SAN FRANCISCO — More than 300 college and high-school hackers from around the U.S. attended the kickoff of a three-day hackathon sponsored by Gucci’s Chime for Change in partnership with Twitter.
The focus of the event, held at Twitter headquarters in downtown San Francisco, was to conceptualize, plan and develop technical solutions for issues relating to women’s health, safety and social equality internationally.
The launch evening on Thursday included a panel discussion related to women’s safety on campus, ending discrimination against women and ending domestic violence.
Laurent Claquin, head of Kering Americas, noted that 80 percent of Kering customers are women, and that 60 percent of the company’s global employees are women. “Building on the first Chimehack held in San Francisco in 2013, the Chimehack2 goal is to identify ways for disruptive technology to support girls and women globally and celebrate the power of women in tech. We are looking forward to seeing their technical innovations presented on Sunday night,” he said.
Claquin introduced a panel led by Alyse Nelson of Vital Voices, with Cindy Southworth of National Network to End Domestic Violence, Meghana Rao of Breakthrough, and Jessica Ladd of Sexual Health Innovations. Vijaya Gadde, general counsel at Twitter, also spoke.
“Chimehack is an opportunity for talented individuals to test their skills and to network with leaders in the industry, but also to understand pressing global challenges and create truly useful solutions,” said Juliet de Baubigny, chair of the Chimehack2 host committee and a senior partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a leading venture capital company in Silicon Valley. “From my experience in the tech community, I understand the power technology has to change lives. Every day, we are seeing new developments that help to make life easier, more convenient and more exciting. It is important that we harness the power of these innovations to also do good in the world,” she said.
Over 1,000 applications were received for the 250 hacker places, and the event attracted full-stack developers, software engineering students, computer science students and mobile developers. Chimehack2 is presented in partnership with Twitter, with support from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, The Kering Foundation and Hearst Magazines. The event offered $35,000 in prizes from companies including Uber, Airbnb, Chegg and Docusign.
Claquin said that while the Kering corporate platform is profit, people and the planet, within this framework each fashion brand is autonomous and can choose its own causes and projects.
Chime for Change was founded by Gucci in 2013 and the global campaign has funded more than 400 projects in 86 countries through 144 non-profit partners, reaching hundreds of thousands of girls and women.
Gucci and Chime for Change will also serve as the presenting partners of the 2015 Global Citizen Festival on the Great Lawn in Central Park on Sept. 26 in New York City, featuring performances by Pearl Jam, Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran and Coldplay.