IT WAS AMAZING! After almost a month of Hacking Arts at MIT I still hear this 3 words very often on the hallways, on social media and debrief meeting. Oh yeah, we are still working, making sure that all the knowledge, mistakes and good practices are not forgotten for the next year and that Hacking Arts 2017 gets even better than the 2016 edition.
As co-directors of Hacking Arts this year, Helen and I started working on February, recruiting our top team to help run the Conference, the Hackathon, the Logistic Operations, the Marketing Strategy and the Sponsorship outreach. The main ingredient here was passion. Passion in what you do and believing on the mission. All this people on the team were working because the love these areas and they wanted to make something good with their skills. All of them were volunteers working on this as part-time jobs and most having to juggle between work or studies besides Hacking Arts.
We were lucky enough to find over 40 of those amazing people willing to make Hacking Arts a huge and inspiring event. Besides the staff team, we had over 50 mentors, 5 judges, 40 panelists, 8 performing groups and 35 companies on the tech-expo coming from all over the world.
FLAGCX for example, flew all the way from Brazil bringing people, equipment and partners (Lobo, IBM and Unity) to create a "A Cognitive VR Experience". Their installation on the Media Lab used a local multi-user environment combining body tracking, amazing VR environments, haptic feedback, custom 3D printed controllers and characters played by IBM Watson.
Autodesk was our first sponsor on board and besides the financial support they flew some of their top executives from San Francisco to Boston and helped to put up 3 workshops free and open to public to empower everybody before the hackathon on their Fusion 360 3d software. We had Adobe's marketing team to work with us on content and Vitra shipping super cool furniture both straight from Europe.
On the top of all this amazing companies and institution that believed in Hacking Arts, we worked hard on bringing people with really diverse background to the event. Over 40% of our speaker were female, and on the hackathon attendees this number goes up to 59%. Only 35% of hackers were from computer science or electrical engineer, the rest was divided in students from architecture, business, media and arts, music and even chemistry and biology. A diverse mix of people, cultures and background to make ideas collide and generate new solutions, this is where the magic happens!
I know that Hacking Arts 2017 has a lot of potential to bring more and more creative folks and we are thinking on all the possibilities to make the event even bigger next year so if you are reading this but couldn’t make to this last edition or if you would like to share with your friends the panels of the conference you went we've partnership with Daisy.io to keep the content of all the 8 panels for free. You can watch it on your computer or smart device accessing the Hacking Arts page on the Daisy platform. Good ideas were meant to be shared and spreaded. You can start the chain reaction that involves art, tech to bring innovation and entrepreneurship.