Taking Refuge in the Code

Migrants wait to be rescued by the Aquarius rescue ship run by non-governmental organisations (NGO) “SOS Mediterranee” and “Medecins Sans Frontieres” (Doctors Without Borders) in the Mediterranean Sea, 30 nautic miles from the Libyan coast, on August 2, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Angelos Tzortzinis Source: Bloomberg.com

By the end of 2016, nearly 5.2 million refugees and migrants treacherously reached European shores, leaving their war-torn countries rife with prosecution and misfortune. That number, 4 years on, is still rising and there’s no indication of it stopping and that’s due to the plethera of ongoing crises that continue to inundate many developing countries.

This migrant crisis is not a new one. It’s not something you haven’t heard of before. It’s become something that we have accepted, even in its excessive form. The growth of this excessive form is undoubtedly going to start affecting our lives more and more. At the moment, however, for the majority in developed countries, the impact of such high numbers of migrants doesn’t affect day to day lives directly. At some point it will and I’m certain it’s then, only then, at the brink of collapse, will the crisis be given the attention it truly deserves. Though, it isn’t the responsibility of public individuals to manage the migrant crisis, it’s the duty of our governments. It’s still not hard to see why public individuals do nonetheless want to get involved in resolving this growing crisis; the government are limited in what they can do for migrants when they arrive, either by cruel choice or brutal necessity; take your pick. So knowing there is an influx of people on the way with a potential lack of warmth by the home crowd, what do you start to think about? How do you flip this into a good situation? Here’s one way.

PowerCoders is a coding academy specifically for refugees, who take part in a 13 week coding bootcamp, followed by a 12 month internship. Founded in Switzerland, PowerCoders is a not-for-profit organisation dependent on volunteers to drive their mission, along with the support of the Swiss government, foundations, companies and people. With a second centre in Italy, along with the flagship Swiss centre, the PowerCoders community continues to grow in its support by volunteers and respectively in its impact of training refugees and getting them into IT based roles.

Giving people their independence back, reducing social welfare costs and addressing the shortage of talent in the IT-industry.

The permanent placement of trained refugees in IT-companies and IT-departments.

Source: PowerCoders

PowerCoders are actively addressing the growing influx of refugees and migrants by giving them an opportunity to learn and develop a skill set which will then land them a decent job and positively impact the economy. The understated benefit of such a concept is the genuine happiness that the refugees will feel after previously facing such turmoil where they came from and to then be given an opportunity to create a real and sustainable future for themselves.

PowerCoders embody the approach needed to progress SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth – finding opportunity in crises. Unlike many critical opinions of the migrant crisis, PowerCoders stands out as a pioneer, reshaping the economic and employment landscape by giving unique opporunities to refugees, all of which pays its due in happiness, employability and inevitable economic return. Bundles of respect and admiration to PowerCoders for such an inspiring and purposeful business concept – one that helps those who truly need it most, in ways that nobody else currently can!


When you have spent months, even years setting aside a little bit of your paycheck to build up your savings, there comes a point when you start thinking about where to invest. If not one of the obvious investments like a new car or house, the arguably natural strategy (within your own realms of risk taking) is to invest in what will bring you the highest return on investment. Simple. Though, let’s just clarify that the ‘highest return on investment’ strategy, is pretty much always implicit in its reference to highest financial return.


In our ever-changing world, the highest return on investment no longer needs to be defined solely as the highest financial return, but rather also its return in a sustainable development respect. Tangibly changing this definition is no easy feat, but Swiss company, Wimpact, has made their mission “to mobilise the private sector to accelerate the sustainability transition” with a vision of “a world where finance works for People and the Planet”.

Wimpact enables investors to identify sustainable investment portfolios in areas such as education, health, water and energy. They believe that public money alone will not do the job of acheiving a sustainable future and so capitalising on private money is essential to catalyse the work of those who work towards such a sustainable future.

Their platform makes it elegantly simple for potential investors to sign up and begin investing and such is their investment approach. They start by focusing on societial issues, identifying the companies working towards sustainble solutions for these issues and then financially analysing them, combining them with green bonds to build portfolios offering stability and performance.

It’s not often you hear about sustainability driven finance opportunties, with the two fields often acting more like oily water, but Wimpact are actively changing this by embodying SDG 8, Decent Work and Economic Growth, in particular target 8.4 stating there must be an “endeavour to decouple economic growth and environmental degradation”. The nature of Wimpact’s mission is challenging not only the status quo, but the one driver at the root of almost all action in the financial world – making more money; and making more money alone.

This is not to say that by investing in sustainable development you won’t make more money. It’s certainly not. In fact, it is quite the opposite with the sustainable sector growing faster than it ever has. Though, what is true, is that Wimpact are challenging the idea that investment portfolios need to be driven by financial gain alone – they give us the opportunity to also invest for change.

Admiration and gratitude for Wimpact – tackling the sustainability crisis on a different, yet all the more challenging front. Check them out to learn more about what they do and why they are exemplary in their progress for SDG 8, along with the exciting investment opportunities, exclusive to sustainable development.

The Creative Society.

Founded by Martin Bright, The Creative Society is an employment charity that works endlessly to drive their mission to aid the UK’s youth to develop and succeed in the creative and cultural sector. They adopt a particular focus to help young people who come from low socio-economic backgrounds and empowering them to achieve their full potential.

Since their launch in 2009, using their Creative Job Studio, a dedicated space for youngsters to network and meet potential employers, the charity has organised numerous local, regional and even national programmes to connect young people with the creative paths they desire.

One of the most impactful methods they employ to achieve their mission is the one-to-one mentorship they provide to aspiring youngsters over a 6 month period, calling upon industry experts and the bespoke coaching they need, in order to, not just get their creative juices flowing, but to turn this creative juice into a tangible skillset they can use to sustainably provide for themselves.


Other forms of the support provided include training, networking opportunities and their most recent launch, the Creative Society Lates, showcasing the society’s talent. “From film screenings, live music, to play readings and live art, the Lates are a chance for young people to try out new ideas to a live audience or to experiment with tried and tested work.” (thecreativesociety.co.uk)

The creative business network Martin and his team have built over the past decade has empowered countless of our youth to find their feet and go on to do great things. They host a number of events throughout the year, with their latest one, in October just gone, giving a special opportunity for youngsters to meet with artists from multiple disciplines face to face.

The Creative Society is a registered charity that has grown continuously as a result of its clear and actionable purpose, which embodies SDG 8 Decent Work and Growth. With their added focus on youth from low socio-economic backgrounds, and the progress that they have made in providing the right opportunities for the right people, they have taken praiseworthy strides to help alleviate youth unemployment in the creative sector and this is nothing short of inspiring – you can learn more about the details of their impact on their website.

If you like the sound of what you are reading and want to get involved, learn more about the support and opportunities available at the The Creative Society website, linked below – be sure to check it out!


The Creative Society Website