LGBTQIA+ Matters Online Hackathon
On May 17, 2023, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) Regional Office for South Asia organized an online hackathon event titled "Strengthening Dialogue and Cooperation between South Asia and the European Union on LGBTQIA+ Matters" to coincide with the International Day against Homophobia, Bi-phobia, and Trans-phobia. The event aimed to facilitate connections among LGBTQIA+ communities from Europe and South Asia, providing them with a valuable platform to showcase innovative solutions addressing the challenges they face in their daily lives.
During the online event, teams from across South Asia and Europe joined forces to tackle the issues confronting LGBTQIA+ communities in the region. The top 10 teams, selected by an international jury composed of distinguished figures from the LGBTQIA+ community in South Asia and Europe, presented their innovative projects. These proposals covered diverse topics, including healthcare access, prevention of online bullying, and inclusive education. The esteemed panel included Yannik Shetty, a member of the Austrian Parliament; Roman Otto Roehl from the University of Cologne; Frank Hoffmann from FNF South Asia; Parakram Rana from Nepal; and Tenzin Mariko from Tibet.
The hackathon event was skillfully moderated by Ruhaan Joshi and featured keynote addresses from prominent international political figures. Ms. Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, a German politician and Executive Board Member of FNF, delivered a special address acknowledging the hackathon's forward-looking approach and its ability to bring together young and creative individuals worldwide in the pursuit of advancing the rights of queer people. Dasho Dechen Wangmo, the Health Minister of Bhutan, delivered a thought-provoking speech on the progress made by Bhutan in promoting the rights of LGBTQIA+ communities, expressing solidarity and reiterating a commitment to equality, justice, and respect. Ms. Teresa Widlok, the Head of the FNF Global Themes Division, provided valuable insights into the conceptualization of the hackathon within the framework of the annual theme, "Reshape Europe." She expressed gratitude to all stakeholders involved in the successful organization of the event, recognizing their contributions. Dr. Carsten Klein, Head of the FNF South Asia Regional Office, reaffirmed the organization's dedication to supporting equality and fundamental rights for the LGBTQIA+ community, aligning with FNF's core values.
Out of the 27 teams that submitted their ideas, the top 10 were selected based on a rigorous evaluation process of their online submissions showcasing innovative ideas and solutions related to LGBTQIA+ rights. These top teams had the opportunity to present their projects to the esteemed international jury committee. The jury ultimately chose the top three teams, who will be invited to participate in the physical hackathon event in Colombo on June 6, 2023. The winning team will receive an invitation to attend the FNF International Hackathon Competition in Germany.