron, CEO of the UHLALA Group.

“With location-specific projects such as ‘Pride #UnDistanced’ creating an online geo-localised Pride Parade on St Petersburg streets, to [a] more global solution, such as ‘Licit’, proposing a virtual card game to open up the discussion about sexuality, every solution had its own way to help and support the diversity within the LGBT+ community.” 

The final projects are all available online for the public to see here.

“The real work actually starts now, after the hackathon, as each project is still in the early steps. Bringing them in[to] the real world will take some support in different forms, from financial support to further project development or communication assistance,” adds Stuart Cameron.

“Everyone can contact the working teams directly to support them – or simply take part in the next Digital Pride Hackathon in 2021!”  

The hackathon was also an opportunity to bring different groups together to create an impact. It was supported by, among others, Aktionsbündnis gegen Homophobie, All Out, Blend, Bündnis gegen Homophobie, Coca Cola Rainbow Network, Digital Freedom Fund, Enough is Enough, Intertech, Liebe wen du willst Campaign, Mate Magazin, Metro Pride, Panda, Pink Pillow, Pride @ SAP, Proudr, Queer:seite!, QueerBW, RAHM, SchwuZ, Stadt Mannheim, Straight Magazine, Sticks & Stones, UHLALA Group, Vangardist, LGBT+ & Friends Networks Vodafone Deutschland und Völklinger Kreis.

The Digital Pride Hackathon was organised by Unicorns in Tech, the global LGBT+ Tech Community. 

Founded in 2014 as part of the UHLALA Group, the community gathers more than 4000+ members around the world, and organises events such as monthly get-togethers, and the Berlin LGBT+ Tech Week. Unicorns in Tech members can also join the online platform and app, allowing its users to network, discuss the hottest tech topics, find new jobs in LGBT+ friendly companies, and get tickets for tech events in their locations.

More information on the Unicorns in Tech website.

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