Photo: UNDP Azerbaijan/ Shirin Rzayeva

As prepared for delivery

28 JUNE 2019, 18:00

Welcome everyone and congratulations to the participating teams of the first Inclusivity Hackathon in Azerbaijan. Happy to see so many inclusivity-driven folks here today as we launch an intensive 48-hour long Hackathon, where you will be engaged in “hacking” new technological solutions to make the life of people with disabilities easier, better, happier!

The level of interest that the Hackathon sparked is fascinating: within just a few days we have received over 70 applications from interested teams and 16 teams were selected, each representing up to 4-5 people. Here in the room, we were able to secure some of Azerbaijan’s top technology pundits, social entrepreneurs, inclusivity experts, people with different abilities as well as civic activists – (over 30 people) to serve as mentors. We have a great pool of the internationally acclaimed and local high profile jury, all of them prominent opinion leaders in technologies). It’s a pleasure to see this beautiful place at Yarat transformed into a real tech-space ready to inspire teams to co-create and tackle social challenges.

This activity represents also the first official event UNDP is holding as part of the newly announced Accelerator Lab. Earlier this year UNDP launched a ground-breaking network of 60 Accelerator Labs worldwide to change the way we tackle the world’s most burning issues: from poverty reduction to quality education, inclusivity, access to affordable healthcare, fight against climate action and protecting the planet we live in. Azerbaijan is one of these 60 Accelerator Labs.

And today also marks the start of a series of planned events we will be organizing in the coming weeks and months as part of Azerbaijan’s first Inclusivity National Campaign -UNLIMITED! In fact, the slogan of this campaign –JOIN! INSPIRE! ENGAGE! –brings us all together in a common pursuit of what matters most: making sure that development benefits all, with No One Left Behind

On this note, I have the great honour to offer a warm welcome to Ms. Leyla Aliyeva, Vice President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, a committed supporter and champion of Inclusivity. On behalf of all of us here, I want to thank you wholeheartedly for joining us today and for inspiring the Inclusivity Campaign.

I Let me thank you again for joining the Hackathon and help Azerbaijan in advancing technologies for solutions that would make the society more inclusive where people of differing abilities work, study and co-create together, a society that sees ABILITY beyond DISABILITY.

Now, I would like to invite Ms. Aliyeva to start the countdown of the 1st Inclusivity Hackathon in Azerbaijan. Leyla khanim, the floor is yours!


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