Organized in the framework of the UNESCO annual Global Media and Information Literacy Week, a UN international week, the 2021 hackathon registered 85 teams from 45 countries all around the world, with Africa being the region represented with most participants (22 teams). Generally, this year’s call for applications was very successful as more than 450 people registered to participate in the virtual hackathon, which seeks to tackle various challenges, such as promoting peace building narratives, and to address hate speech through media and information literacy.
On 8 October 2021, during 3 hours, hackathon organizers and international mentors prepared the participants for the coming hacking process introducing them to the hackathon purpose, challenges and methodology. UNESCO’s Media and Information Literacy Programme Specialist, Alton Grizzle, moderated the event and encouraged the teams, explaining the overall UNESCO Media and Information Literacy framework.
Giannina Raffo, Digital Campaigns Director of CEDICE Libertad, introduced the project Inflaciómetro, as an example on how to break the wall of disinformation and use Media and Information Literacy to empower citizens to understand inflation in Venezuela.
Paul Bagu, CEO & founder Youth Impact (Uganda) one of last year’s winner of the UNESCO Hackathon, stretched out the unique opportunity to network during this process and gave insights in his own path and project, emphasizing the importance of feedback during the hacking process.
Hania Bitar, Director, Palestinian Youth Association for Leadership and Rights Activation, approached the topic of promoting peacebuilding narratives from a storytelling perspective, explaining how it is essential to integrate Media and Information Literacy in all kind of settings, formal, non-formal, and informal.
For years now, with digitalization we all became creators of media content. Critical thinking is essential, and the youth is blessed that they can use their minds and be more pro-active, having different media and social media channels available.