Sunday, November 25, 2012

Philanthropy Buzzword 2012.8 - Hackathon

Hackathon*. This a cultural event in the world of software coders that is quickly becoming a problem solving approach in the civic space. What is a hackathon? A brief and intense (usually a weekend) period in which coders, designers, data geeks, and increasingly artists, community members, nonprofit leaders, and philanthropists get together to try to create quick technological solutions to shared social problems.

The geekier ones focus on deeply troublesome code problems. The more social oriented hackathons produce apps and maps and mobile tools for guiding disaster response, job seekers, data seekers, pothole reporters, park bench users, and others.

CrisisCommons, #hurricanehackers, #HackerHelper, DataKind, CivicCommons, RandomHacksofKindness, CodeforAmerica, Tech4Engagement, github,  - hacking and hackathons are everywhere. These are just some of the organizations, products, networks and relationships bringing them to bear on shared social problems.

Previous list of 2012 Philanthropy Buzzwords

7) Fiscal Cliff
6) Resilience
5) Social Welfare Organization
4) Sensemaking
3) Data Scientist
2) Flash Mob Philanthropy
1) Data

One great thing to look forward to in 2013 - hackathons 2.0 in which the communities, organizations and individuals who have the questions and grassroots expertise to identify the right problem and help design the solution will be part of these hackathons. Check out the work of the Grey Area Foundation For the Arts, Creative Currency for one example.

* Also known as Code Fests, DataJams, Code Jams...Some bonus related terms, courtesy of @vicvrana - "Datapalooza" and "ideation"

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