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Media Release: DBS, MCI and Singapore judiciary announce winners of community hackathon to counter online harms

Community resource package comprising 28 solutions developed during the hackathon launched at awards ceremony

DBS, the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI), and the Singapore Judiciary announced the winners of Hackathon for a Better World 2021, at a virtual event held today. The event also saw the launch of a resource package containing 28 ideas that the community can implement to foster safer and kinder online spaces. These ideas were generated by participants of Hackathon for a Better World 2021, a community hackathon jointly organised by DBS, MCI and the Singapore Judiciary, which saw 28 teams tackling the challenges of online harms over two months of intense research and solutioning.

2          The winners were recognised in a virtual event held today, with Mr Tan Kiat How, Minister of State (MOS), Ministry of Communications and Information, and Justice Aedit Abdullah, Judge of the High Court, Supreme Court of Singapore gracing the event as Guests-of-Honour. Summaries of the winning pitches as well as quotes from the winning teams can be found in Annex A.

3          Launched in July this year, Hackathon for a Better World 2021 focused participants’ minds on the growing prevalence of online harms, particularly against women and girls. The hackathon was also the first public-private partnership under the Singapore Together Alliance for Action (AfA) to tackle online harms, which MCI announced in July 2021.

4          Hackathon for a Better World 2021 culminated with six finalists pitching before a virtual judging panel on 7 October 2021. Four winners were eventually selected for:

  • Most Innovative Idea
  • Most Feasible Idea
  • Most Life-Changing Idea
  • Most Human-Centred Idea

5          MOS Tan said “The hackathon demonstrates how the Singapore Together Alliance for Action approach brings like-minded partners together to tackle urgent problems faced by our community. I am impressed by the thoughtful solutions proposed by the teams to make the online space safer and more responsible for all users, especially women and girls. Events such as this hackathon add to the vibrancy of our national Digital for Life movement, which brings together the people, public and private sectors to help Singaporeans leverage digital technology for more connected and enriched lives.”

6          Mr Lam Chee Kin, Group Head of Legal, Compliance and Secretariat at DBS, said, “Having a wealth of good ideas emerge from the hackathon is a happy problem indeed, and is a fine example of how public-private-people partnerships can yield productive outcomes that benefit the broader community. We are inspired by the sense of purpose displayed by the participants and are grateful to our partners – MCI and the Singapore Judiciary – in demonstrating how the intersection of law, technology and innovation can be a force for social good.”

7          Justice Abdullah said, “This is the second successful year we are collaborating with DBS, and now MCI, for this social purpose Hackathon, and we are honoured to again be part of this effort. It is indeed meaningful to help encourage the development of innovative solutions in response to this year’s theme of safeguarding against and tackling online harms. We are impressed with the commitment and work put in by the participants as well as the creativity displayed by them. The work of the participating teams has given us much to learn from. We are sure many of the proposed solutions will continue to be refined and rolled out in the near future.”

8          Hackathon for a Better World adopted a unique ‘slow-burn’ format, with participants working on their problem statements through an iterative process. This is unlike the usual hackathon format where participants solve problem statements over a few hours or days. The unconventional approach was designed to give participants the space to develop sharper, more meaningful responses to the complex challenges before them.

9          To support participants on their journey, DBS also organised a series of design thinking masterclasses on the bank’s in-house innovation framework to equip participants with new skills to test and validate data-driven insights as they worked on their proposals.

Issued by:
DBS Bank
Supreme Court of Singapore
Ministry of Communications and Information, Singapore
28 October 2021


Annex A

 Award Most Innovative Idea
 Team Name GO WOMEN 
 Description To equip female Telegram users with safety and privacy functions such as watermarking, face-blurring, and better reporting assistance whilst deterring the non-consensual circulation of their explicit photographs by their recipients.
 Quote We perceived the Hackathon as a platform to learn about the needs of women in a virtual realm, and an opportunity for us to bring fresh solutions to the ever-changing problems that women are facing in society. With our common goal to empower women with the autonomy and security that they deserve, we embarked on our journey to present practical remedies that not only protect but liberate women from all walks of life. – Liew Qian Hui

Award Most Feasible Idea
 Team Name All Shook Up
 Description Utilising existing infrastructure to counter the rise of Image-Based Sexual Abuse (IBSA) through public education, provision of multi-disciplinary clinics for IBSA victims, and promotion of IBSA victim success stories.
 Quote The sensitive nature of the problem identified in "Hackathon for a Better World", called for a different approach, one that is person-centric and that considers the problem and possible solutions critically before devising a framework for a solution to which technology could be applied as required. As legal practitioners, we joined this hackathon as we believed our collective work experience would enable us to offer the necessary person-centric perspectives to produce a viable solution for the problem. – Jevon Louis

Award Most Life-Changing Idea
 Team Name Voicehackers
 Description A CyberTogether Hub which fortifies legal and non-legal support to the victims through public-private partnerships and spearheads the whole-of-nation fight against cyberbullying through a one-stop platform.
 Quote As digitisation proliferates, it has also exacerbated cyberbullying in Singapore. Our team advocates equal rights for all to navigate digital spaces freely and safely. We were thus motivated to suggest a solution that leverages public-private partnerships and empowers everyone, in particular women and girls, with digital citizenship. – Tay Meng How

Award Most Human-Centred Idea 
 Team Name Pin It Down!
 Description A 3-pronged approach that empowers the loved ones of sexual offenders to share their personal journeys through social media, and a one-stop website with resources from key stakeholders and ground-up support group.
 Quote During the first Design Thinking masterclass, we were encouraged to think out of the box in approaching the problem and crafting our persona. Through lateral thinking and empathy work, we decided to put ourselves in the shoes of those who woke up one day and found out that the person they love and trust the most in this world turned out to be a sexual offender. – Intan Krishanty


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