Saturday, January 12, 2019

Social Innovation Hackathon

On Thursday, we kicked off our Third International Conference on Service-Service-Learning with a mini-hackathon for students.  This time, we are not asking them to program, but to tackle some social issues.  

We gathered together 20+ students from our university, with some visiting from Fudan University, to work on 3 issues:  STEM for rural schools in Cambodia and Vietnam, hygiene and health in village life, and transitional housing in Hong Kong.  These are real issues that we have been tackling.  To provide the context, we also invited NGOs from Vietnam and Cambodia to work with the students.  They are here to attend the conference anyway, participating in the hackathon incurs no additional cost.  

We cannot expect the students to come up with very concrete and mature solutions in 4 hours. The hackathon is intended as a warm up, and to generate some ideas that can be followed-up, perhaps to develop into real projects.  We only had a couple of weeks to prepare for it, but the results are promising.  They worked hard and generated many ideas, some of which may actually turned out to be quite feasible. 

Later this year, there may be an international student summit where we may run this again in a much larger scale, duration, and intensity.  The fun is just starting.  Thank you, team.  

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