Simon de Haan

Simon de Haan

CTO & Co-Founder of

Simon de Haan is a co-founder of and serial CTO.
Simon cares deeply about improving society, and the lives of those most vulnerable in it, through mobile technologies and entrepreneurship.
He has spent the last 15 years leading teams, designing, building, and launching programmes at scale that positively impact peoples’ lives.
Whether it was maternal health programmes across Africa, election registration programmes in Libya, supporting the UNHCR and Care International in international refugee and humanitarian relief, or building the world’s first WhatsApp based COVID response programmes for the WHO and governments around the world; the common thread has always been ensuring that the world’s best technologies are used to serve those most in need.
After a decade of working together at, reaching 100 million people across Africa, Simon and Gustav established with a vision to make effective human support accessible to vulnerable people everywhere.

A Domain Specific Language for Impact

Over the last few years, we’ve learned and proven that Elixir scales. We’ve spoken about the services built for the WHO, Ukraine State Emergency Services, the UNHCR, and other organisations around the world using WhatsApp.

Next step is about helping organisations deliver impact.

Inspired by the ideas in Hypercard and the Livebook work, we’ve developed an Elixir based DSL using the Elixir parser and Nimble Parsec which is designed to help social impact organisations amplify their work with chat.

Creating an environment for creative exploration with direct feedback. Allowing authors to stumble into ideas that experts would consider prohibitively challenging.

The DSL allows describing services that are evidence based and replicable. Impact organisations can build on proven successes, amplifying their social impact globally and sharing their results.

We’ll share our learnings and the results of launching services using it in Ukraine in Feb 2022 and other places globally.

Talk objectives:

  • Help people understand that:
    1. working in tech and doing social good is not only possible but that both are actually quite aligned
    2. Elixir is a excellent language to have an impact in, especially in a “live document” type of format as Livebook and its lineage suggest
    3. Reaching scale and impact is much more within reach of smaller teams than one would think

Target audience:

  • Optimistic beginners & battle hardened and disillusioned old timers.