How can Big Data contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals?

The program “Big Data: Techpreneurs for Good” was developed with the idea of creating awareness about the potential of Big Data working towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by combining cross-disciplinary expertise and collaborative approaches to leverage the potential of Big Data for a better tomorrow.
With this objective in mind, we first organized a “raising awareness” event— Big Data: Techpreneurs for Good Mashup. This featured various Big Data applicants for developmental purposes, with speakers of the Swiss Data Science Center, The Port, Flowminder, Scigility, Exascale Infolab and Global Geneva. By showcasing successful Big Data entrepreneurs in the humanitarian and international development sector in Switzerland, we wanted to first inspire and show the potential of using Big Data.
A second event followed— Big Data: Techpreneurs for Good Hackathon to bring together hundreds of un(der) used Big Data sets of Humanitarian and International Development Organizations (IOs) and private organizations with the skills, creativity, and business potential of successful technology based start-ups and potential founders of start-ups. This was a hands-on collaborative experience between techies, large International Organizations, and vice versa, where the development of new purpose-driven business models co-created several new business ideas that highlighted the power of potential collaboration between International Organizations and external science and technologies.

Interested to learn more about these events and the program's impact?

Click here for our final report!

We hope that this program - Big Data: Techpreneurs for Good - created a favourable environment for constructive synergies creation, a platform for understanding the potential of Big Data for good and possibly the spark for the development of feasible and innovative solutions to progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.  
We would like to thank all the partners that made this journey possible. Thanks to your involvement, we hope to have sparked new ideas and fostered meaningful collaborations for a better future.  
Impact Hub Geneva and THE Port Association look forward to facilitating, organizing and hosting other events connecting Big Data experts with innovators.


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After the great success of the Big Data: Techpreneurs 4 Good launch event on the 7th of June with 7 exceptional speakers and 120+ interested participants, we are now on-boarding data providers, challenge proposals and obtaining additional financial and in-kind support for the Big Data Hackathon.  
In this hackathon 10-12 November 2017, participants will:  
- Work in multidisciplinary teams to solve the humanitarian challenge presented, with mentoring and support tailored to your needs.
- Learn of each other’s strengths, weaknesses, challenges and aspirations with regards to Big Data    
- Ideate new business models that leverage Big Data in an economically viable way - and, if further developed, could potentially impact hundreds of thousands lives in a positive manner worldwide.
For whom is Big Data: Techpreneurs for Good for?
Data scientists, coders and innovators (on their own, at IOs, startups or at private businesses) who get a kick of manipulating data sets to uncover trends, facts and nuances that can be used to make the world a better place.
Why is this hackathon different?
1) It's focused on humanitarian, social and public interest topics. Interdisciplinary teams of selected participants will work together.  

The challenges tackled:

Challenge Name Framing Theme Potential data sources
Humanitarian Foresight How can we leverage Big Data to assess risk of political violence ? SDG16 Securaxis, Nethosphere
Building SDG Partnerships How to drive collaboration on SDGs through social media intelligence? SDG17 Nethosphere/Living Nethos SDG influencer maps
Health risk modelling How to model epidemic spread using open data ? SDG3 Global Fund, World Bank Open Data, World Health Organization
Open data analysis toolbox for the world Use public data about the City to improve a system using High performance data analysis technique like those used in LHC experiments. SDG9 LHC - CERN open data
Improving Food Security How to improve food assistance for populations in need? SDG2 Project 8

Open datasets

Bellow are some of the datasets that will be used during the Hackathons: Thanks to the support of the IBM, you will also have a possibility to access multiple tools, including access to IBM Watson's “Open Bar”.  
Kaggle: use the search box to find open datasets on everything from government, health, and science to popular games and dating trends  
- Humanitarian Data Exchange: large datasets of humanitarian-related indicators
- CERN's Open Datasets: access datasets from the ATLAS Experiment at CERN, based on 100 trillion proton collisions.
The CIA World Factbook: information on history, population, economy, government, infrastructure and military of 267 countries.
- European Union Open Data Portal: interesting place to explore government-related data, with some visualisation tools built-in offers open government data from US, EU, Canada, CKAN, and more
UNICEF: statistics on the situation of women and children worldwide
World Health Organization: data on world hunger, health, and disease statistics
- Facebook's graph API: query the huge amount of information that users share with the world
- Google's Public data explorer: data from world development indicators, OECD, and human development indicators
- Amazon Web Services public datasets: Huge resource of public data, including the 1000 Genome Project, an attempt to build the most comprehensive database of human genetic information and NASA's database of satellite imagery of Earth
You can also find several other databases on Github.

The Judges

Agnes Jakab - THE Port
Agnes works in humanitarian innovation and international HR for the biggest child protection AgnesJakabNGO in Switzerland. Both her professional and volunteering endeavours reflect her passion for improving the way the humanitarian sector works. Inspired by a fellowship at CERN and her membership at THE Port, she actively advocates the benefits of using technology for social good.
Felix Stähli - Impact Hub Geneva    
IMG_8982-copyPassionate about social entrepreneurship and leveraging the potential of Geneva-based international sectors for social innovation, Felix is one of four co-founders of Impact Hub Geneva. He leads operations, Geneva-based innovation projects and public relations. Alongside the Hub, Felix is on the board of the Geneva Global Goals Innovation Day and supports Just Innovate as well as the THE Port Humanitarian Hackathons as an advisory board member. Kitesurfing and cross-country skiing are among the hobbies he loves most.
Sean Carroll - CrowdAI
Sean is the crowdAI platform manager, where ope^70FF42D9F634A96A6B5A481A04DAB986A40915C0A50520D9BF^pimgpsh_fullsize_distrn data questions are answered using data science. The current crowdAI project, developed in conjunction with the Stanford Neuromuscular Biomechanics Lab, seeks to understand better how we walk. Sean will present the potential of the newest AI technologies and how they can be effectively applied, without developing in-house expertise. Sean works at the Digital Epidemiology Lab, at EPFL.
Elisabeth Pfund - Global Humanitarian Lab (GHL)
unnamed (2)Elisabeth is partnership manager at the Global Humanitarian Lab. With a combined experience across entrepreneurial, not-for-profit and private sectors, she is dedicated to building win win relationships across sectors. She now secures strategic partnerships in order to foster collaboration and innovation.
Sasha Lazarevic - IBM Switzerland
IMG_4560Sasha Lazarevic is Technology Evangelist and Solution Manager at IBM Switzerland, with extensive experience in techology solutions ranging from traiditonal to AI. IBM Watson PaaS platform helps to rapidly develop applicatoins using blockchain, natural lanuage understanding, conversation, visual and speech recognition, machine learning, Internet-of-Things and other services. Sasha worked as Maturation Team Leader at IBM Innovation Accelerator and believes in the business value of social and sustainability projects. He is responsible for the solution design of complex projects in Switzerland and enthusiastic about data science and deep learning.
Shalla Monteiro - TreeIntelligence
Shalla_ImpactHubShalla Monteiro is co-founder of TreeIntelligence and partner of Nethosphere. She has 20 years of professional experience in the areas of Branding, Advertising, Market Research, Social Responsibility, Direct and Interactive Marketing. Shalla is the author of #Incondicional, a book about Raimundo Sobrinho, a poet who was homeless for 32 years - which Facebook featured in its 10 years retrospective on using social media for humanitarian impact.

The prizes

Membership to Impact Hub Geneva & Lausanne 3 Fulltime Memberships to Impact Hub Geneva and Impact Hub Lausanne co-working space until the end of the year.
Tickets for Data Jam Days - Possibility for team members to take part in the first Data Jam Days on EPFL campus on 24-25th of November! This event is for anyone interested in analyzing, reusing, exploring, and visualizing scientific data. 
Further support provided by Global Humanitarian Lab


Friday, Nov 10

18h30 welcome & project overview (vision, goal, methodology, schedule of the weekend)

18h50 Meet the challenge setters & partners

19h10 Ice breaker & meet the teams

From 19:30 Cocktail available

Sat, Nov 11:

9h - 9h15 welcome back

9h15-9:30 team building

9h30 - 10h15 intro to the tool: how to manipulate the data sets

10h15 - 12h work time*

12h - 13h30 lunch - Cuisine Lab

13h30 - 15h work time*

15h - 15h30 Blockchain, Watson, et Internet of Things by Pierre Kauffmann, IBM Switzerland

15h30 - 16h coffee break

16h - 18h work time*

18:00 – 18:59 midterm presentation

19h - 19h15 Check out - possibility to stay for dinner and continue hacking

Sun, Nov 12:

9h - 9h15 welcome back

9h15 - 12h work time *

12h - 13h30 lunch

13h30 - 16h30 work time *

16h30 - 17h coffee break

17h - 18h30 Presentation of projects in front of Jury** - open to the public

18h30 - 21h00 Announcement of winner team and cocktail

* several business help desks are available throughout the weekend, to be booked for periods of 30min. Topics can include: business modeling, sales, marketing, coding, etc
A thank you to CTI (Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation) for their support on this initiative.      




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