UNESCO and Microsoft partner for peace with women’s SE Asia Shared Histories hackathon

UNESCO and Microsoft partner for peace with women’s SE Asia Shared Histories hackathon

Women web/mobile developers are invited to join the “UNESCO-Microsoft Women’s Hackathon for a Culture of Peace”, with the creators of the winning app to receive a trophy in the name of Her Royal Highness Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. 

The hackathon is an initiative of UNESCO Bangkok, Microsoft (Thailand) and the Social Technology Institute, which builds on UNESCO Bangkok’s “Promoting Intercultural Dialogue and a Culture of Peace in South-East Asia through Shared Histories” project. 

Hackathon participants will create apps using lessons from the innovative teaching and learning materials that have been developed under the programme and that respond to the question: “How can we enjoy a culture of peace and come to understand history as a source of harmony based on shared histories rather than conflict?”

The three top teams at the conclusion of the semi-final round will be awarded 20,000 baht to develop a full version of their application. The team that wins first prize will receive a trophy in the name of HRH Princess Sirindhorn and be invited to present their work at a symposium in October on the Shared Histories initiative. 

The hackathon encourages Thai women’s involvement in line with UNESCO’s wider efforts to promote girls’ and women’s participation in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. 

(Note: Apps can be in Thai or bilingual; however the orientation session will be in Thai only). 

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Hackathon website and entry form (in Thai) 

Key dates 

15 March – Deadline for submissions of teams – this is an open call and teams can comprise 3-5 women (app developers, designers, IT marketing specialists, etc). 

19 March - Up to 15 teams will be selected. 

27 March - Orientation at UNESCO Bangkok on the Shared Histories project/app development tools by a Microsoft expert. 

31 March/1 April - Hackathon semi-final round at Microsoft Thailand (All Seasons Place): Three finalists will be announced, funding awarded.

26 April - Finalists will present on their progress at Microsoft Thailand

21 May - Final showcase of apps and HRH Maha Chakri Sirindhorn trophy presented to winner announced at UNESCO Bangkok.

8-10 October: The winning team will present their work at the UNESCO Symposium on South-East Asian Shared Histories for Intercultural Dialogue and Culture of Peace in Bangkok, Thailand.

More on the hackathon:

The Shared Histories content is divided into four themes: People and Places, Early Centres of Power, Rice and Spice, and South-East Asia and the World. A total of 25 lessons are provided within these themes. Teams will learn more about these themes at the orientation session, and then select a lesson on which to base their application.

Teams will have access to audiovisual materials from sources under a Creative Commons policy, for example, photobank.unescobkk.org, search.creativecommons.org, Getty Images Creative Commons, etc. They can also use copyrighted materials from sources that have already provided permission.

The expected outcome is a web/mobile application that is suitable for public use. The educational content in the app can also be linked to other relevant uses, such as trade, agriculture, improvement of livelihood, tourism, fashion and entertainment, etc.

A jury comprising representatives from UNESCO, Microsoft and potential users will evaluate the apps based on their educational content and technical skill.