Amsterdam Refugee Hackathon February 4-6 @ A-Lab

Why a Refugee Hackathon? Hacks/Hackers Amsterdam wants to help solve problems that refugees experience. We’re getting migrants, refugees and locals – techies, creatives and journalists – together to work on this.

Join us for a the kick-off event on February 4, where we will be screening the documentary We are Here and/or pull up your sleeves and join us for the hackathon at February 5 and 6. Join a project you like, or pitch a new project.

RSVP here     Support us!


Safety Lab

Safety Lab, a participatory art project, aims to set up an online platform for undocumented female asylum seekers and to develop online resources on safety and security. The platform will be developed together with the women to ensure it addresses the needs and issues they face around safety and security.


Wifi Hotspot

The wifi hotspot project will develop a device that will provide internet connectivity to refugee collectives. The objective is to improved migrants right to freedom of expression and access to
information by implementing a critical and conscious use of technology. The 4G enabled WiFi device will enable built-in use of Tor or VPN and provide relevant local services.


Interview Simulation

Refugee Interview Simulation is a virtual reality game that will be designed to give people an insight into the interview process between the IND and refugees in the asylum seeking process. In order to do this, interactive stories that mirror the dynamics of this interview will be developed that are based on real dossiers.


Refugee Phrasebook

Welcome to Refugee Phrasebook: Together we are building an open collection of useful words and phrases for refugees who just arrived.

The Refugee Phrasebook is a multilingual tool that provides basic useful vocabulary related to the most common immediate needs.

Sign up!

Have a project idea? We are accepting pitches for new projects. If you have an idea you would like to see elaborated at the hackathon, please send us an email to

Who is invited? Technologists, students, journalists, designers, storytellers, communication strategists, NGOs, refugee community members and workers.

Make sure to bring your laptops, raspberry pi´s and 4G USB sim dongels if you have them!

In addition to hacking on projects, we also want to provide a space where discussion and debate can take place on the issues surrounding the refugee crisis in The Netherlands focusing on the problems that exist within the NGO sector, on the government level, within refugee organizations and other areas. We are planning an exciting side session where we will hear from people who are tackling these issues everyday.

RSVP here by February 1


A Lab is a start-up community hub in Amsterdam. Combining the strength of Amsterdam’s creative scene, technological prowess and free thinking spirit into a 5000m2 hothouse for bleeding edge experimentation. A Lab is located just across from central station a short ferry ride away!

If you need a place to stay, we recommend ClinkNOORD, right next to A Lab and our hackathon. ClinkNOORD is a stylish, design-led hostel, only a free short ferry from Amsterdam Centraal.

See the map below for details on location.


Thursday, February 4

19:00-19:30    Welcome and introduction of hackathon projects

19:30-20:45    Documentary

20:45-21:45    Panel discussion

21:45-22:30    Closing and drinks


Friday, February 5

9:30  Walk-in and registration

10:00  Welcome

10:15 Group exercise

10:30 Project pitches (5 minutes each)

11:00 Coffee Break

11:15 Groups formed

11:30 Working sessions 1

13:00 Lunch

13:30 Working session 2

16:00 Teams report back to the group

16:30 Drinks

Saturday, February 6

9:30  Working session 3

12:30 Lunch

13:00 Working session 4

15:30 Final project presentations

16:30 Awards

17:00 Celebration

Things to Know

This is a Bring Your Own Lunch (BYOL) event. HacksHackers is run by volunteers who commit their own efforts to the cause. We are thankful for all of the support we have received thus far. A Lab is graciously offering small drinks during our documentary screening and panel discussion. The Coffee Virus will be available for participants all day Friday and Saturday until 14:00. They serve a variety of great lunch options and beverages for a reasonable price! You can check out their menu here.

The Hackathon is hosted by Hacks/Hackers Amsterdam, A Lab, and the University of Amsterdam Media Studies department.

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