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Vatican Looks Forward to a Hacking (of sorts)

VHacks: A Hackathon at The Vatican Building Awareness of Current Global Issues

In 2018, the first-ever hackathon at The Vatican, known as VHacks, will take place from March 8th to the 11th. Combining the words “hacking” and “marathon”, a hackathon is a sprint-like event in which multi-disciplinary teams (including computer programmers, graphic designers, project managers, etc.) collaborate to create solutions under a time constraint.

VHacks brings the concept of a hackathon to The Vatican. Organized by OPTIC, a global think-tank dedicated to ethical issues of disruptive technologies and The Vatican’s Secretariat for Communication, this global event will bring together innovators of all faiths and ethnicities. The Pontifical Council for Culture and Migrants & Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Integral Human Development are co-organizing the event. Combined with the support of student volunteers from Harvard and MIT, VHacks is committed to bridging technology with human-centered values.

VHacks will target important global issues, including social inclusion, interfaith dialogue, and the migrant & refugee crisis.

Specifically, the mission of VHacks is to:

  1. Leverage technology to address current global problems centered on hackathon themes. 2018 Hackathon themes center on 3 key issues: social inclusion, interfaith dialogue, and migrants and refugees.
  2. Promote collaboration among youth leaders across diverse academic, ethnic, and religious backgrounds.
  3. Encourage value-based institutions to embrace technology to further their missions.

The event will be a true celebration of all cultures and beliefs, bringing together the world’s brightest students with diverse academic, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. Participants will be selected through a combination of top-tier partner universities providing teams and an open, online application process where any student enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program is eligible to apply. 120 participants are chosen based on academic accomplishments, innovative thinking, and alignment with our mission statement.

The capstone to the event will include panels exploring the implications of technological advancement on human development and a post-hackathon virtual expo. Speakers will hail from leading tech firms and Vatican institutions. Selected hackathon participants, corporate partners, and institutions will showcase their innovations in the virtual VHacks Expo.

More information about the event can be found on our:

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