Young people call for fairer society at Glasgow event promoting hope

Around 100 young people are making their voices heard on creating a fairer society at an event in Glasgow.

The Hope Collective Hackathon sees 16 to 24-year-olds lead the debate on issues such as housing, justice, equality and education. The topics were chosen by young people as an attempt to get at the root causes of violence, changing the conversation from the common focus on knife crime and gangs.  

Those taking part provide solutions from a young person’s perspective, with their views listened to by cross-sector leaders and decision makers including local government representative, MSPs, police and the third sector.  

Building on the success of last year, hackathon events are happening across the UK including London, Reading, Coventry, Manchester, Belfast and Cardiff with around 1,000 young people set to take part. Orwell Prize-winning author Darren McGarvey is the keynote speaker at the Glasgow event on November 11th.

The hacks have grown from events to mark the 20th anniversary of the death of Damilola Taylor. Shortly before his death the ten-year-old who dreamed of being a doctor had written in his diary about hope and wanting to make the world a better place. From this the Hope Collective grew, bringing together youth organisations, justice, business and statutory bodies who have committed to making positive and long-lasting change for young people across the UK.  

The Hope Collective is currently undertaking a large-scale project called ‘Reimagined – A fairer society through the eyes of young people’. It is asking contributors to imagine what a fairer society looks like for all young people and identify key changes that need to happen to achieve this. 

Speaking ahead of the event, the Hope Collective’s youth advisory board Scottish representative Charles Fernando said: “It is an absolute honour to be the Scottish host of this year’s Hope Collective Hackathon. I look forward to discussing such important issues with other young people from across Glasgow and even further afield. We are going to picture a fairer society and express our hope for opportunity and aspiration to be provided to the next generation.” 

Chair of the charity Niven Rennie, Director of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit, said: “This is the second hackathon to be held in Glasgow, our first took place in November last year. We aim to build on the success of that event and on recent hacks in Reading, Coventry, London, Manchester and Leicester. A more positive representation of our next generation is on view throughout these hackathons.  Participants describe a fairer society, one in which they wish to live. The recommendations of the ‘reimagined manifesto’, which will follow the findings of the hacks, will help us to develop this.” 

The Glasgow event has been organised by Tigers, UK Youth, the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit, Youth Link Scotland and the National Citizen Service.  

Niven Rennie


Telephone: 01786 896785          Email:

Niven has more than 30 years of operational policing experience in the United Kingdom. He joined Strathclyde Police in 1985 serving throughout the west of Scotland in a variety of ranks and positions before progressing to the rank of Chief Superintendent. Niven previously held the role of President of the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents where he represented the interests of the operational leaders of policing in Scotland.

On leaving Police Scotland in 2016 Niven took up the position of Chief Executive Officer of South Ayrshire Escape from Homelessness (SeAscape).

Niven was appointed director of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit in July 2018.