Hacks for Humanity, sponsored by Project Humanities at Arizona State University (ASU), is a 36-hour hackathon for the social good, challenging participants to create technologies to address local and global issues. The finished products must embody these seven Humanity 101 principles: kindness, compassion, integrity, respect, empathy, forgiveness, and self-reflection. This annual event draws some 150-200 students, faculty, staff and community members, each with their individual talents and backgrounds of expertise.

Unique this year, Project Humanities linked with University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) to host our hackathons synchronously. UTD followed Project Humanities’ model by incorporating the goal of working towards the social good via Humanity 101 principles, along with the same tracks to guide participants’ creations. Both Project Humanities and
UTD livestreamed workshops to share with each other.
Check out UT Dallas images for the Hackathon
Hacks for Humanity Event Brings Together Technical Know-How
Winners for Hacks for Humanity 2018 UT Dallas

2018 Tracks


My Siren

1st Place (Tied): Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing are at risk of harm from emergency vehicles, especially during the day when flashing lights are not easily visible. This vibrating siren detection phone app alerts deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals to nearby emergency vehicles. It operates for both pedestrians and drivers, especially those in urban areas. Of the Humanity 101 principles, this one embodies empathy, kindness, compassion and respect, and enhances the lives of those using the product by providing safety and mobility solutions that do not depend on others around them. No other safety-focused resource like this serves this underserved population.

Noobs: Self-driving Humans

1st Place (Tied): Mobility for the visually impaired is a reality for some 285 million individuals globally. This app goes beyond the existence of service dogs, smart walking canes, and mobile guidance apps. This app improves mobility for the visually impaired by allowing more independence and safety. Our product improves and simplifies these individuals’ daily tasks while allowing them to be more independent and secure. This technology embodies these Humanity 101 principles: compassion, empathy, integrity and respect. It allows these individuals to be better integrated into their environments with greater confidence to perform daily tasks and to be at one with their physical environments.


2nd Place: This app connects individuals who have shared interests and exposes children to more diverse perspectives and experiences, thus creating respect, integrity, empathy, compassion, and self-reflection. A communal parenting app for those families without immediate communal support, this app builds trust and allows others to become more engaged. This instrument allows parents to create a bio that can be found by other parents within a given neighborhood. Parents will update a website with upcoming events or experiences they will be putting together or doing, and other families can choose to join them or have their child join them. Kids will be able to meet and see many other cultures and ideas this way and learn to respect differences.

The Link

3rd Place: Millions of children all over the world are victims of child labor.Over 10 million children drop out of school every year. This app is a crowd funding app for children to attend school, embodying these Humanity 101 principles: compassion, empathy and kindness. This solution is an opportunity to save children who fall through the proverbial crack, because they can’t afford an education. This product further reduces the gap between various NGOs and underserved children who cannot afford education, allowing everyday people to step in and support. This creates a data pipeline to promote children’s education, especially for corporations and government agencies. It’s both a social awareness campaign and a community-building vehicle.


Post-Hacks for Humanity Hackathon Progress and Impact 2017

”The momentum from Hacks for Humanity does not stop once the winning team claims their prize. Hacks for Humanity has generated significant change within the lives of several of our participants. Perhaps the best example of this event’s sheer transformative power has been demonstrated through the continuing success of our 2014 winning team, ARKHumanity, who created a system designed to identify specific tweets containing key phrases that are frequently used by people in crisis who risk self-harming. Since their group’s formation and victory at the Hacks for Humanity hackathon, they have gone on to win various social enterprise competitions, have participated in major conferences, and have launched their own business called HumanityX.  This team continues to lead the way in improving humanity through creative new technologies.“

– Dr. Neal A. Lester, Director, Project Humanities

“Participation from a diverse group of people in a platform such as Hacks for Humanity creates a paradigm shift in technology development, giving everyday people the power to co-build the ‘next big thing’ that may affect our lives.”

– Pat Pataranutaporn, inaugural hackathon participant, ASU Biology Major, and Humanity X co-founder

“It was a pleasure to meet you [Dr. Lester] and to attend Hacks for Humanity 2015. Thank you for all the support and idea sharing with my team and all the others. You maintained truly impressive energy, enthusiasm, and generosity throughout the entire marathon, and I appreciate it. Also, the Dickinson quote you recited to team 21 toward the close of the event was an uplifting and unexpected treat. I wish I could remember the exact quote, but after 30+ hours, my brain couldn’t hold any more information. On the upside, being unable to recall it allowed me the guilty pleasure of spending time online reviewing Dickinson’s work hoping to find it. I’m already thinking about ideas for future products/hackathons thanks to this. If there’s any way I can support future endeavors, please reach out.”

                -Paige Miller, 2016 Hacks for Humanity Participant