Hacking the city. It might sound like the plot of an episode of Mr Robot, but this month that’s exactly what one group of tech and design experts set out to achieve. Their goal? Creating a more accessible Dublin for all.
Using Technology for Positive Social Change
The brainchild of Great Life Distillery Founder, Janice Valentine, Hack Access Dublin saw a host of engineers, developers and designers join forces at Google’s Gordon Street venue to create solutions to make Dublin a more accessible city. With the aim of creating positive social change, Janice says of the event: “We want to create an inclusive society for everyone, through a for-purpose hackathon. The idea behind it is to get people from diverse backgrounds together, who are interested in the area and in making a change, and getting them to work together to try and solve challenges.”
Creating Real Impact with Technology
Held over the weekend of November 25-27th, Hack Access Dublin kicked off with a welcoming message for guests and a chance to share initial ideas. An informal and inclusive environment, it’s little surprise that hackathons are a popular way to spark new innovative approaches to problems. With the top place scooped by SEMO, the team impressed the panel of judges and the audience with their idea to connect people who require assistance with mobility and volunteers across Dublin through a real-time app. An inspired yet practical approach to tackling the challenges of creating an accessible city for everyone, Janice explains: “The winning team had a really great idea which showed a brilliant use of technology and how it can be used to create real change.”
Building a Framework for Change
The inaugural event in the Hack Access series, Janice is keen for the challenge to become an annual favourite amongst the tech and start-up community. With a mission to create tangible change and a more accessible city, she notes: “It’s a really good framework for bringing people together to work on challenges in an agile and creative way. Everyone who came was really committed to the vision and really worked hard to come up with solutions to the challenges we face. “