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Posted by Jasmin Dhillön on 22 August 2020
Early this month, Elle Brooker presented at the Rotary Club of Southbank about 'hacking for change' to collaborate digitally to find innovative solutions to community issues.

Broadly speaking, hacking is creative problem solving, it need not involve technology or have the aim of creating an app as an outcome.  A hackathon is any event of any duration in which people come together to solve problems and most run parallel workshops, Elle said.

Some of the goals of hackathons include:
  • Strengthen the community that the hackathon is for.
  • Be welcoming to newcomers to the community.
  • Provide an opportunity for participants to learn something new.
  • Provide a space and a time for participants to make headway on problems they are interested in.
Some questions that are useful in exploring a hackathon and problem solving in the current environment is to consider (SWOT analysis)

1)    What are we good at?

2)    What has COVID done?

3)    What else do we want to do?

It was suggested that hackathons and design-thinking are a modernised and more sophisticated version of the simple 'suggestion box'. It was also highlighted that more mature/senior/seasoned individuals are getting involved in start-ups and entrepreneurship and bring immense wisdom. It was further noted that Rotary may have a role to play in bringing lived experience of problem solving in community issues to the start-up sector who may have tech skills but lack application in the real world (or could lead such initiatives).

The Rotary Club of Southbank look forward to organising/participating in a hackathon for change soon. Stay tuned!

Author:Jasmin Dhillön

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