Societal Hackathons

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A Hackathon is an event format which is about actual problem solving. At a scientific hackathon (or hackathon), researchers, computer developers, designers and all those who enjoy tinkering come together. Together, the work in interdisciplinary groups on solving a problem: they discuss, craft and develop prototypes which can come in the form of tools and hardware or apps and software.


They are very helpful in bringing together people with different backgrounds and various forms of knowledge and expertise, which allows for solution on real problems which wouldn’t be possible otherwise. Very successfully, Hackathons are established on a local basis e.g. working with a local community on urban problems.

Target groups

  • Adults and teenagers.

Everyone who is knowledgeable and experienced in an interesting topic, and is willing to collaborate, fail, iterate and experiment. “Techies” are indispensable.


  • Think about problems or challenges you want to overcome or solve together
  • Decide on a venue
  • Consider what materials or technical requirements you need
  • Bring knowledgeable people on the topic and computer developers


The preparation of a hackathon includes mainly the organisational preparations as well as the marketing/communications and administration/management of participants.

A hackathon usually starts with presentations of various project ideas by the participant. This can be preceded by short impulse talks by experts depending on the topic as well as the thematic openness of the event.


Hackathon EU