Data & Diversity
What on earth is a Hackathon?
And what does it have to do with biodiversity? Questions we received a lot when introducing the world to the very first ARISE Hackathon. The idea of a hackathon comes from the fast-developing software world yet expanded way beyond the tech discipline. It’s a challenge where participants are asked to solve a problem under time pressure, preferably in multidisciplinary teams to bring together knowledge, creativity and new perspectives. Basically you can see it as an organized ‘out of the box’ experience; working on a topic which may not be your expertise, with people you may not normally work with and building something you’ve never done before. Out of your comfort zone, taking a leap of faith on a creative treasure hunt…. Good fun and likely you’ll learn a thing or two.
Six teams, six themes
Four mornings the teams pitched their ideas, regrouped, hacked and brainstormed so they could deliver their ‘hack’ to the jury within a bit more than 48 hours (some even spent their weekend hacking!). The organizing team provided various ‘lightning talks’ from various ARISE researchers so new knowledge and insights would fuel the process. Cool names such as Trixidata or Biocone popped up, websites were created, and vlog-like videos were delivered. 6 teams made it to the finish line with superb results. Watch their videos now!
Practicality / achievability - 1500 Euro in-kind from Naturalis to realize idea & a personal tour behind the scenes of Naturalis.
Innovative - 1500 Euro in cash from Danum Advisors & a giant cuddly mammoth to memorize your significant contribution.
Both were made possible by our sponsors:
For ARISE this meant introducing the topic of biodiversity in combination with technology to a group that usually doesn’t work with such a topic. Designers, computer experts, bioinformaticians or field ecologists… students and entrepreneurs…a rare mix indeed came to join our very first Hackathon. As ARISE is still in its startup phase, we left the topics quite open for anyone to join. For instance: how can we make ‘hidden biodiversity’ more visible? Or how do we get citizens more involved with biodiversity on a daily basis? We loved seeing all the ideas!
And the winners are...
The practicality prize went to team BioAcoustic Crowd, that came up with a great idea to get citizen scientists involved in annoting animal sound data. Imagine learning how to tell different frog species apart, and helping science at the same time! With the help of Naturalis scientists, this idea might just become a reality.
The Innovation prize, sponsored by Danum Advisors, goes to team SaSiMa, for building a Sampling Site Manager, a web application that helps you keep track of your metadata and results, and improve your sampling strategy.
We want to thank our sponsors, the members of our jury, the people that helped organize and run the Hackathon, but most of all the participants. Was it worth it? Smiles on exhausted faces all confirmed they enjoyed the ride! Their promise - and ours - “See you next year.”