What is #HackSociety and how can you join?


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What is #HackSociety and how can you join?
We are looking for 50 ideas that aim to address key issues in education & jobs; food & poverty alleviation; accountability & governance; environment & disasters; and peace & development

MANILA, Philippines – The word “hack” is typically associated with “stealing,” or “gaining access to data or a computer illegally.”

But while it has negative connotations, it can also be defined in a positive light.

The Oxford Dictionary defines “hack” as “a strategy or technique for managing one’s time or activities more efficiently.” Other sources say it can also mean producing solutions, though not necessarily perfect, or finding an easier way to execute a task. On the internet, you can find stories like “life hacks,” which are essentially tips and tricks to make your day to day life, well, easier.

Now, “hack” is also being used by groups who want to come up with meaningful products or solutions to a problem, hence, the hackathons.

One example is the two-day hackathon that the Open Data Philippines Task Force organized and which brought Filipino IT developers and designers together to find “new ways to increase public awareness and track government spending.”

We want you to #HackSociety!

Save the date. On September 24, 2016, during the 5th Philippines Social Good Summit, we introduce #HackSociety, an ideathon that harnesses the new democratic space in order to crowdsource “hacks” that address key issues.

The objective is to break apart the Sustainable Development Goals into workable tasks. Here are the problem statements for this year’s #HackSociety:

  • Education and Jobs

    • One of the country’s main concerns when it comes to education are what to do with the out-of-school youth. How can we use social media and technology to help young Filipinos who cannot go to school?

    • How do you use technology to make local research and indigenous knowledge accessible to communities?
    • One of the consequences of advancements in technology is that human workers are getting replaced by machines. How do we help Filipino workers (in all sectors) stay up to date and competitive? How do we develop the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit in our youth?
    • What improvements can be made within current programs such the National Schools Press Conference (NSPC) and the National Service Training Program (NSTP) towards developing civic-minded and socially responsible citizens?
    • Given the fast-paced world of technological innovation, how do we help teachers stimulate creativity & effectively mentor today’s digitally-savvy generation?
  • Food, Agriculture & Poverty Alleviation
    • How can the government, non-governmental organizations, and individuals coordinate with each other to help solve the hunger problem in the country?
    • How can non-governmental organizations help the government in identifying priority areas for poverty alleviation programs? How can individuals help rate and effectively assess programs of the government against poverty and food insecurity?
    • What kind of social enterprises can help address food and poverty concerns in urban areas and in the countryside?
  • Accountability & Governance

    • How can we engage or increase citizen participation in solving community problems at the local or national levels?

    • What citizen engagement tools or mechanisms can be built to promote accountability and competence in government? How can existing tools be applied or implemented more effectively? How can we scale existing anti-corruption initiatives?

    • How can the public be more empowered to be part of tracking or monitoring societal problems such as poverty, inequality, hunger, public safety and security? What mechanisms could the government or other stakeholders develop for this?

  • Environment and Disasters

    • What sustainable livelihood programs can be introduced to make relocation acceptable to communities living in danger zones? 
    • Biodiversity conservation is often seen as an “expense” and its potential for monetary returns is not usually considered. What programs and partnerships can be formed or implemented to leverage financial resources to harness biodiversity conservation for livelihood opportunities?

    • How can we effectively use social media and crowdsourcing tools to capture reports and recommended solutions in relation to environmental issues and disasters?

  • Peace and development

    • What platforms and programs can be developed to encourage multisectoral participation (ethnic groups, women, other stakeholders) in the various peace-building initiatives. 

    • What programs or initiatives can we implement to promote a culture of peace?

#HackSociety at the Philippines Social Good Summit

A segment of the 2016 Philippines Social Good Summit will be devoted to the #HackSociety mini workshops which will tackle the 5 issues outlined above.

Within the mini workshops, facilitators and mentors will help participants improve on their ideas towards creating feasible projects. Mentors will include subject matter experts from government, multilateral agencies, civil society and private sector, venture capitalists, startup incubators, and tech experts.

Interested? Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Form a group of up to 5 members.
  2. Think of an idea or “hack” that responds to any of the issue’s problem statements. Note that we are not limiting “ideas” to tech innovations. Ideas may be an application of existing innovations or systems to current challenges, or new approaches or tweaks to existing programs. When you formulate your hack, it helps to:
    • State the specific problem you are solving;

    • Describe the solution you are proposing;

    • Specify where you think the solution is applicable; and

    • Identify groups you plan to connect with & resources you need to mobilize in implementing the solution.

  3. Submit your entry via x.rappler.com (click on any of the issues above to submit your hack for the specific mini-workshop you want to participate in).
  4. Fill out this registration form.
  5. If accepted, you will receive an acceptance email. This will serve as your group’s entry ticket to the Social Good Summit and to #HackSociety.

We are looking for 10 viable ideas for each of the 5 key issues listed above, or a total of 50 ideas. 

The best ideas for each issue will be featured on Rappler as well as in the SGS main plenary. They will also receive incubation support from Impact Hub.

Seats for the #HackSociety segment are limited. The deadline for submission of hacks is midnight of September 19, 2016. 

In the distribution of tickets for Innovation+SocialGood #2030Now #HackSociety, priority will be given to those who submitted hacks for #HackSociety. Join us – register via Eventbrite here.

If you have any questions, email us at socialgood@rappler.com using #HackSociety in the subject line. –Rappler.com

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