This past week, the team of Kodiak Rating was in attendance at Katapult Future Festival in Oslo, Norway.
Ashley Stephenson, Design Lead at Kodiak Rating, took part in the Hackathon that was taking place simultaneously to interesting presentations about impact investing, tech, sustainability and blockchain technology.
The goal of the Hackathon was to create innovative tech solutions for aiding female refugees with using Blockchain technology. Katapult Future Festival organized this Hackathon in collaboration with UN Women.
There were 8 teams competing, consisting of 7-10 team members per team. Kodiak Rating’s very own Ashley Stephenson, with his Hackathon Team, was deemed one of the three winners, and pitched the concept for their solution in front of the Crown Princess of Norway and the rest of the conferences attendees.
VIPICASH was the name of the solution. It was an idea developed by a refugee himself, which the team developed further at the Hackathon. The concept was to use smart Blockchain technology with crypto-currency integrations to assure the sending and receiving of donations for women refugees. The innovator of the application, Olivier Mukuta, told a story of how the patriarch of many refugee families control the finances regardless of the donations given women in the family. Mukuta spoke of a saying they have in DRC, “You support a man, you support a man. You support a woman, you support a family.” The concept of the application was to assure money would be put in the hands of females, empowering them to make financial decisions on their own accord.
When asked about the experience Stephenson remarked, “It was interesting to see the scope in which Blockchain technology can be utilized. There was a bunch of great minds that created very interesting solutions. I was honored to work together in a team, which contained an individual like Olivier, who had experienced a refugee camp first hand. I think [VIPICASH] could truly go places. Just an amazing experience all in all.”
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