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Environmental hackathon in The Living Room

When a 24 hour hackathon was organised as a warm-up prior to Uniaden – the largest labour market day in northern Sweden – the interactive teaching environment in the Humanities Building was the perfect location for the event.

The hackathon concept derives from programming and denotes an event where ideas and solutions are developed during a limited period of time.

“Five teams and a total of around 30 people participated in the competition. Their task was to develop solutions that make people think more environmentally sound,” says Jane Bertheim, marketing director of the students’ labour market day Uniaden.

The open space in the Humanities Building is called the Living Room (Sw. Vardagsrummet) and was opened in autumn 2014. Here, many students have found a study environment that generates creativity with open space and group rooms. Hosting the hackathon here was therefore natural, according to Jane Bertheim.

“We chose to be here because it is big and airy. The group rooms provide a practical opportunity for teams who want to shut themselves in and dedicate themselves fully to the competition,” says Jane Bertheim.

“At the same time, the Living Room offers an openness that simplifies for the sharing of tips and advice; the premises open up for mingling, so to speak.”

Jane also appreciates the abundant power sockets.

“It doesn’t matter where you move the tables, there’s always a socket close by and that’s a great advantage.”

After 24 hours, the participants were to present their idea to a jury consisting of representatives from the IT companies CGI and Cinnober.

Inviting companies is a wise move, according to Jane Bertheim. Cinnober builds systems for stock markets and CGI is a broad scale IT consultancy agency. The informal corporate contact that a hackathon can provide is much appreciated by students. Meeting company associates in a relaxed environment created an open relationship.

“It was also easy to present tasks thanks to the stage, projector and screens,” she says.

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