’’Technology allows us to rethink and redesign taken for granted answers and solutions and improve them.’’


We are proud to have such a strong and respected panel of jurors that will decide which teams deserve to win next week. Prof. Dr. Valerie Frissen of ICT and Social Change and Managing Director of the SIDN Fund is one the jurors and shares her story in the run-up to the #Hackathonforgood.

What is your expertise as one of the jurors and what will be your key points of attention during the Hackathon?
’'I am CEO of SIDN fund which supports tech for good innovations (focusing on digital technologies/the internet). It is our core business to spot interesting solutions and creative ideas that use digital technology as an answer to societal challenges. The key theme of this hackathon 'security, justice and peace' confronts us with many of these challenges, not in the least in the digital realm, so for is it is not more than logical to take part in this exciting event. Moreover, the hackathon method finds its origin in the internet community and is thus a well-known practice for us. 

 Besides being CEO of this fund I am also a part-time professor at Leiden University where I hold the chair ‘digital technologies and social change”, which allows me also to take back a step now and then, and reflect on the societal impact and usefulness of these innovations.’’

Why is it so important that we try to solve social problems with technology?
’’Technology allows us to rethink and redesign taken for granted answers and solutions and improve them. In some case technology also brings in completely new perspectives. On the other hand; we should be aware of ‘technologies looking for a problem’; the first and most important consideration for me as a juror is therefore to see if the hackers start with a well understood, real societal problem and not with the potential technology solution.’’

What is your view on the challenges that the hackers will face during The Hackathon for Good?
’’The fact that there are clear problem owners who have formulated urgent challenges they are confronted with in their everyday practice is a very good starting point for this hackathon. This helps the hackers to avoid falling into the ‘technology trap’ described above.’’

Where are you most excited about?
’’Of course the amazing amount of teams that are willing to spend a weekend to come up with hopefully very exciting and new ideas!’’

Emiel Lijbrink