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Safety Pin: Uniting for Peaceful and Inclusive Communities

The 10th annual GPPN Conference, hosted by the Sciences Po School of Public Affairs, featured students' solution oriented ideas and prototypes to address public policy challenges identified by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To participate, each GPPN member school carefully selected up to five student teams to present their projects and compete for the GPPN prize. The result: 32 teams from around the world met in Paris to showcase their ideas on how to solve some of the most pressing global challenges of today.

Safety Pin is an app for minorities and allies to use in order to keep themselves and their communities safe from bigotry and hate crimes. The app features: an alert button for Safety Pin users, this will include geo tagging, an option to connect to a police hotline, and camera and video functionality to allow users to record and identify abusers. Allies in close proximity will receive a notification when a user is in danger, enabling a rapid response to incidents in progress to this functionality; a campaign and event center to connect like-minded users to events that support marginalized communities and broader campaigns to organize politically against discrimination; a buddy system to connect nearby Safety Pin users who wish to be accompanied while traveling; an information center with tips and ideas on how to be an effective bystander; easy language functionality to enable use by those of many different backgrounds; and a security function to ensure the safety and security of all users, by incorporating an “invite only” verification feature to ensure that only allies have access to the information within the app.

Meet the team

Veni Jayanti is a graduate student at SIPA, Columbia University pursuing her Masters in Public Administration - Development Practice. Before coming to SIPA, she was a teacher in rural Indonesia and an education consultant for a local government. She actively supports women’s rights and is a co-founder of Perempuan, an organization focused in supporting domestic violence and sexual abuse victim in Indonesia. She made a career change and handled communication and partnership at UnLtd Indonesia, the first social enterprise in Indonesia. She is a co-founder of Unreasonable Lab New York City, a fiveday intensive workshop in business model validation and investment preparedness for social enterprise in New York. Most recently, she conducted a research with Ongoza on social enterprise incubator best practice in East Africa. She believes that social entrepreneurship is a powerful arsenal to fight extreme poverty. She loves to scuba dive and travel in her free time.

Arishaa Khan is a graduate student at SIPA, Columbia University pursuing her Masters in Public Administration - Development Practice. Hailing from Indiana, Pakistani-born Arishaa graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Philanthropic Studies, Religious Studies, and Spanish. She is passionate about upholding rights and enhancing the livelihood of internally displaced people, refugees, migrants and minorities. This passion largely stems from her family’s NGO, OBAT Helpers, which she has been involved with for more than a decade now working with stranded Pakistanis residing in camps throughout Bangladesh post 1971 war. Most recently, Arishaa worked with WFP Regional Bureau Nairobi as the Refugee Targeting summer intern before which she exercised her creative media and strategic communications background by working as a producer with Voice of America in Washington, D.C.

John Biberman is a graduate student at SIPA, Columbia University pursuing his Masters in Public Administration - Development Practice. Originally from San Diego, John graduated from Dartmouth College in 2013 and worked as a teaching fellow in rural China for the next two years. Over this period, John’s involvement with development focused on intergroup conflict resolution and mediation, including an internship with Search for Common Ground in Chad. At SIPA, John has focused on integrating the private sector into long-term development, working with World Food Program USA to build more effective private sector engagements. Most recently, John worked with Mercy Corps - Uganda on a major market facilitation program in the country’s post-conflict northern region, working to link communities to local business, boost business’ capacity to integrate isolated farming communities into international value chains, and make Mercy Corps’ work in the region more sustainable and beneficial for all parties involved.

Interested in learning more about the GPPN programs and degrees? Find out here!


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