Through an exchange of ideas from across the world, the Makers Without Borders, in partnership with American Spaces Philippines and Global Innovation Through Science and Technology (GIST) IHUB, hosted a webinar that highlighted hackathons and economic development last November 20 at the American Corner Library.
“Hackathon is a search for tech-based solutions. We try to formulate that problem and try to develop a solution and try to use and adopt that solution,” Engr. Jason Occidental, the director for Innovation and Technology Support of Ateneo de Davao University and one of the managers of the GIST IHUB, said.
He facilitated the third-monthly web conference that connected six panelists coming from Lebanon, Tunisia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
“A lot of people have a different perspective when it comes to hackathons. A hackathon, in layman’s term, is just a design sprint, which means solving a certain problem or try to give a certain solution at the fastest possible time,” he added.
Occidental, a graduate of Rutgers University with a business and science degree, also shared his experience when they participated during the hackathon organized by the Asian Development Bank.
“Since the problem here in the Philippines, hospitals are not connected to each other, so the data is not shared between the hospitals. What we try to do was try to develop a solution that allows it to happen without any use of the internet through SMS,” he said.
He further shared that all other teams used the same solution, so they change the team’s idea from using SMS into QR code in a span of a few hours.
“That’s the thing with hackathons–you can try to change your idea as fast as possible,” Occidental said.
As a platform for online collaborations, students the organizers invited Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM) students as the panelists exchanged ideas and experiences related to hackathon and its relevance to economic development.