Imagine if bureaucrats and hackers teamed up. What might they accomplish? An app that helps refugees find each other? One that connects them with donors and nongovernmental organizations? Maybe world peace?

September events in Barcelona, Spain; Beirut; Colombo, Sri Lanka; London; and Washington (Derry, Northern Ireland, and Medellín, Colombia, to follow) paired software coders with government and NGO thinkers to do just that. Over 300 #peacehack participants developed ideas to counter violent extremism, overcome resource challenges and help migrants.  Each city’s winning team will present its project at the Build Peace 2016 — Peace through Technology conference in Zurich.

Two girls in Beirut work on their project.

So what did the hackers think of their bureaucrat partners? “There are a lot of peace-builders out there who are experts in their particular field but not necessarily aware of the technologies that are out there,” #peacehackdc participant Derek Caelin said. It is a “much more effective peace-building program than if either of these actors were operating separately.”

#peacehack teams at London's Google Campus worked into the night.

Check out all the projects at coder collaboration site GitHub. Think you can do better? Step up and improve these projects’ design or reuse the existing code. Start brainstorming ideas for next year’s #peacehack — or look for these apps to come on the market in the next few months!