What is a hackathon?

A hackathon is a gathering where programmers collaboratively code over a short period of time. Hackathons are competitive and last several hours or several days. Teams work together on a particular product, the idea that each participant contributes to a communal whole. Contrary to what many outside the hacking world know, hacking is not about breaking into others’ private records but rather about building something and in the process, building community.

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

Unlike many such hackathons, 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 professional retirement.

Sponsored by Project Humanities at Arizona State University, Hacks for Humanity–a 36-hour competitive hackathon for the social good–is a different kind of hackathon in these ways:

  • is not targeted just toward coders but rather to coders, non-coders and everyone in between.
  • involves both communities inside and beyond the university and brings together individuals across professions, disciplines, and generations.
  • Innovates products that connect with or embody at least 3 of these 7 principles we call Humanity 101: compassion, empathy, respect, integrity, forgiveness, self-reflection and kindness.
  • Every year, the hackathon will feature 3 thematic tracks under the umbrella of Humanity 101.

What are benefits of participating in a hackathon?

  • 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 foundation for other such competitions and professional networking
  • it’s fun!

Who can attend?

  • adults of all ages
  • high school juniors and seniors with chaperone and guardian permission
  • anyone interested in creating a technology (not just an app) 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 event logistics
  • EVERYONE: students, non-students, faculty, staff, professionals, administrators, and more

What is the impact of Hacks for Humanity?

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

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

How does the Hacks for Humanity hackathon work logistically?

  • Individuals register online for teams or as volunteers or mentors, self-identifying as one of the designated areas.
  • On the morning of the event commencement, individuals participating in the hackathon will meet and greet through icebreakers to determine team creation organically. No pre-assembled teams encouraged or allowed.
  • Teams consist of 3-5 members, preferably individuals who do not know each other. One other goal of the hackathon is to get people to work across the lines of the everyday 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.
  • When teams are formed, the hacking begins with guidelines and milestones provided by the event facilitators.
  • The hackathon ends with each team pitching its product and judges determining the top three teams for awards and prizes.

Who owns the team product?

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

Since this is a 36-hour competition, are there prizes for participants?

  • Yes, prizes for each member of the top three teams—first, second and third places
  • “Swag” and other goodies for all participants, judges, mentors and volunteers
  • Raffle prizes throughout the 36 hours

What should I bring with me to the event?

  • Wear comfortable clothes
  • Personal hygiene products as appropriate
  • Pillow, blanket, yoga mat, and/ or sleeping bag if you plan to nap or sleep
  • Personal laptop, mobile phone, Kinects, Oculus Rifts, Leap Motions, sketch pads, sketch pads, wearable computing devises, etc.
  • Reusable water bottles and tumblers for coffee/water
  • Whatever legally gets your creative and innovative juices flowing

When: Saturday, October 19, 2019 – Sunday, October 20, 2019

Where: Arizona State University Stauffer Hall B

Nearest Visitor parking: 10th Steet Parking Garage (off Myrtle Ave.)