About Us

 

Hack for Big Choices is a global movement with the mission to empower talented people to solve local problems by developing innovative products and businesses.

We work with local communities in more than 15 cities across 5 continents to bridge the growing global innovation divide. We are working to optimize entrepreneurial intentions in order to create sustainable, needed innovations to help local economies grow and prosper.

Our flagship hackathons are focused on specific challenges related to Design & Technology, Education, and Healthcare. We help launch innovative companies and prepare them to attract investment due to their sustainable approach and potential to solve keys issues. We envision an open landscape where citizens utilize a bottom-up approach to source and adopt the best technologies to address local needs, become emerging entrepreneurs and create impactful innovation. By doing so, we help create access to a better life and help local economies become sustainable while relying on bottom-up citizen engagement. This is how we aim to effect global change.

Our power team is composed by: the founding team, local leaders and advisors.

Hack for Big Choices is a non profit based in San Francisco.

 

Everyone is Welcome

Participants, also called Hackers, aren’t just programmers or engineers. They are designers, marketers, teachers, professors, doctors, lawyers and can come from all other fields of study. They hail from all professions and experiences. Hacking is a state of mind that requires the belief in the power of change. Our hackathon is open to everyone. The only requirement we have is the desire to affect change in the world.

Focus on Real Problems

We identify world-changing problems such as: bridging the gap between research and markets, the simulation of crisis management activities, car driving safety, food safety, automatic people counting, education in remote areas, medical data for better outcomes, and sexually transmitted infections.

Participants will be able to focus on finding solutions that can be executed locally and continued to be developed after the hackathon. You can find the entire list here.

These problems have been selected as key issues that require immediate solutions in order to improve millions of people’s lives and have long-term social and financial positive impact. In fact, most of the problems we are tackling are also part of the United Nation’s agenda to eradicate poverty by 2030. We are aligned with this mission and, along with other international organizations, committed to meeting the UN’s eight millenium goals.

You can find them here.

Local & Global

Locals have a deep understanding of their communities’ problems and the great potential to solve them. But many don’t feel they can make a difference. We believe the global transformation begins when each of us feel the power to improve our lives starting to use our unique talents, passion and experiences to solve real-world problems. For this reason we are focus on global challenges such as food safety and HIV prevention, which are universal but manifest differently in each community.

Free Knowledge

We use conferences, Google Hangouts, and interviews to help drive our vision, from a conversation to an actionable plan. These conversations involve local leaders, participants, mentors, and thought-leaders from a respected array of organizations including Stanford University, TED, Singularity University, and the World Economic Forum.

We believe that knowledge is a resource meant to be shared amongst all people of the world, without any discrimination. So our events encourage the participation of anyone willing to engage in constructive dialogue and are recorded for any and all interested.

Multidisciplinary

While most Hackathons cater to tech professionals, we believe a multidisciplinary approach is needed to truly inspire and sustain change.

We want the team to have distinct perspectives and concepts of each discipline that can be used to tackle the challenges in order to reach solutions based on a new understanding of complex situations.

Each participant will understand the multi-faceted nature of the problems and contribute with others to produce a collaborative solution through a common perspective.

“Group level studies and team theory show how a diverse team can develop superior solutions to difficult problems compared to those from a homogenous team, even with the former being under less favorable conditions.” – Hong and Page 2001; Prat, 2002

Sustainable Economies

We believe that, in order to affect meaningful, sustainable change, the solutions must be systemic. We do this by bridging the gap between the problems faced by regional economies and the ever-growing pool of talent and resources available.

We help identify problems and the solutions that can benefit and be sustained by local ecosystems. We also subscribe to the adage of teaching a man to fish, and assist in the growth and empowerment of the talent pool.

We support self improvement and personal growth by creating opportunities to work in teams and use creative, critical thinking to solve problems. Communities will not only be able to attract more capital and find innovative solutions, their economies will experience the long-term benefits of having a population that’s not afraid to fail, willing to take risks, and able to see and take action on opportunities.

Responsible Citizenship

Hack for Big Choices is designed to help citizens to collaborate to take greater responsibility, inviting them to be more proactive in using their skills, experiences, and talents to solve those issues that affect their community and country.

We want to maximize the potential of every single citizen because we believe that locals have a deep understanding of their communities’ problems and the great potential to solve them, but many don’t feel they can make a difference.

Collaborating in small groups with no bureaucracy, little to lose, deep understanding of their locals problems, and a passion to prove themselves, can consistently outperform larger organizations when it comes to innovation.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”- Margaret Mead

There are, as it turns out, pretty good reasons for this. Large or even medium-sized groups—corporations, movements, whatever— aren’t built to be nimble; nor are they willing to take large risks. Such organizations are designed to make steady progress and have consid

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