WhatTheQuack – Big Open Corona HackaThon

Hackathons are normally short-lived intense projects for energetic younger folk who want to solve a looming or present crisis by lashing out with red hot Samurai swords made from computer codes and fired by plenty of Cheese-soaked Salami Pizza and Red Bull. Coding is done traditionally all night when oldies are sound asleep, with hoods high covering overstated earphones.

Hackathons were originally designed to stop cyber security hackers from making new attacks on computer networks of governments and big companies. The prize was a job well done and some cash.

Today, they have developed and morphed into wonderful and useful ways to solve common problems quickly and efficiently with young men and women doing this work pro bono for a good cause. Most of doers are really smart altruistic folk up for a challenge, while others are equally smart but more inclined to become entrepreneurs. They enjoy the challenge but seek to earn a living later by working on such projects. 

Both types are necessary and equally valuable in today’s crisis-driven world – one group become academics and scientists whereas the others become entrepreneurs – Albert Einstein compared with Bill Gates…

The last Hackathon that took place in Finland earlier this month was called the HackTheCrisisFinland https://www.hackthecrisisfinland.com and they produced hundreds of ideas listed here: https://app.hackjunction.com/projects/hack-the-crisis-finland.

Now we have a new Hackathon coming called WhatTheQuack at this website: https://www.whatthequack.org 

FinnishNews spoke with two of the founders Ronny Eriksson and Wille Cronstedt, both students at Hanken School of Economics with an entrepreneurial flair who are organising this important event.

“We want to get as many people as possible to come with great ideas to solve problems. We want to solve them right away. With this crisis we want a continuous flow of ideas next week. We can prove to society that in tough times people can be really creative,” said Ronny.

“This event is a tool for collecting problems and creating a spark to solve these problems. We would rather have more problems rather than people writing code. This is a tool to engage others and that is why is so important to keep information flowing,“ claimed Wille over our Google Hangout Meet.

The whole process is organised by the founders and the motley collection of Mentors who are all working pro bono without being paid. 

Over the next week ideas will be collected from participants and they will concentrate on four sectors:

  1. Healthcare – physical & mental… these are stressful times for workers, for those who are laid off and for the unemployed and pensioners.
  2. Education – more attention will be paid to schools rather than universities because the younger students need supervision and help needs to be more interactive for this group.
  3. Business – this is an easy category for Hanken School of Economics since they have easy business connections. The emphasis will be on finding matching partnerships between SMEs and between large companies and the SMEs.
  4. Community – this is a very broad sector but they will probably concentrate more on services and products for the elderly.

They expect to receive many great ideas over the coming week the deadline is for 16.00h on April 3rd but even after that they will be allowing information to flow. As they pass the Friday deadline the various teams will hitch up with mentors and they will start work according to the following preliminary schedule that will end with a one minute pitch on Sunday afternoon at 14:00h:

This Hackathon is a big efficient machine being put together by incredibly energetic students and their mentors, the latter group being experienced entrepreneurs and consultants from a wide variety of backgrounds.

Even though Finland is going into lockdown, it is important efforts like this that keeps people spirits up high.

Giving in to the virus is surrendering to weakness and everybody knows that Finns are imbued deep down with tons of Sisu! This is one of the best countries in the world that tops the Happiness Index 3 years running and has a great standard of living. We solve problems together and this Hackathon is just one important example of such an attitude.

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