Feminist Futures Hackathon
31 May - 06 Jun 2021
What is Feminist Futures Hackathon?
- a hackathon for everyone
Feminist Futures Hackathon (FFH) is a collective space to imagine and speculate on intersectional feminist futures.
FFH challenges the hackathon culture of "tech bros" and invites everyone to create together against the systemic inequalities and oppressions of all kinds.
FFH does not require any technical skills and aim to propose hi-tech solutions. It only require passion towards just futures and aim to propose future scenarios through any medium and in any creative form like online platforms, social services, media campaigns or other.
FFH is for everyone, no matter gender, age, profession, educational level, race or ability. It is an open and welcoming space to work collaboratively towards our desired common futures.
FFH is inspired by Our Feminist Futures Hackathon and its organiser team's previous studies on feminist hackathons, as well as our friends' work of Feminist Futures Helsinki. The hackathon is informed by the values and approaches from Participatory Design, Feminist HCI, Design Justice and Feminist Futures literature.
Participants will be guided through a process of theory, first by critically looking at what's missing, whose concerns are not being articulated, whose interests aren't being represented, and whose truths aren't being told, and secondly, by using speculative tools and technology to tell future stories of equality and inclusion.
Why we should hack?
It is a great space to understand, examine and challenge the social issues that underrepresented groups face in regards to health and wellbeing, relationship with money and city life while also developing technical, design, entrepreneurial and social skills.
We can challenge the world of today only by understanding, supporting and empowering each other and uniting against our common enemy. FFH provides a platform to build and knit a community together.
to be aware
Feminist Hackathons are great places for feminist awareness raising! We are aiming to extend our understanding and vision on feminist design by enhancing our awareness about inequalities in each track's focus field.
to create & produce
The hackathon aims to create ideas together in a short amount of time. However, we are sure that participants will form teams to work with on longer terms to realize their idea and even form an organisation together.
Find out more about the tracks
1.Take Part - Hack for Urban Justice
Cities aren't built to accommodate women, LGBTQ+, non-binary, BIPOC and people of different abilities' bodies, needs and desires. How might we transform the "city of white, able-bodied middle class men'' into a city for everyone? How can we ensure that we can all access urban spaces and facilities, at any time, safely equally, and confidently?
Participants will be invited to envision, design and build projects in response to the challenges that all the marginalised groups are encountering in the city. A few examples of such challenges can be: safety, accessibility, fair labour politics, sheltering, hygiene... These broad themes cover each of our lived experiences in the city space and those experiences oppress and exclude each of us in very different ways. Walking alone at night, waiting for a bus, getting seated in public transportation, facing increased policing as a POC, urban surveillance, stroller access, affordable day care, transportation and commute planning, gentrification, the lack of play spaces, lack of urban facilities to housing developments, safety, cleanliness of public bathrooms, harassment on public transit, spots to nurse, diaper spaces, accessibility of stalls, gendered spaces, domestic labour, gendered housing insecurity, non-inclusive housing planning, exclusion of different household type's needs, sexualization and objectification in public spaces and more...
By using big data, online platforms, digital tools, software, sensors, IoT, robotics and other technologies, participants will formulate projects in response to the urban challenges that they choose, and, in this way, will create scenarios of an inclusive and fair urban futures.
Participants will be able to form a shared understanding of systems of oppression in the urban environment: sexism, ableism, classism, racism and how these contribute to exclusion; how urban life is not welcoming, and how technology and data can be used to envision alternative scenarios.
2. Take Care -Hack for Health & Well-being
Female health technology or the so-called FemTech market has been on the rise for the last couple of years. It started as technological solutions primarily to fertility and pregnancy; however, as more and more female founders took the stage, female health topics have reached much further. These now include women's health issues just as sexual wellness, pregnancy and postpartum health, maternal care, disease management, menopause, pelvic health or mental health-related problems.
Women's health research is extremely underfunded and undervalued—it currently accounts for just 4% of overall R&D funding for healthcare products and services, and 65% of this funding focuses on fertility. There are many reasons for this. Until recently, women of child bearing age were not included in clinical trials and therefore drugs and devices tested on men were ineffective or even unsafe for women. Without their involvement in the trials, research on women's health outcomes was limited.
Fast forward to today, women's health as a category has gone beyond just healthcare, is hugely impacted by the use of technology, and is all but a niche - it affects more than just females - fertility, for example, is not just a women's issue, despite the misconception that (in)fertility is still a largely female problem (40-50% of all fertility problems are due to the male factor).
The potential of women's health is massive - female health is not just female health, it affects men, children, and whole families as women are primary caregivers more often than not. Female health is a public health issue and should be treated as a priority.
Moreover, how can we address issues closely connected to sexual health, and more particularly where sexual assault is concerned? 1 in 3 women worldwide have been subjected to either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.
So how can we improving the systems of sexual assault prevention, care, and justice to serve survivors and their communities? How can we develop and prove resources to help them overcome this difficult trauma? How can we remove stigma and find solution for abortion seekers and how can we develop services and options specifically for people in this situation who are looking for care and information? How can we help teenage kids get answers to questions about sexual health and puberty? How can we address the LGBTQ health gap? How can we close "the pleasure gap" and create tools for connection that heighten intimacy, and add value to women's pleasure? How can we have inclusive health systems?
3. Take Control -Hack for Financial Inclusion
Through this track, we aim at designing solutions that contribute to women's economic empowerment through financial inclusion.
Financial inclusion is more than just reducing the stubborn nine percent gender gap in the area. It is about empowering women to increase their financial autonomy, bargaining-power and self-esteem, while reducing their exposure to risks.
Women are not brought up to think about money the way men are. Overall, they are earning less, saving less, investing less.
Women do often end up with a smaller nest egg at the end of their working lives, but for a simple reason: They earn less in their jobs. "It ends up being a wage story. (..) Men save more because they earn more."
55% of the women questioned in a survey agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, "I know less than the average investor about financial markets and investing in general," compared with just 27% of the men.
Women tend to have a much lower risk tolerance than men—only 4% of women were willing to invest a substantial amount to achieve potentially higher returns, even if it meant possibly losing some or all of an initial investment, compared with 15% of men.
People say that women are better investors because they're more conservative, make less trades, aren't taking as many big bets, but this is just a big gender stereotype.
This has a lot to do with how women are raised to think about money.
When men and women who have the same education level around investing, their risk patterns appear to be more similar.
During this track, participants will be invited to envision, design and build technological solutions to the challenges that women and intersectionally marginalised groups are encountering in the financial sector: how to make smarter decisions with their money, how to take control of their financials and how to help these groups feel that managing their money can be empowering, and not intimidating.
What will be the outcomes?
By the end of the hackathon, participants will be able to discuss and give examples of good practices for inclusive urban development, for inclusive finance and for feminist care.
Participants will be able to accurately describe their observations and critiques of the urban experience, the health space and the financial space.
By working in collaborative groups, participants will be able to form predictions about how future technologies can be applied to the urban environment, health space and financial space.
The hackathon will provide space for navigating and sharing personal experiences, contextualizing and connecting those experiences with systemical oppression.
What you need to know before registering for the hackathon:
What do I need to have in order to participate in the hackathon?
You’ll need a computer and a stable connection to the Internet to be able to hack and participate in our talks and workshops on the week of 31st of May- 6th of June, over Zoom. We recommend to also create an account on Slack - we’ll invite you to be a part of our Feminist Futures Hack community where we’ll share info about the hackathon, where you’ll be able to communicate with your team and stay in touch with the organizing team over the duration of the hack and further on.
When is the hackathon, and when should I apply?
The hackathon takes place between the 31st of May- 6th of June 2021, online, so you’ll be able to attend, regardless of your location. We aim to have over 50 participants, from all around the world. Applications will be open from 5th of May until the 31st of May, 23:59 EEST, so be quick to apply because we have limited spots. We welcome participants of all genders, nationalities, and backgrounds, and irrespective of your tech knowledge/education.
Is it going to be a full-time hackathon, how many hours should I attend ?
Between 31 May-04 June we will be having inspiration talks every evening between 19-21 pm CET and on the weekend (05-06 Jun) each track will be working in groups for 4-8 hours a day. The amount of time you would like to hack depends on you and will be decided on a voluntarily basis.
What will be the outcome of our work?
We are wary of technology solutionism, and we believe that the best outcomes can take different forms: not just software or hardware, but also art, media campaigns, videos, programs and frameworks for systemic change. We’re also aware that we cannot solve a problem so persistent as gender inequality over the course of a week-end, that’s why we don’t propose solutions, but concepts, ideas and prototypes about what those solutions might be. Small changes can bring a big impact sometimes.
What tools will we be using during the hackathon?
We will use Zoom as a way to connect with the participants and speakers throughout the whole event, and collaborative tools like Slack to communicate with participants and offer them a tool to communicate inside their teams. We also advise, but not limited to, other tools for remote working, such as Mural, Miro, or prototyping tools like Balsamiq, UXPin and others. For creating quick prototypes we’ll be sharing with the attendants a suite of no-code tools.
What happens after the hackathon?
The hackathon will not be competition based, but rather oriented towards collaboration. We encourage participants to further work on their projects, individually or with their team, even after the hackathon has ended. We would like to showcase some of the projects to our website, in order to create a digital exhibition of future feminisms visions, a collective imaginary of preferred futures.
What can I expect from the hackathon?
During the week we will have talks and workshops from our partner organizations and speakers. These sessions will help us all get in the mood and get ready for the projects in the three tracks. You will then get to work with your project team. Our partner organizations (to be announced soon) will work as mentors for the teams throughout the hackathon, so you will also get a chance for some one-on-one with them.