Why Hackathons Just Can't Hack It Anymore

September 26, 2013

"We have a lot of data, but we have no idea what we should do with it."

This is a common sentiment among organizations who are working to make the world a better place. And it would be all to easy to think that a weekend hackathon can help. But honestly, hackathons just can't hack it anymore. 

Hackathons just aren't enough to meet the growing needs of a socially good enterprise inundated with data. Dealing with data requires attention, care, and time. As an alternative to hackathons, we coordinate and train DataKind volunteers who want to put their data skills to work to bring about transformative change.

That's why we're thrilled to be a part of Pro Bono Week, stewarded by the Taproot Foundation, October 20-26. Taproot knows that value that skilled pro bono volunteers can bring to an organization. In October, we're joining them for a series of events around the idea of spreading the pro bono ethic. Lawyers are expected to take time out of their daily job to serve those in need. Why shouldn't other professionals, like data scientists, analysts, coders and developers integrate this pro bono ethic into their daily work lives?

By pairing DataKind volunteers who are ready to make an in depth commitment to a deserving organization, we can put data science to work in the service of humanity, in ways that just can't be fully realized in one short weekend.  

In October we'll be celebrating the work of our amazing DataKind volunteers, who are spending their free evenings and weekends bringing meaningful change to groups like Refugees United, NexLeaf, GiveDirectly and MobileMedic, just to name a few.

Join us for Pro Bono Week!