Mar 31,2014
Posted by TechWadi100 Member Rania Hadi, Outreach Manager Google MENA

Many desire to have an impact on the world and create positive change, but few actually create tangible products to drive that change. On Feb 14-16, hundreds of students from all over the world were able to do just that, at the NYU Abu Dhabi 3rd annual Hackathon for Social Good.

Led by Professor Sana Odeh, the programming challenge brought together some of the best and brightest from all over the world, with most participants from the Middle East and North Africa.

Industry leaders, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and tech professionals were paired with students (mostly Computer Science background) to produce applications for the benefit of Social Good in the Arab world. I was fortunate to join as a judge, and witnessed the vast amount of talent and well-thought out execution by the participants.

From healthcare to tourism, education to science, students developed impressive web/mobile and hardware prototypes. The applications ranged from a mobile app to help report traffic violations, to a crowd-sourced app to help tourists with personalized travel plans (including volunteering opportunities in the Arab World), to an “impulse donating platform” where users can donate to charities with a few simple clicks. Among these applications, the distinguished panel of judges awarded the top three that had the most well thought out prototypes and presentations:

First place (also Audience choice): MedCare/Tabibi

Digital nurse app reminding the elderly to take their medicine and alerting their emergency contacts with life saving information when health problems occur.

Second place: Jedis

an SMS-based platform to let local arab businesses instantly create a web presence (incl. location, hours etc.).

Third place: WellSense Cost-effective web- & hardware solution for well monitoring, to benefit NGOs and local populations Many of these prototypes can be developed into very promising agents for social change. I was very impressed by the talent, and even more enthusiastic about everyone’s interest in having a true impact on Social Good – which lies at the heart of the TechWadi organization! More details about NYU Abu Dhabi, Arab Women in Computing, the event, and teams, along with photos can be found here.   [twuser id=”299″]

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