In mid-November, LexisNexis enabled a world first hackathon – Hack the Change. For a detailed review of the weekend and the output of the hackathon, please read this article. At the event, we were lucky to have a leading junior reporter on the scene. At aged twelve, Harvey is one of the youngest hackathon attendees ever. This is his report…

[caption id="attachment_22931" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Harvey at Hack the Change[/caption]

#HackTheChange was an event where hackers gathered to create a solution that would enable members of the LGBT* community who suffer abuse to document and report what happened. It was held over the weekend of 11, 12 and 13th of November at the New Zealand House in London. 35 hackers attended the event and it was organised by LexisNexis.

57% of the world’s population lives outside the shelter of the law – in other words, four billion people struggle for basic human rights on a daily basis. And this needs to change. Hack the Change is the vehicle to do this by joining together the tech and legal worlds over a weekend to create a tech solution to a legal problem.

At this hackathon, LNUK hosted a host of companies such as AWS, Hogan Lovells, Freshfields and Osborne Clarke to support the Human Dignity Trust in accelerating their aim to decriminalize homosexuality globally.  Further information on all of these amazing collaborators is provided at the bottom of this report.

Before the hackers started their projects, they were given a variety of presentations from the Human Dignity Trust and Equal Ground to provide them with all of the information they need to have in mind while developing their software. It included types of persecution and how change is possible. And they also got a “Hack Pack” containing all of the tools they would need to aid their solution, such as relevant legal cases.  And then they announced the challenge itself which was: “Develop a tool to connect Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender (LGBT) people with those documenting and fighting discrimination, to uphold the inherent human rights of all.”

Now let’s meet the teams who participated in hacking:

Team No.1 is called The Enablers. Their idea is to have different options to choose from and maybe to describe the abuse. They have a hide button that will reroute their website into a popular website from your location such as YouTube or Snapchat.

Team No.2   is called Suitcase Hackers and their idea is to create an online guide to how to contact them through Snapchat. On their web guide, they leave a name to contact and then they can send a photo or video on what happened and that is sent to NGOs on their website and they can see their photo/video. You can also rename the contact so it looks like a friend.

Team No.3 is called Pirates where the website is disguised as a T-Shirt shop. Each shirt symbolises a criminal act that has happened and in the “checkout”, each option symbolises detail of the accident. All this was just the basic layout and they hope to add more in the future.

Team No.4  is called Fresh Innovate where their idea is to have a helpline for abuse. Their website contains 3 languages in which people can activate. You enter in details about you and your incident and then they will email you for further instructions. If you are not active for as long as 12 seconds, it will redirect you to another website.

Team No.5 was made up of one person in a team called SecretLAIR. At the side is a secret key pad made of food pictures and the code brings you to the secret lair where you describe your incident.

In the end, the winners were the Suitcase Hackers with their amazing Snap-Chat idea with Fresh Innovative coming second. Suitcase Hackers were worthy winners as their idea was simple and SnapChat is a widely used app. The winners received an Amazon Echo and Bose Headphones! The runners up won a 3D pen. There were 4 spot prizes awarded for multiple reasons during the competition but a wild card was pulled out and all 5 were awarded a drone!

The Collaborators

Equal Ground

Everyone on Earth should be treated equal. Diversity is important because it makes us unique, interesting and special. LGBT people are abused in many ways but all should be regarded the same.

This charity focuses on equality for the LGBT community. It was originally based in Sri Lanka but has since expanded globally. Rosanna Flamer-Caldera is the producer of the company and attended the event. She formed the charity in 2004.

The Human Dignity Trust

The Human Dignity Trust is a legal charity that supports those who want to challenge anti-gay laws wherever they exist in the world. Laws that criminalise lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people put them beyond the protection of the law, fostering a climate of fear and violence. The Human Dignity Trust supports local activists and their lawyers to uphold international human rights law, including a person's right to dignity, equality and privacy. Their technical legal assistance is free and available to anyone challenging the criminalisation of homosexuality through the courts.


Amnesty International is the world’s largest and most influential human rights organisation. Their researchers help uncover and stop human rights abuse across the globe.


For almost about 200 years, Lexis Nexis has got a deep understanding of legal and tax profession with technology innovation to help practitioners work more productively. It originally pioneered online information with its Lexis and Nexis services.

Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells are a law firm who work globally. They say “Change is happening faster than ever, and to stay ahead, you need to anticipate what’s next. Legal challenges come from all directions. Whether change brings opportunity, risk, or disruption, be ready by working with Hogan Lovells.”


They are another law firm supporting this event but unlike the others, six of their employees were hacking in a team. They say “To succeed, we must be widely recognised as standing apart from other firms because our people are exceptional and because we are international and integrated in the way we work, we add value in everything we do and we are uncompromisingly committed to our values.”

Osborne Clarke

Osborne Clarke is a multinational law firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom with offices in the UK, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Spain, France, the Netherlands and the United States. The firm has 165 partners and 1,000 employees and is the 35th largest law firm in the UK and one of the 50 largest law firms in Germany by revenues.

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