Chris Ward

Android Engineering Manager, NordVPN

Talk Title

Coding for Good: Achieving social change with an app

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As coders, we have an enviable ability to create platforms and apps that bring people together. The world is not short of challenges right now, especially climate change, but we will only have a real impact on the world if we can help people unite and organise to pressure those with power and influence. Chris and his husband quickly developed an app ten years ago to allow ordinary people to lobby the normally inaccessible and unelected House of Lords to pass the Same Sex Marriage Bill. It unexpectedly took off, with 15,000 emails sent in the space of two weeks, helping the Bill overwhelmingly succeed in the normally-socially-conservative upper House of Parliament in the UK. He'll talk here about how he did it, and how you - an individual with a computer and knowledge of how to knock an app together - can use this skill to give a voice to the voiceless, and to potentially change or even save the world.

Speaker Bio

Chris started coding life as a full-stack developer and moved between all sorts of weird and wonderful disciplines and industries before he settled on Android. In addition to coding life, he’s been an elected official in the UK, had a key role in legalising same-sex marriage in the UK through his LobbyALord app, and has addressed the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on atrocities against LGBT+ people abroad. Diagnosed with depression, anxiety and ADHD, he taglines himself as Very Mentally Ill(TM) and writes/speaks about his experience of being diagnosed very late in life and how he deals with the unique challenges ADHD brings to an individual working in tech.

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