This past weekend, more than 100 young hackers gathered at Facebook’s Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters to devise tech-enabled solutions to ending violence against women and girls worldwide.
Chimehack 3 was the third hackathon created by Gucci’s three-year-old Chime for Change organization, which was created to bring awareness to, and raise money for, issues facing women and girls worldwide. Additional sponsors for the weekend’s events included social action platform Global Citizen and investment firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers.
This year’s teams were given a mission of devising ways to help increase the reporting of violence against women. The weekend began on Saturday with a panel discussion with issue experts such as Equality Now global director Yasmeen Hassan, Global Citizen chief operating officer Liza Lambert Henshaw and End Rape on Campus managing director Anna Voremberg.
Many of the teams used information and insights from the discussion to inform their ideas. Team “I Believe You,” made up of five women, for example, created a service that team members said makes women feel “not alone,” with the ability to share resources and stories. Their prize, for Connection and Integration, included a meeting with the chief executive officer and creative director of Enjoy. Another team, “EmpowHer,” created a type of digital panic button, while another team incorporated Facebook Messenger.
Additional prizes in a total of six categories included $5,000, incubator space at Hearst San Francisco (give to Team Helpy) and meetings with tech execs and investors at Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers (given to team Dear Ally). Gucci’s prize for Unique Concept and Originality went to Team Emma, and in addition to the cash prize, included tickets to the 2016 Global Citizen Festival, which gives away tickets in exchange for civic action.
Last year, an idea from Chimehack 2, which was held at San Francisco’s Twitter headquarters, inspired an app that was developed by End Rape on Campus.
Voremberg, who shared details of the service during the panel, called it a “huge deal” that Gucci was sponsoring such an event and cause.
“To see big brands throwing their name behind issues that people historically don’t want to touch is inspiring,” she said. She added that she hoped that other brands would do the same, “as a significant portion of their clients are women.” She also said the support of the Kering Corporate Foundation had been “instrumental.” The foundation is a part of Gucci parent company Kering.
Voremberg compared the issue of preventing violence against women to something like the historic issues of women voting or polio. “It’s seen as an insurmountable problem, and that’s simply not the case.”