Hera Hussain

Founder, Chayn


“Society beyond borders is a society with open and relentless dialogue, free access to knowledge and a transparent political structure laying bare the power inequalities of our world.”

My favourite TEDTalk:

Born in Glasgow, raised in Pakistan and living in London, Hera knew from early on she wanted to empower women. During her MA in Economics & Psychology at University of Glasgow, she found herself drawn to tech start-ups and the ways technology can be utilised to solve social issues. Her love and ability for developing networks of skilled volunteers and motivating them has been invaluable to both commercial and not-for-profit organisations such as the Wikimedia Foundation and OpenCorporates.

Starting out as a freelance marketing and events consultant for start-ups during university, she moved on to social entrepreneurship through her involvement with OxfordJam and MakeSense, where she cemented her status as a community leader in London’s start-up scene. It was after she helped two friends escape abusive homes, support the legal process of divorce and help them start a new life that she decided to use her skills and knowledge to found Chayn – a global network of skilled volunteers (including survivors of abuse) who work to empower women against violence by building technology platforms and tools. All of Chayn‘s projects are crowdsourced and built with, not just for survivors of abuse. Chayn‘ss community has grown to cover Pakistan, India, the UK, UAE, Lebanon, amongst many others.

Hera is a passionate believer in using the power of open source technology and open knowledge to solve the world’s pressing issues. She is also a keen member of the Wikipedia movement and continually involved with not-for-profits such as MakeSense, Startingbloc, WEF’s Global Shapers and Yunus&Youth. Hera was named one of the 17 Local Globalists by GOOD magazine, presented by the UN Foundation. Hera is also an Open Data mentor for the Open Data Institute‘s startup incubator. She was a finalist in the WISE Women In Tech Awards for Women In Open Tech. Hera is currently working on addressing the problem of access and justice faced by women and girl refugees.