Preparing yourself for Hack Belgium

A few tips for kicking off Belgium’s largest hackathon on the right foot.

We live in the “pissed off” era. Scroll through your social media feed, and there will always be someone who, as a catarsis, spreads the word about something getting on his nerves. In many cases cases, like coffee spilled over someone’s shirt, it is not the end of the world. After all, shit happens, but in many cases it can be easily solved, right?

We all have our rants, but… what happens when what triggers them deeply impacts people’s lives, like safety, social inclusion, or mental health? How frequently does a thread over a complaint evolve into a constructive discussion to be part of a solution? Unfortunately, not that often.

Fortunately, I am glad there are initatives driving us to be key in improving our entourage, like Hack Belgium. From May 4th. to 6th., 2017, Belgium’s largest hackathon will be the platform for top-nodge mentors and 1,000 participants from all backgrounds and ages to find solutions for the country’s top 14 societal challenges. Hackingly awesome, isn’t?

Besides praising these socially aware participants for their enthusiasm, I would like to share with them a few tips so they can enjoy Hack Belgium at its most. So, here we go:

Get familiar with the challenges

Have a look at them, and –besides thinking which one you would like to join- think about the others. Is there something valuable that you can share on them? If so, please write them down and share them: you can tweet them to @hackbelgium, post it in Hack Belgium’s Facebook page and group.

Crowdsource inspiration

Even before kicking off Hack Belgium, post your ideas on Facebook, and ask for your friend’s reactions. Some of their comments can bring some insights you were unaware of, as well as some new contacts.

Dig into your gadgets

What about having a look to see if you have any gadget that could be of some use you, either for you or for other of the participants? It can be an Arduino set, a 3D printer, or whatever crazy thing you have kept in your garage. If you want to bring something, please send us an e-mail before May 4th to deepak@hackathons.be.

Leave your ego behind

You will be working with people from different fields, so be receptive towards their ideas. Openness –and not ego- is your best big asset.

Get enough sleep

As Hack Belgium runs over 3 days, the best is to be there with the batteries at 100%, so sleeping well the days before is crucial to have a fresh mind.

Check your mailbox

Be aware that you may receive some updates via e-mail. You would not like to miss any important announcement! Please make sure to check both your inbox and spam folders.

Fun is a must

The point in Hack Belgium is to learn, share, create, but –overall- to enjoy the process. So, take it easy, enjoy the process, and don’t forget to attend the wrap-up party!

Spread the good vibes

During and after Hack Belgium, share your experience via a post, a blog or vlog. By doing so, besides sharing what you have been doing, you are also helping others to realise that we can all be constructive and proactive towards our day to day challenges.

We all hope that these tips can help everyone get the best from Hack Belgium! If you want to share some extra, feel free to do so… and see you on May 4th. at Tour and Taxis!