Hacking and Traslating for Social and Economic Development

Mention in the first edition of the "European award for best practice for the integration of SHD (Sustainable Human Development) into technology and engineering education”, in the context of the European project "Global Dimension in Engineering Education ‐ GDEE ",

Authors: Director of the work: Adolfo Villafiorita from ICT4G Fondazione Bruno Kessler and theUniversity of Trento.
Other Authors: Aaron Ciaghi, Ali Al Shammari, Andrea Nodari, Pietro Molini

New technologies can make a difference to promote social and economic development, as demonstrated by various successful initiatives all around the world. Consider the ESOKO market information system or M‐PESA mobile, which provide new opportunities to farmers in developing countries. Hackathons (hacking marathons) are a relatively new format in which volunteers gather and dedicate their time to focus on solving specific problems. Translathons (translation marathons) focus on the localization of applications; it is a powerful approach to break barriers and give access to information. The ICT4G group of Fondazione Bruno Kessler uses new technologies to foster social and economic development. We have been organizing hackathons and translathons for the last two years, at the University of Trento and Fondazione Bruno Kessler. The hackathons develop solutions to foster social and economic development. One characterizing aspect and one goal of the events is involving Computer Science and Engineering undergraduate students and have them work with professors, researchers, and domain experts as peers. The mix provides a new and refreshing approach to learn, teach, and have fun. Presentations by NGO experts offer a unique opportunity to expose students to relevant issues of our society. It is an important step to make new generations more aware of important social and development issues, while doing something useful for them and for others.