Building with a Purpose: A hackathon that helps people in need

Groundbreakers talks to developers about Hackmakers World Innovation Day

By Jim Grisanzio | June 2021

Jason Lowe, Jim Grisanzio, and Franco Ucci, May 2021

Jason Lowe, Jim Grisanzio, and Franco Ucci. May 2021.

For 72 hours in mid-April, four thousand developers, mentors, and support staff from more than 100 countries virtually gathered for Hackmakers World Innovation Day to build solutions to help people. The event was sponsored by Oracle in collaboration with UNESCO and UNEP in support of some of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

As Franco Ucci, senior director for Oracle Cloud Platform Strategy for Australia and New Zealand explains, the projects focus on health, education, and economic growth. All of these areas have experienced serious challenges since 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Franco also outlined some of the important activities that led up to the event, such as meetings with UNESCO and United Nations officials about human rights, displaced refugees, and bioethics.

“It went from being inspiring to realizing we’ve got a sense of responsibility with what we’ve got,” Franco said.

In another conversation, Jason Lowe, master cloud specialist engineer at Oracle (and a longtime hackathon participant), talks about his own experiences at this event and other previous hackathons. He’s excited about the diversity of people involved in Hackmakers World Innovation Day and the skills they brought to the event. He believes hackathons represent an educational continuum for people in development communities—which turn a short, high-pressure development project into long-term relationships and learning.

Some of the technologies developers were able to leverage to enable their projects include Oracle Database, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, and Oracle Application Express (APEX). And dozens of Oracle employees were involved as well as mentors, developers, and facilitators from multiple countries.

Enjoy these first two conversations—more are coming soon!

On the Mic

Franco Ucci

Franco Ucci

Franco Ucci, Senior Director for Oracle Cloud Platform Strategy

Jason Lowe

Jason Lowe

Jason Lowe, Master Cloud Specialist Engineer, Oracle

Photo: Oracle

Stay Tuned!

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Jim Grisanzio

Jim Grisanzio

Jim Grisanzio is a senior community manager in Oracle Developer Relations. You can follow him on Twitter @jimgris.