What Happened When 250+ Professionals Humanely Redesigned Technology at a “Reverse Hackathon”

Including links to the finalists’ winning proposals

In the upcoming century, mental health is one of the biggest challenges our nation faces. A few months ago, we hosted the world’s largest mental health hackathon with the California Institute of Integral Studies, to explore ways we can leverage technology to address these issues.

However, given the recent critical eye toward the tech industry, what are the ways in which technology might be responsible for the very mental health issues we were trying to solve? How does Facebook cause social isolation, or Netflix promote unhealthy binge watching behaviors?

That’s why we, in partnership with the California Institute of Integral Studies, hosted the Reverse Hackathon — an opportunity to redesign technology to amplify the good and change the bad.

Coming together

Together, teams devised ways to change existing technologies leveraging academic and psychological principles. We had a wide range of expertise, including sociologists, psychologists, designers, software engineers, data scientists, and even a group of eager high school students.

The final products were three minute presentations, delivered to a team of judges in a science fair style.

All together, we had 250+ Attendees, 15+ Sponsors, and 8 Judges. This incredible outcome signals a growing need for innovation in how we design technology that truly put the users first.

The Winners

Each of the hackathon winners wrote their own blog post detailing the redesign proposal. You can find the links below.

First place team Emotion-Ally celebrating their win.

Shout out to our excellent judges:

Morgan Venable, Chief of Staff at Google. | Judie Wexler, President at the California Institute of Integral Studies | Alexander Baumgardt, Professor at California College of the Arts | Dr Cosima Gretton, Clinical Product Manager, Mindstrong Health | Alka Arora, Associate Professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies | Samir Adams Ghosh, Corporate Management | Aliss Wang, IMPACT president

Our Incredible Partners

This event would not have been possible without our incredible partners and sponsors, from a variety of backgrounds.


How Do I Join?

It doesn’t end here. We send a monthly newsletter and continued events throughout the year, but we need your help. Please join us in this movement. Here’s how you can get even more involved:

The Reverse Hackathon is led and organized by Stephen Cognetta, Lauren Argo, Sandra Sopol, Azwad Sabik, Dr. Nicolle Zapien, Barrie Eden Yuspeh, Alexa Meyer, Nick DiRienzo, and Vinith Johnson.