Most of the most creative and amazing ideas happen in the pub. Unsurprisingly me and a friend were in the pub last night having a conversation about hackathons. The topic quickly turned into what we both find frustrating about most hackathons. In a nutshell there were a few main issues...
- Most hackathons are about tech.
- Most hackathons are about building something.
- Most hackathons end at the end of the weekend.
- Most hackathons don't do anything to change the world.
It got me thinking about the conversation we were having and the many conversations, I and others have in pubs all the time. We discuss big global and social issues quite frequently and we come up with highly creative solutions, they might be crazy they might never work but they are creative.
I thought about the commonality between all these throw away discussions I've had. I throw them away because they are so damn big. I as an individual lack the information or the resources to be able to rationalise or implement them. Here is also a nugget of the harder to swallow truth, I lack the motivation to follow through.
Why ? I believe it's quite simple, I have other aspirations and other things that I want to spend the majority of my days working on. But it doesn't mean I don't care nor does it mean that my creativity and skills would not be immensely valuable. It's just not something I want to spend a huge portion of my life working on.
On the flip side there are many organisations and charities with the knowledge, resources and dedication to working on these problems. The bigger problem is that most of the big problems actually require multi-disciplinary approaches. They are a combination of education, awareness, logistics, sustainability, technology etc. It's also very difficult for these organisations to compete with large corporations in attracting the talent and creativity to work on them, more over they may require a transversal across multiple organisations.
So here is my proposal, I want a hackathon to change the world. One that isn't about tech, isn't about business and has the input from organisations to provide the knowledge to allow us quantify and rationalise the validity of any potential solution so we can refine them, and also find those transversal approaches that may exist across a multitude of organisations. Then maybe, just maybe something will form that they might be able to start implementing or at the very least spark something that they can take away and refine.
The purpose of this post is to outline how this might work, and to ask for help and support in making this happen.
Please provide any input on this.
- One weekend.
- Open to everyone, the more diversity the better.
- Problem/Idea pitches at the begging of the hackathon.
- Votes for selecting problems/ideas to work on.
- Split into small teams to work on selected problems/ideas.
- Organisations on hand to supply the information/guidance to the teams.
- Produce a proposal outlining the dynamics of the potential solutions.
- Present the proposal at the end.
What we need
First event to be held in the Bay Area, California around the end of Jan 2014.
If anyone can help with any of this please get in touch.