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SXSW Interactive 2014

How to Hack Hacking: Make the World a [freespace]

Hackathons are getting out of control. However, this flood of 48 hour frantic coding sessions are spawning national and global collaborations resulting in not just new apps and projects (and a job opportunity in the case of one of the speakers) but also lasting social change.

[ freespace ] was able to obtain a lease for a 14,000 sq ft building for $1 for the month of June, and showed the possibility of civic improvement and community-building when people have a space to come together in and share, collaborate, and create.

Despite this deluge of short, international shots of weekend collaboration, desired social change needs a lot of time and the inclusion of a cross section of planetary shareholders to occur. The [ freespace ] model of collaboration uses the power that the community holds to transform a neighbourhood by activating empty space. Hear from our panelists on how the [ freespace ] is helping to revolutionise collaboration as we know it.

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  1. How can local, community based collaboration be used as tools for social change?
  2. Why is a diverse cross-section of well-invested participants necessary for successful collaboration?
  3. Why has the [ freespace ] model of collaboration been successful in driving social change within communities and how can it be leveraged in future events?
  4. What can you, the hackathon organiser, do to make your event stand out from the sea of mass collaborations?
  5. What will hackathons look like in the future?


  • Sam Wilkinson, Data Science Intern, NASA
  • Mike Zuckerman, Founder, Freespace


Sam Wilkinson, Data Science Intern, NASA

Meta Information:

  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Dual
  • Track: DIY, Hacker and Maker
  • Level: Beginning
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