Mehrunnisa Wani is a student at Columbia’s School of Journalism. She is one of ten students providing on the ground coverage of SMWNYC- all from the student’s perspective. She is providing her report from Rappathon- Hacking for Change: A New Way of Collaboration.
“What’s the best thing you’ve created? I don’t know. Come around tomorrow.” – Camilo LaCruz
Believe it or not, the ingredients for social change are collaboration, creative minds, and a days worth of idea generating.
With their collaborative methodology RAPP hosted it’s first rappathon workshop, tailored to bring developers and designers together to explore concepts that might someday enrich thousands, if not millions, of lives.
In league, they worked towards creating technology that could work for the people, by the people. This hackathon, much like the others sprouting across the tech scene, are increasingly involving people.
After pairing up individuals and a tidbit of mix –and-matching, groups moved from station to station picking up where the last team left off so others could expand on the idea or share their two cents.
The web apps that came out of this aimed to improve the lives of individuals, or at the very least assist people in some regard. One of the ideas yielded was a map that would track a daily commute, keeping in mind the money, number of calories burned, and the carbon footprint. This would be linked to a social network, which would inform friends, family, coworkers of the commute and in the end, the data would be accumulated over a period of time so that the commuter can ascertain what method is cheaper, less time-consuming, or less arduous.
The apps weren’t launched but the organizers graciously shared the ideas in hopes of someone developing it. It’s still about experimentation and there are still ways of transforming life. If there is a social need, an app can fulfill it.
Mehrunnisa Wani hails from Kashmir, India. She is currently a masters candidate at the Columbia School of Journalism learning to report stories in various mediums, all the while familiarizing herself with the digital media boom so she can utilize those skills to connect the world one story at a time. In the future she hopes to cover conflict zones, learn to code and change the world – simultaneously. She resides in Queens, New York. Follow her on @mehrwani.