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?
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.
Each of the hackathon winners wrote their own blog post detailing the redesign proposal. You can find the links below.
- First Place / Audience Choice: Reverse Hackathon 1st Place Winner: Spell Check for Your Emotions by Britt Jensen
- Second Place: Women of Color Hack Facebook’s Algorithms to Improve Mental Health by Priya Iyer
- Third Place: It’s about Presence... so Open Your Present! by Kate Chen
- Therachat Binge Watching Prize: Simple Hack to Curb Binge Watching on Netflix by Michael Lay
- High-School-Led Team: Snapchat Re-engineered: Mindful Snapping at the #ReverseHackathon by Tiffany Chen
- Finalist: Why Twitter Should Verify More Users: Towards a More Human Web by Jim Kleiber
- Other Finalists: coming soon! Follow medium.com/hackmentalhealth for updates when the new articles are published!
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.
- Tech: Google, Greylock Partners, Qualitative Research Shop, SF Design Week
- Academia: California Institute of Integral Studies, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Stanford’s Center for Youth Mental Health & Wellbeing
- Mental Health Tech: Mindstrong, Therachat, Reflect, Open Source Wellness, Feel
- Food & Beverage: hint water, Clif Bar & Company, Guayakí
- Other: After School, American Flower, All Tech Is Human, American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine
- note: full sponsor list available at our site
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:
- Like our Facebook Page.
- Follow us on Twitter.
- Join our Facebook Group.
- If you’re interested in getting even more involved, we have open leadership positions. Please contact us to learn more.
- Clap this article on Medium so others can view it.