HACKING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE!
Тhe main challenge at the Balkan Hackathon will be the digital divide in all its forms. Ten years ago, the digital divide was about the barriers to getting everyone online. Today, it is no longer only an issue of access to connectivity. The digital divide of the future will include security and the ability to leverage the internet for a broad range of economic opportunities. As new threat vectors emerge, a security divide will arise between those with the knowledge and resources to protect themselves from cyber threats and those without. The Balkan Hackathon welcomes all who are ready to explore and prototype the solutions that will guarantee the inclusion of all citizens in the digital era, regardless of their income, social situation, geographic location, health, or age.
Internet connectivity promotes efficiency, inclusiveness and a wave of new economic opportunities.
The huge gap between e-commerce and online public services like healthcare and government tools is widening. Adoption of public e-services now lags by a cavernous 27%, up from 15% as recently as 2008.
Globally, 250 million fewer women are online than men and the Internet user gap between the sexes has increased to 12 percent in 2016.
With the growing integration of services and devices in our lives, improving users' security literacy and access to security and privacy protection tools will be essential.
Currently one in three persons with disabilities has never used the internet, representing 54% of those who have never been online. And only 52% of the less educated are regular internet users.
It is estimated that there will be 500,000 unfilled vacancies for ICT professionals by 2020. Moreover, digital skills will be necessary for careers like medicine, art, architecture and nearly all future jobs.
Developers, designers, startup companies, students, and other ICT professionals - anyone with the technical skills, vision for the future, creative ideas and the courage to stand up for them is invited to participate. The event will require intensive cooperation and team work to develop new and innovative solutions within an extremely limited time frame. If you are not developer, you can apply, but keep in mind that you have to develop a working prototype in 24 hours. At least half of your team must have sufficient development skills.
Your solutions can address the challenges listed above, as well as other challenges we face. Listed are just a few issues to get you thinking about the impacts of the digital divide for European citizens. Check out this 2015 EU report on the digital divide for more ideas on how to bridge it.
Teams can have 2-5 members. We do encourage participants to start forming teams before the event. However, if you don't manage to find one, you can apply as an individual. We will organize a team forming activity before the hacking starts. If you are looking for a bigger team or looking to add people with specific skills, you can find the right individuals on the spot or join another team.
Changes in team composition are admissible during the hackathon, but only if you have registered for participation beforehand. We are looking forward to meeting you!
Participants should register prior to 1 June 2018 and accept the general conditions for particpation in the Hackathon.
Please note that seats are limited to 100 participants from all Balkan countries, and we will be selecting teams in order of registration, on a first-come, first-served basis!
Bring your laptops, mobile phones, wearable computing devices and whatever technology inspires you. Make sure that you will feel comfortable during intense hacking, and if you are going to sleep on the venue, please bring a blanket or a sleeping bag.
We will manage work spaces equipped with wireless internet and power sources for you.
We will make sure that you don’t run out of energy during intense hacking! Besides breakfast, lunch and dinner, there will always be coffee and snacks provided in the refreshments corner. If you have any special dietary needs, let us know in the application form.
We have arranged two nights of accommodation for you - on 26 and 27 of June - at a hotel in Sofia. After you register for the Balkan Hackathon, you will receive details about accommodation.
We will take care of your exciting stay during the event, but it is your responsibility to organize and cover your trip to Sofia.
The Balkan Hackathon is on the last day of Webit.Festival Europe. Teams who pitch at the Founders Games startup competition on June 26 will receive a refund once they register at the Hackathon.