An annual event, “Hacks for Humanity” will focus on ways to intervene social issues with technology

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“Hacks for Humanity” is an annual event that brings people together to come up with interventions to a variety of social problems. This year’s focus is healthcare and water issues, along with concerns in sports. ASU Foundation Professor Dr. Neal Lester is the founding director of “Hacks for humanity.”

“For the 8th year it is still a competition that’s 36 hours that brings people from high school age 16 through retirees together to create technologies for the social good,” Lester said.

This program is based on several principles of humanity, “we started, I guess six years ago a movement we call ‘humanity 101’ and we build these technologies so they reflect these principles of compassion, and empathy and self reflection, integrity and respect, and all of these have to be manifested in whatever that product is,” Lester said.

Every year Hacks for Humanity focuses on a few tracks that connect with some of the biggest issues the world is facing. This year the focus is healthcare, issues happening in sports, and water.

Since this event is virtual this year, participants are encouraged to look at the issues within their communities, which could be anywhere around the world, and research what issues would allow technology to be an intervention.

Because a social issue can be very large, their intention is to look at what is existing and work on something that can be built upon.

“We know that we can create these things more easily together than trying to be off in a corner by ourselves,” Lester said.

He continued that a big purpose at, “project humanities, we’re really trying to make sure that we’re looking at the present through the lens of racial justice, we’ve always done that but we’ve done it more intentionally since the murder of George Floyd

Dr. Neal Lester, Founding Director of Project Humanities at Arizona State University

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