What is Hacks for Humanity, and what makes it unique?

Unlike many such hacking events, Hacks for Humanity invites participants from a wide skillset, even those who have no previous “hacking” experience. We welcome artists, coders, app makers, designers, engineers, entrepreneurs, humanists, creatives, and generalists; indeed everyone in between from high school to the professional retirement.

Hosted by Project Humanities at Arizona State University, Hacks for Humanity–a 3-day competitive hybrid hacking event for the social good–is different in these ways:

  • Targets not just coders but rather to coders, non-coders, and everyone in between.
  • Involves both communities inside and beyond Arizona State University and brings together individuals across professions, disciplines, generations, and around the globe.
  • Innovates products that connect with or embody at least 3 of these 7 principles project Humanities deems Humanity 101: compassion, empathy, respect, integrity, forgiveness, self-reflection, and kindness.
  • Features 3 thematic tracks under the umbrella of Humanity 101. This year the three tracks are Age & Wellbeing, Civic Engagement, and Environmental Justice.

Who can attend?

  • Adults of all ages
  • High school juniors and seniors (16 years of age or older) with parent/guardian permission
  • Anyone interested in creating a solution that benefits the social good
  • Anyone who wants to serve as a mentor in 2-hour blocks who can support content and practice
  • Anyone who wants to serve as a volunteer to assist with the event logistics 
  • Anyone from around the world
  • Everyone: students, non-students, faculty, staff, professionals, administrators, and more

What are the benefits of participating in this online hacking event?

  • Builds community
  • Demonstrates “disruptive innovation” in a quick burst of creativity and innovation
  • Demonstrates the power of collaboration and diversity
  • Demonstrates the rewards of diverse perspectives
  • Teaches participants as they compete and innovate
  • Connects technology and product innovation with humanity and quality of life
  • Connects innovation and technology with entrepreneurship and business
  • Establishes a foundation for other such competitions and professional networking
  • It’s fun!

What is the impact of Hacks for Humanity?

  • sparks inspiration for action
  • provides resources and mentors during and after the event
  • creates a network among other individuals and organizations advocating for societal change
  • builds friendships, mentorships, and networks 

As the legacy of Hacks for Humanity continues to unfold, our impact increases through robust strategic partnerships with supporting agencies and organizations that share our common goal of doing social good, one person at a time.

How does Hacks for Humanity work logistically?

  • Individuals register online as a participant, volunteer, or mentor, and self-identify with one of the designated expertise areas (business, design, humanist, engineering, generalist, etc.). 
  • Participants will be randomly assigned to a team based on a diverse set of expertise areas. Teams consist of 3-5 members. No pre-assembled teams allowed. A goal of this hacking event is to get people to work across the lines of the every day and the familiar. In other words, we want teams to mix and match rather than teams of all graduate students, all undergraduates, all community members, all males, all from a single school, etc.
  • On the evening of the event commencement, in-person attendees will report to the in-person venue in Tempe, Arizona and virtual attendees will sign in to Zoom via the link emailed to them by event coordinators.
  • When teams are formed, the hacking begins with guidelines and milestones provided by the event coordinators.
  • All team members must be an active participant throughout the event in order to be eligible to receive prizes.
  • Teams are required to attend event plenaries and must send at least one team member to attend each workshop. 
  • The hacking event ends with each team pitching its product and judges determining the top teams for awards and prizes.

Who owns the team product/idea?

  • The team producing owns the product/idea produced and the IP. We suggest sharing within your teams and making code open source but this is not a requirement for event participation.

Are there prizes for participants?

Cash prizes are distributed to each member of the top teams

  • First Place: $1,000 USD per team member
  • Second Place: $500 USD per team member
  • Third Place: $300 USD per team member