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SAS Hackathon Winner in 2 categories


FFC’s Forced Labor Detection Model wins SAS Hackathon

We are happy to announce that the FFC’s innovative Forced Labor Detection Model has won two awards in the 2023 SAS Hackathon on June 1, 2023. In the hackathon, FFC’s team comprising of Balaji Soundararajan, Brendan McMahon and Khushbu Chikani created a machine-learning/AI model that can detect areas of forced labor using audit data. The team’s unique solution won two awards in Retail and Market Readiness categories. This event was held between Mar – Apr 2023, in which more than 100 teams representing 140 organizations participated. The event was sponsored by SAS, along with their partner Intel.

During the event, the FFC team developed a configurable, cloud based, machine-learning model that used audit data to detect forced labor clusters in apparel industry with city-level precision. The solution used a combination of tools including Microsoft SQL Server, ESRI, Microsoft Power platform & SAS Viya. FFC’s Forced Labor Detection Model is based on the inhouse DASH Product Architecture and demonstrates that audit data can be used to drive emerging compliance and risk management use cases particularly around enhanced forced labor and human rights requirements. According to the SAS Hackathon jury, “The [FFC] team created a straightforward approach to a timely challenge for all retailers − environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives. Using SAS® Viya®, they built a standardized model to measure and mitigate risks. Although there are other ESG frameworks available, this solution is pragmatic, broadly applicable and highly relevant.” In addition, the jury also commented that “The solution addresses forced labor in the textile and apparel industry − an important environmental, social and governance (ESG) issue − that has and expects more compliance regulations in the future. Companies will be compelled to adhere to new compliance laws in North America and EMEA. The team’s solution tackles risk avoidance and remediation.”

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Check It Out!

Winners were announced live at the awards event on June 1. It’s available on demand.

In addition, winners were published in a SAS press release: SAS announces 2023 Hackathon winners.


Fair Factories Clearinghouse (FFC) is a 501 (3) (c) nonprofit organization based out of the state of New York. FFC’s mission is to facilitate informed ethical business decisions for a better and more livable world.

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