Category Archives: homelessness

Homeless Hackathon in Glasgow

A homeless hackathon would help end homelessness in Glasgow. Let’s do it.

There’s noting more annoying, as an event organiser, than being involved in an event that doesn’t actually do anything. An exhibition where no one buys or sells anything, a conference where no one learns anything useful, or a networking event where no one meets anything. Unfortunately these types of events happen all the time (you’ve probably been to at least one already the year). But not all events are the same. I’d like to introduce the Hackathon.

Events that really make a difference

I mentioned in my article for CommonSpace “Five Tips for the Yes campaign on making #ScotRef events unmissable my desire to see an end to the “boring” independence events. I wised that our events truly inspired, as well as painted a picture of the Scotland we want to create:

“I would love to see ScotRef Barcamps and ScotRef Hackathons, alongside more engaging traditional conferences.”

Words into action

I’ve been thinking about a IndyHack and I am sure that’s something that would really help the indy cause. However, on reading Death on the streets in today’s Sunday Herald our movement has more pressing concerns. If we all, truly want to create a more socially just Scotland we have to tackle these issues AT THE SAME TIME as we push for independence. So, an IndyHack should wait. What can not is a response from those within the Yes movement to the homelessness deaths and the stories behind those appalling  figures.

Homeless Hackathon in Glasgow

Thankfully other people are already looking at a Hackathon as a way to end homelessness. There’s one happening in Brisbane in June.

Homelessness Hackathon

And last year Shelter Scotland ran a Homeless Hackathon with Product Forge in Edinburgh in July 2016. I’ve messaged both organisations to see if they have plans for one in 2017.

As an event organisers living in Barcelona there doesn’t seem to be a lot I can do to directly and practically improve this appalling situation. Apart from suggest and run a Hackathon or at least support one if Shelter already have plans.

In the meantime, if you would be interested in supporting an IndyHack or a HomelessHack please drop me a note and I will be in touch. Update, no doubt to follow.

Here’s a helpful outline of a hackathon:

The objective is for attendees to bring to life their ideas across an intensive, challenging and hugely rewarding 48 hours.

This format has essentially been created to help organisers achieve an engaged, experiential and interactive event that is easy to amplify.  Exactly what our movement has to do!

A Hackathon generally takes place across Friday evening to Sunday evening. Timings are roughly:

Friday night:

4.30 Registration and networking

5.30 Introductory talks

7.00 Break for Burritos

7.30 Pitching idea and joining teams

9.00 Team discussions

10.30 End of first day

Saturday: Full day hack from just after breakfast until evening!

Lunch, white space and re-charge time included and spaced throughout the day

Sunday:

9.00 Product development and practice presentations

13.00 After lunch. Presentations and judging. –

17.00 Prizes over dinner.

Key areas:

There are prizes for many of the innovations. There are mentors from design, development and policy floating around to help and support teams. Sponsors are involved. Hardware is provided on site (3D printers, Virtual Reality etc) to help products to be developed.

If you would be interested in supporting an IndyHack or a HomelessHack please drop me a note here and I will be in touch. Update, no doubt to follow.