''Hackathons are a unique way of challenging ourselves to think outside traditional methods''

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We are proud to have such a strong and respected panel of jurors that will decide which teams deserve to win next week. Juror Devin Krotman, Director of Global Learning XPRIZE and IBM Watson AI XPRIZE shares his story in the run-up to the #Hackathonforgood.

What is your expertise as one of the jurors and what will be your key points of attention during the Hackathon?
’’My expertise is in program management and operationalizing large, complex projects (from project management to risk management to resource management). I am a project manager by nature with a background in management consulting. As a judge I am going to be paying attention to the plans that each team develops and how implementable their proposed solutions are.’’

Why is it so important that we try to solve social problems specifically with technology?
’’Hackathons are a unique way of challenging ourselves to think outside traditional methods. With the amount of structured data that we now have at our disposal – we can finally tackle the complexity of social problems we face as a society. Data accessibility is one component – but without hackathons and this hackathon in particular we still lack the creative solutions on how to use the data to solve these complex social problems. So in short – data + this hackathon could potentially lead to solving these social problems.’’

What is your view on the challenges that the hackers will face during The Hackathon for Good?
’’I want solutions for all of the challenges – and I mean this authentically. Each of the challenges – from disrupting land-grabbing to using technology to identify inflammatory information in the public space necessitate unique data-driven and technological solutions. Also there is a potential for these solutions to be leveraged across the other challenge areas.’’

Where are you most excited about?
’’Social innovation and impact work is something that I am very passionate about, but I also believe in embracing innovative technology to tackle issues. Thus this Hackathon – focused specifically on tackling social issues related to peace, justice, and security aligns to my values very closely. The specific AI project I work on at XPRIZE is focused on how AI/machine learning can be used to augment humans and tackle grand challenges – which is a direct nexus to this Hackathon. I am very eager about the potential solutions that result from this Hackathon.’’

Emiel Lijbrink