After three gruelling months, four teams feted for their empathy and innovation in social purpose hackathon by DBS and the Singapore Judiciary
Close to 40 teams participated in ‘slow-burn’ hackathon with common goal of developing creative solutions for equitable access to justice in post-Covid-19 Singapore
After three intense months of research and solutioning, four teams have emerged as overall winners of the inaugural ‘Hackathon for a Better World’, a social purpose hackathon jointly organised by DBS and the Singapore Judiciary.
2. A platform to encourage those with a passion to use law as a force for good to enhance social justice, the hackathon saw close to 40 teams comprising members from diverse backgrounds, ranging from practising lawyers, legal technologists, law students and even employees from DBS and the Singapore Judiciary, participating. Beginning in July 2020, the teams ‘hacked’ problem statements specially curated by DBS and the Singapore Judiciary to foster among participants, a better understanding of social justice and find creative ways to improve access to justice in Singapore.
3. Six finalists presented their pitches to a ‘live’ virtual judging panel, comprising Ms Debbie Lam (Head, Group Legal, Business Compliance and Secretariat, DBS), Mr Evans Mark (Head of Experience Strategy, DBS) and Mr Tan Ken Hwee (Chief Transformation and Innovation Officer, Singapore Judiciary) at TechLaw.Fest on 1 October 2020, with the four winning teams impressing the judges with their innovative proposals, incisive analysis and empathy for various stakeholders’ needs. Awards were given out for:
4. The Awards and Prize Presentation Day was held virtually on 13 October 2020, with Justice Aedit Abdullah gracing the event as the Guest-of-Honour.
5. Mr Lam Chee Kin, Group Head of Legal, Compliance and Secretariat at DBS, said, “It was inspiring to see people come together to obsess about thoughtfully designed solutions for the community. The sense of inclusiveness displayed by the participants, volunteers and supporters has been humbling and indicative of the spirit that we need to overcome broader challenges that face us. We are grateful to our partners – the Singapore Judiciary and TechLaw.Fest – on this journey to showcase how the law can be a force for social good.”
6. Justice Aedit Abdullah said, “It is an honour and privilege for me to be invited as the Guest-of-Honour for this hackathon. What is especially significant for me is that this is the first such collaboration between the Singapore Judiciary and an established private corporation. The level of enthusiasm and passion amongst of the teams, as they innovate to enhance access to justice, is inspiring. I believe that these solutions hold great potential for positive impact in the community and look forward to seeing these ideas come to fruition.”
7. On the role of technology in the legal industry, Mr Tan Ken Hwee, Chief Transformation and Innovation Officer for the Singapore Judiciary said, “Transforming court processes through innovation can certainly enhance access to justice for the man in the street. We have learnt a lot from the participants in this hackathon. Speaking for myself, I am humbled by the opportunity to learn and work with DBS as they generously shared with us their innovation methodologies and provided training and guidance to the participants.”
8. ‘Hackathon for a Better World’ adopted a unique “learn-as-you-hack” format, with participants working on their problem statements over three months through an iterative process. This is unlike the usual hackathon format where participants solve problem statements over a few hours or a few days. DBS conducted a design thinking masterclass around the bank’s in-house ‘4D’ (Discover, Define, Develop, Deliver) innovation framework for participants, equipping teams with the basic tools to derive and synthesise insights in developing their proposals.
9. Individuals from DBS, the Singapore Judiciary and the legal community in Singapore also contributed their time to mentor the teams and sharpen their responses. The hackathon was also the first such collaboration between the Singapore Judiciary and a private corporation to encourage innovation in the justice system.
10. A summary of each winning pitch as well as quotes from the winning teams can also be found in Annex A.
19 Oct 2020
|White Hat Hackers (DBS Bank)
|This team’s proposal is to create a convenient and streamlined process where bereaved family members can centrally access all financial institutions which hold assets of the deceased, for probate/administration purposes. By saving on time and costs in obtaining the necessary information, the bereaved family members have more time and space to grieve.
|“The hackathon was intense but enjoyable. We continuously refined our idea with the learn-as-you-hack format. We know people who have been burdened by probate and administration matters, so it was meaningful to leverage on existing and soon-to-be-launched digital infrastructure to develop an efficient solution that is also empathetic to the bereaved!” – Angie Tan
|LAB Legal Tech (Legal Aid Bureau)
|The team’s aim was to educate and empower wives who were facing family violence by providing them with a one-stop platform with self-help tools to guide them through their legal options as well as how they could get support from social services.
|"This hackathon was intense but extremely meaningful for us. We worked closely with survivors of family violence to co-create a safe way of empowering them with information and social support. Our product reflects what the Legal Aid Bureau stands for –helping the vulnerable and less privileged get access to justice." – Istyana Putri Ibrahim
|Access & Opportunity (Allen & Overy LLP)
|The team looked at how migrant workers could better understand their legal rights and better navigate Singapore’s legal system. Their proposal offers an easy-to-use, downloadable, online platform containing information in different native languages.
|“As lawyers uniquely positioned to effect change within the justice system, we are so honoured to have been involved in a programme like this. We are extremely grateful to DBS and the Singapore Judiciary, who shared with us new perspectives and tools that will continue to help us build a more equitable society for years to come.” – Jarvis Go
|Aid-in-Person (State Courts and Eden Law Corporation)
|The team’s aim was to consider how every accused person who wanted help but could not afford a lawyer, could be provided with legal assistance to best present their case. Their solution harnesses community resources and technology so that accused persons can navigate the criminal justice system and be empowered to conduct their own case.
|“The design thinking tools available to us were a refreshing structure for the development of a project that we were all passionate about. The tools and the guidance of the supporting team allowed us to see the needs we sought to meet in a new and different light.” – Lim Lei Theng