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SIBE Hackathon for Global Collective Action - Event Hashtag #sibehack

Press Release   •   Jun 20, 2013 00:40 BST

SIBE has announced a 24 hour hackathon, ICT for Global Collective Action, taking place 23-24 June at the University of Warwick’s Department for Computer Science. Students and academics at Warwick are invited to participate, as are participants not affiliated to the University of Warwick. The event has been set up so that people can also participate remotely; and all hacking teams and individuals are eligible to compete for a cash prize.

The hack, which starts with a presentation at 12pm 23 June and concludes 24 hours later with an awards ceremony, focuses on developing web solutions that can help facilitate global collective action on major global issues of our time. The project is not-for-profit and was developed by SIBE in collaboration with Warwick’s Department of Computer Science, Warwick Computing Society, the IATL Teaching & Learning centre, Warwick iLab and Warwick IT Services.

Ideas for web-solutions that will be presented to hackers at the start of the 24 hour event have been conceived in collaboration with global, national and local campaign organisations, including the World Development Movement, Age UK and student campaign organisations at Warwick. Hackathon coordinator Kristina Donauskyte, graduating from Warwick’s Film & Television Department later this month, said, “the hackathon will give coders a chance to put into practice some of the ideas put forward by a whole range of campaigning experts during a series of ten interactive workshops, broadcast over the web by SIBE between November 2012 and April 2013”.

The project is funded primarily by Warwick IATL, Warwick’s IT Services and the Department for Computer Science. Commenting on the event, IATL Director Paul Taylor emphasised “the hackathon aligns perfectly with IATL’s interdisciplinary approaches and our notion of “The Student as Producer” of original ideas and practice. I love the idea that participants will be creatively critiquing current uses of ICT and forging future uses of ICT”.

SIBE hopes that the web-technologies developed through the hackathon will serve as a point of inspiration for future development of a comprehensive web-platform. Explaining the background to the project, SIBE Director and Warwick graduate Sholi Loewenthal said “It’s a real downer to live in a generation with plenty of resources but insufficient coordination to address major global issues of our time”. He added, “For SIBE, a student media organisation aiming to encourage constructive action, it was natural for us to facilitate an enquiry into how modern ICT can potentially evolve in order to meet the demand for more sophisticated tools for collective action”. 

Amber Thomas, Academic Technologies Manager at Warwick said “It’s so important for people to have the practical skills to create digital media as well as consume it. I am really pleased to see this student-led initiative putting those skills to use. Hackathons are a great way to collaborate and can be a fantastic experience!” Sara Kalvala, Associate Professor of Computer Science, and Claire Rocks, Outreach Fellow, said “we are keen to see the population at large using computing technology directly and effectively, and see SIBE’s endeavour to use hackathons as an excellent example of developing new approaches and innovative ideas.”

There are cash prizes of £400 up for grabs for the best ideas, and there will be free pizza, refreshments, goodies from Google and participation certificates all round. “The project has raised significant interest from various departments at our university as well as campaigners and professional web-developers” said Project Coordinator Kristina Donauskyte, “We hope that everyone with a creative flare for IT will come along and contribute their skills to this collaborative initiative, it’s going to be 24 hours of fun and inspiration”.

Tweet using the hashtag #sibehack

About SIBE 

SIBE is a student run media organisation. Find out more www.sibe.co.uk