On the second and third of May 2014, the World Hackathon Day brought together more than 500 youngsters from all around the world. In this 24 hour hackathon, the brightest young minds came together to hack new ways of making the world a better place to live in.
This community provides its members with the opportunity to collaborate, inspire, and work together on amazing projects that have the potential to make a positive impact on the world.
The community is composed of young entrepreneurs, prominent venture capitalists, early-stage startups, educational institutions, angel investors, and major corporations such as Google, KPMG, and Microsoft.
The community received so much support from leading companies worldwide that the three young entrepreneurs decided to organize a World Hackathon Day.
The main goal of the World Hackathon Day was to bring together the brightest talents from all over the world to solve global issues and showcase what young people are capable of achieving at a young age.
We aimed to make these young people go viral, to encourage and inspire others to do something good for others.
Prior to the event, more than 40 international companies submitted interesting problems they wanted to be solved. Participants were divided into small groups and each was given a problem to solve for companies such as ING, D-reizen, Microsoft, and Amnesty International.
Great initiative! It’s amazing what the youngsters of today show for entrepreneurship and all they can achieve.
In addition to the Netherlands, the event also took place in five other countries including India, Israel, Germany, South Africa, and Morocco. The events were held at various locations, such as the Google Campus in Tel Aviv, and there was a live Google Hangout connection where participants from around the world could follow each other from different locations.
The solutions ranged from viral web applications, infographics, videos, and mobile apps to social campaigns that promoted the unique qualities of young people around the world. For example, a new type of banking was devised for people with Alzheimer’s and a group came up with a way to analyze propaganda material using YouTube data.
Participating in a hackathon is more informative than reading ten books or going to twenty readings. You experience yourself how it is to create something and that is by far the best way to be introduced to programming and innovating.
More than 150 different (international) media outlets reported on the events of the World Hackathon Day, from Chinese press to Dutch media outlets such as NOS and Jeugdjournaal. Every few minutes there was another interview taking place. In the Netherlands, we even made it to the front pages of various newspapers.
Dozens of companies contributed to making the World Hackathon Day possible. They provided event support, assisted with media coverage, sponsored printing materials, and supplied the latest gadgets. We were even the first in the Netherlands to showcase Google Glasses and drones to the public, thanks to our sponsors. Embassies also helped us fly in participants from various locations.
In Amsterdam, the event space was divided into war rooms, meeting, and conference spaces.
The World Hackathon Day was a huge success. Although we initially expected 50 participants, more than 500 showed up in the end. More than 150 media outlets covered the event, ranging from radio, magazines, newspapers to online blogs.
An enormous amount of solutions were created, ranging from viral web applications, infographics, videos, mobile applications to social campaigns promoting the role of young people around the world.
The World Hackathon Day not only won three awards, but also showcased the incredible abilities of today’s youth. The event demonstrated their ability to adapt quickly to changing circumstances and collaborate with other young people from diverse backgrounds and cultures across the world.
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