Tech For Justice, an initiative of the InternetBar.org Institute, is hosting a hackathon for veterans. It will kick off in Houston this weekend and continue at the ABA Techshow in Chicago. The event will wrap up in Houston on March 17th, when $10,000 in prizes will be awarded for the best proposals.
What is a hackathon?
A hackathon is a collaborative event that takes place over several days. Hackathons draw people together from a wide variety of backgrounds to solve a specific set of problems. Those who work in technology, research, legal aid, social services, government, business, education, advocacy, the justice system, civic organizations, urban planning, public health, or any number of other fields all have a role to play.
What is the goal of a hackathon?
Ultimately, the goal of a hackathon is to solve problems, often social or civic in nature, by pooling intellectual resources and drawing on the expertise of peers. Hackathon participants create apps, games, or other tech tools that address specific issues. They may also develop new models for using existing technology, such as social media or mobile devices, in original ways.
Who benefits from the outcome?
The Tech For Justice Hackathon is targeted at helping veterans address the challenges they face upon returning to civilian life. Participants will work in small teams to develop tech-based tools for facilitating reintegration, treating PTSD, overcoming homelessness, and addressing a variety of legal, financial, and mental health needs. Although Legal Aid offices offer programs for veterans, they are overburdened and unable to meet the overwhelming demand for their services. Innovative solutions are needed to meet veterans' needs where traditional channels are failing. The Tech For Justice Hackathon will produce real, viable solutions to the problems that veterans of every generation experience post-deployment.
How can people get involved?
Anyone can sign up to be involved in the hackathon happening March 11th-17th, whether you are an attorney, a veteran yourself or close to one, or simply feel passionate about veteran affairs.