#Hacking Solutions for lifelong learnings and Livelihoods

Develop your ideas into tech solutions to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education!

Do you have an idea to enable digital inclusion, develop skills and literacy trainings for Livelihoods?
Join the #Hack4Education!

In an increasingly online world, people need digital skills and literacy to work, live, learn and communicate productively. Without these skills, people face marginalisation not only in the physical world but in digital realms as well.

Globally, the offline population is disproportionately rural, poor, elderly and female. Offline people often have limited education, low literacy (Sprague et al., 2014) and typically hold informal-sector jobs. To increase digital inclusion, fundamentally different strategies are needed.

We believe that now is a good time to remind everyone of a fundamental limitation of the ability of technology to make the world a better place. All of these advances in one way or another rely on the internet – a tool which remains foreign to about half of the world’s population.

This is exactly where solutions are crucially needed to develop digital solutions that are more inclusive for users who need the most support.

Learn more »

What is #Hack4Education?

#Hack4Education is a general effort by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to find innovative solutions to address challenges around Lifelong learning and sustainable Livelihoods.

  • #Hack4Education is a 2-days sprint-like event that will take place on April 7-8 in International Geneva during the World Summit for the Information Society (#WSIS) Forum 2019, the world's largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for development’ community. The mission of the hackathon is to bring together 10+ teams from around the world, to develop their concrete solutions through a creative and highly collaborative approach for designing and implementing inclusive digital solutions for the users who need the most support.

NOTE that all participants to #Hack... are invited to stay on Tuesday, April 9 to attend the High Level Segment of the WSIS Forum at the ITU Headquarters in Geneva.

Agenda »

Why should you participate?

Developing YOUR idea can make a difference in ensuring equitable and inclusive education. The #Hack4Education will provide you with the perfect space and platform to get your ideas off the ground.

You will directly benefit from:

  • Connection to the UN ecosystem.
  • Participants from all around the world.

  • Inspiring workspace to focus 100% on ideating and prototyping your solution!
  • Process facilitators.

  • Tools & operational support* from innovation experts and entrepreneurs.
  • Access to International Organisations datasets.

  • Feedback from topical experts from UNESCO and ITU.
  • Technical and IT Support.

*Operational support on exploring and crystallizing your project's

  • Value Proposition & Business Model
  • Legal structure
  • Fundraising strategy
  • Impact measurement
  • Replicability in other places to grow your impact exponentially

In addition, we will take full care of you during the Hackathon (including meals and drinks) in order for you and your ‘Hack’ team to be able to focus 100% on ideating, prototyping and progressing on your solution.

Who can apply & how?

Apply if you…

  • …are passionate about technology and innovation.
  • …have an idea or an existing project related to ensuring access to education.
  • …are in a team of motivated people and you would like to further develop and your idea or an existing project.
  • …are between 18 and 35 years old.

How to apply:

Two ways to register:

  • Apply as a team of 5 to 7 participants. (Teams should consider gender balance and diversity among members.)
  • Apply individually and join a team during the hackathon.

NOTE that you can also apply individually (to get matched with an existing team that wishes your support over the course of the Hackathon).


Participation to #Hack4Education is free of charge.

Please note that participants are self-funded for travel, accommodation and insurance costs. Government, or institution sponsored applicants should be indicating it in their application, and only a limited amount of fellowships will be provided from LDCs to participants who need financial support to come to Geneva.

Timeline and Selection Process

Hackathon timeline

Application Phase

People interested to join any #Hack4Education are invited to apply during the application phase until the deadline. For those who need a visa to come to the #Hack4Education, it will be required for you to apply as soon as possible, at least 4 weeks prior to the event.

Participants Selection

After the deadline, all applications will be screened by the selection committee, composed of the organising team, as well as topical and innovation experts, in order to choose the best hack teams and hackers to join the #Hack4Education.

Participants Notification and Confirmation

Selected hackers will be informed in the two following weeks after the application deadline. We would recommend you to be particularly reactive to your emails during this period of time in order to confirm your presence and submit the necessary documents, in the case you would be selected.

Hack Team formation and Briefing

As soon as all hackers have confirmed their presence, final hack teams will be formed and announced publicly. The organising team will provide you with all necessary logistical information for you to be ready before #Hack4Education.

Find more specific details under the #Hack4Education agenda.





When? Sunday 7th and Monday 8th April 2018
Where? ITU Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland

#Hack4Education is a 2-days sprint-like event. The mission of the hackathon is to bring together 10+ teams from around the world, to develop their concrete solutions through a creative and highly collaborative approach for designing and implementing inclusive digital solutions for the users who need the most support.

Saturday April 6th - 18:00 - 21:00
Informal Get together at the Impact Hub Geneva

Sunday April 7th
1st Hacking Day

09h00 : Registration & Breakfast

09h30 : Kick-off:

  • Welcome
  • Motivational Talks
  • Introduction to Hackathons
  • Structure, Goals and Rules
  • Group Picture

10h00 : Hacking

13h00 : Lunch

14h00 : Hacking

18h00 : Midterm Review

19h00 : Dinner

20h00 : Hacking

Monday April 8th
2nd Hacking Day

08h00 : Breakfast & Hacking

  • Preparation of Final Pitch

13h00 : Lunch

14h00 : Hacking

18h00 : Finals

  • Welcome words
  • Keynote speakers
  • Team presentations
  • Closing and wrap-up

19h30 : Apero

Tuesday April 9th

Pitches of the Hackathon winning teams at High-level Track

A Hacka… what?

A Hackathon is a powerful tool to innovate by bringing together diverse actors who do not usually work together. The format embraces the complexity of challenges, as well as enables the participants to identify practical interventions and approaches to address urgent issues. Moreover, the hackers will be benefiting from the specific know-how and skill sets of experts on the topic.

Interested to know more
about the Hack?