on april 23 and 24 2016 at Runway East, central London

brought to you by

Hack Europe Logo London First Logo Bite the Ballot logo

a gap to be filled

People under the age of 25 have the lowest registration rate and turnout of any demographic. The recent move to individual electoral registration has been highlighted by both the Electoral Commission and the Electoral Reform Society as likely to disproportionately disenfranchise young people and students.

a future on the line

In a little over three months the European referendum will take place, a vote that will hugely affect the younger generation's future. As a national vote, the turnout of students and young people will be all the more important. Unlike at a General Election, in a referendum, without geographic distribution, every vote counts.

your turn to speak out

In June 2016 younger voters will have a chance to have their say. Yet, if you are an 18 year old who has never voted, doesn't respond to letters or, even have a landline phone, you are far less likely to realise this. Research tells us that normal contact methods consistently fail to reach younger people. Young people aren't failing to vote because they don't care. They're failing to vote even though they care; because we don't reach them and show them how.

hacking at the issue

We want to change this, and need your help to make it happen at an event on the 23rd and 24th of April in the City of London. Interactive micro-campaigns are much more effective than leaflets here, let's use our skills to hack the problem.

London's skyline

Event Details

the skills we need
It's a good bet that we need your skills. If you feel comfortable hacking together a prototype of something then please come along. We especially need web and mobile developers, both back-end and front-end, as well as people with a good eye for design and writing. You don't need to be an expert, just enthusiastic.
on ownership
You own everything you create. All we ask is that you use an open source licence of your choice and make sure the code is distributed at the end of the event. We aren't a company looking to harvest ideas or get work for free, we just want to make sure that no work is wasted if people decide not to continue volunteering after the hackathon.
on experience
You do not need experience in politics or campaigning to come and work on this. We have arranged for advisors with the relevant experience to be present.
on ideas
If you can think of an idea ahead of the weekend about what you want to make then please do. If not, that's fine, we have a list of ideas of our own that we can form teams around. pick from. We want everyone to be able to hit the ground running, so please arrive promptly and ready to get hacking.
on accommodations
If you're coming from outside London please make arrangements to sleep. Nobody wants to be in a room full of people that have worked flat out for 2 days without sleep or showers.
on harassment
We have an anti-harassment policy that we take very seriously. Please read it and make sure you agree to it.
on legal matters
Electoral law is serious business. We ask that you heed our advice if we tell you that one of your ideas wouldn't be permissible.
if you can't come after all
If your situation changes and you can't make it, please let us know well in advance.

meet the team

HackEurope is an informal group who love data, coding and civic engagement, and that think the best way we can contribute to this vital vote is to apply our skills. We've teamed up with London First to organise a hack weekend in London with the theme of engaging 18-25 year olds in registering and turning out to vote.


Naomi Smith

Naomi Smith is Europe Director at the business group, London First. She is a Chartered Management accountant, holds a BA Hons in Economics and Politics, and a postgraduate degree in Mandarin Chinese and International Business. She began her career as an auditor with Arthur Andersen, later moving to Deloitte as a Senior Associate in Corporation Tax. Following that she worked in finance in Shanghai before moving to CIMA where she became Global Head of Public Policy. In 2010 she contested the Cities of London and Westminster seat for the Liberal Democrats at the General Election and was Chair of the Social Liberal Forum from 2012-2016. Her interests include current affairs, watching cute animal videos on YouTube, and flirting with veganism.


Matthew Wilkes

Matthew Wilkes is a freelance Python developer based in Bristol and founder of HackEurope. He works for a range of clients, from small charities to multinational accounting companies. He has worked on many participatory governance and voter engagement projects for UK and international government clients, as well as the usual range of websites, e-commerce, APIs and intranets.
He is a long-term contributor to open source, both as a developer and community leader. He was the security team lead for Plone for 4 years and has been an active mentor in Google's Summer of Code programme since 2008.


Nigel Smith

Nigel Smith is a web developer who has worked with a variety of UK and international charities, political campaigns, and advocacy groups to deliver campaign web sites, interesting and interactive apps and tools. He enjoys working with Python, Javascript, and other languages across frameworks like Django, React, and EmberJS. He is a certified NationBuilder architect and has used the framework to build successful, membership-driven sites and campaigns. Greatly concerned about the impact of the European Referendum on the UK, Nigel is a founder of HackEurope.