Montreal is gearing up for a bigger Pride weekend than ever, an 11-day event which starts August 10th and coincides with the city’s 375th anniversary and the Canada 150 celebrations.
“The idea behind it is that as our ecosystem is maturing, we need now more than ever to be more inclusive! We owe it to our ecosystem and our society to foster tech diversity and inclusiveness to build more innovative and sustainable companies, and at the same time, enable support organizations to thrive,” Ilias Benjelloun told MTLinTECH. “That’s why we are proud of our Queer Tech MTL’s launch of the first PrideHacks hackathon dedicated to just that. We would like to see business and tech people join us in this first-of-its-kind hackathon to help us build a smarter and more inclusive Montreal.”
Queer Tech organized a monthly event last year where participants could discuss diversity and inclusion through panels. PrideHacks is a natural extension of those meetups.
“We felt like we wanted to have a bit more impact on the community. So we got together and decided to launch an initiative to help the LGBT community. And we kind of went through a few ideas and then settled on the first initiative to select five LGBT non-profits and do a quick diagnostic for them on their technology issues and then kind of break out the community to help fix those problems,” Naoufel Testaouni told MTLinTECH.
Participants are invited to show up individually or in group son Saturday. The event will open with a discussion of the different problems pinpointed in the diagnostic, at which point everyone will break off into teams to tackle them individually.
“Once they’re at the event, people can join the non-profit and the problem that they are interested in. They’ll work in groups. And people can circulate throughout the day, so they can switch rooms and work on a different problem,” said Testaouni.
The hackathon is not set up like a competition, however. The goal is to come up with real takeaway solutions for the non-profits rather than fighting for a prize (although there will be prizes). That way, everybody wins.
“What we’re really trying to do is come up with solutions that these organizations can implement. And at the end of the day we want the LGBT non-profits to leave with something tangible, that we’ve fixed a specific problem.”
There is still plenty of space for this Saturday’s event. Anyone with interest can reach out to Queer Tech MTL’s facebook page or contact Naoufel directly through his facebook page. The Pride Hacks event page can also be found here.
“We’re still looking for a lot of people to volunteer that day and come join us, so anyone with interest can reach out to us directly through our facebook page, or they can contact me as well. I look forward to seeing a lot of people.”
Photo credit – Coco Brecht Media