Techfugees, the community-led non-profit set up to empower displaced people from across the world through digital, marks its second anniversary next month with a major gathering in Paris looking at ways to help refugees at all stages of their journeys.
Techfugees was established in 2015 by a group led by journalist Mike Butcher, on the back of increasing concern about the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding across the globe. The latest UNHCR Global Trends report says that nearly 66 million people have been forcibly displaced – with that total increasing by 300,000 alone in the past year alone.
Campaigners, technologists and investors concerned about the refugee crisis and its implications for the UK have come together in a show of community spirit and practical problem-solving, to help address one the great social problems of our times. Through the organisation and its work, tech-savvy entrepreneurs, engineers and corporates are building solutions for, and with, refugees.
Today the Techfugees community spans 25 chapters across the world, curating 300 projects with an online network of over 20,000 people. The Techfugees Summit overall is expected to convene a community of more than 450 people.
The summit’s two days will see a mix of panel discussions, workshops and networking opportunities, following refugees at all stages of the resettlement process from arrival to feeling at home. Speakers include:
- Mike Butcher – Techfugees chairman and editor-at-large at TechCrunch
- Hassan Akkad – Bafta winner for Exodus
- Mark Zuckerman – Culture hacker, founder of Freespace and partnership manager at Elpida refugee camp
- Gabo Arora, founder and creative director at LightShed and senior advisor @United Nations HQ presenting VR movie “Clouds over sidra”
- Tom Hayton – Techfugees HQ lead on edtech for displaced Syrians
Panel discussions will focus on the use of mobile phones and internet, data privacy and security online, as well as health tech and trusted information solutions for the displaced.
Station F director Roxanne Varza said: “We are so thrilled to be able to host a Techfugees event at Station F – what they are doing is so incredibly important, we really need to give more attention to the topic within the ecosystem. I’m hoping that this partnership will help spread more light on the incredible job they are doing.”