Hackathons

Heeding the
call to build

Hackathons are less of a challenge and more of a beacon. They’re a clarion call to do better, do more, improve the lives of real people across the country and around the globe, using our overwhelming talent and laser-focused thinking.

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Inspiring action, producing results

Far from the bleary-eyed all-nighters many hackathons impose, ours take teams on a multi-month journey of discovery, reflection, ideation, iteration, and perfection. It’s a format that gives everyone space to bring their best thinking, encouraging us all to share expertise and ideas, fail fast and prove quickly, and unearth new ways to solve old problems. And by giving more teams more opportunities to participate, to dive into the technology and really understand it, our hackathons produce solutions that are often usable, and always inspiring.

2021 Slalom Hackathon

Hack for Climate Solutions

Hackathons at Slalom represent unique opportunities to do better, do more, and improve the lives of real people in our communities. The winners of our Open Data Hackathon leveraged public data sets and machine learning to better understand the impacts of local polluters. The winners of our IoT Hackathon developed a series of low-cost sensors combined with weather data to optimize water usage and labor costs, while improving yields at a fraction of the cost of existing industry solutions. We've built relationships with leaders in our communities, expanded our expertise in emerging technology, and explored new approaches to big problems.

That’s why this year, Slalom’s hackathon is 100% dedicated to exploring the impacts we can have on environmental sustainability. Inspired by Bill Gates’ new book, “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need,” the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and Slalom’s Corporate Social Responsibility Report, we are bringing together creative programmers, big picture thinkers, and enthusiastic leaders to collaborate on our most pressing sustainability challenges. These include the pursuit of zero emissions, effective waste management and reduction programs, and protecting the environment and the biodiversity of our communities.

Past hackathons

Hacking for Social Good II

Twenty-eight teams across North America partnered with not-for-profit organizations in their communities to help further efforts for social good using technology, creativity, and innovation. And after 7 months of work we're proud to announce our three winners. Team Cara, Team BUILD, and Team PetChain Pals showed what it means to really make an impact in the community.

Blockchain Hackathon

An interesting thing happens when you let loose hundreds of builders on an enigmatic and poorly-understood technology like blockchain: things get built. One summer, we put out the call to teams Slalom-wide to help us grasp blockchain’s mysterious magic—without using cryptocurrency. With solutions ranging from airplane part authentication, prescription drug tracking, and property ownership verification, our Builders really stepped up. In the end, a peer-to-peer energy sharing and distribution microgrid solution wowed the judges, and emerged victorious.

Hacking for Social Good I

For over three months, nearly 300 Slalom employees partnered with 36 not-for-profit organizations to help further their missions—from helping people rise out of poverty, to improving literacy in Uganda. "This was a great opportunity to foster a connection between two organizations I love so much,” says Slalom Chicago’s Danny Scott. “It was one of the most rewarding projects I’ve ever worked on."

Artificial Intelligence Hackathon

Over six months, 23 Slalom teams put their heads and hearts together to create solutions using AI. The winners: a drone that can recognize missing persons and a platform that scrapes classified ad sites for sex trafficking information.

Microsoft HoloLens Hackathon

Slalom partnered with Microsoft to host our first-ever HoloLens hackathon championship. Six teams came together at Microsoft’s campus to present their innovative HoloLens creations in front of a panel of Microsoft judges, in hope of winning first place.

“Alexa, ask the team to hack the Amazon Echo”

Slalom teams worked to create new apps for the Amazon Echo. They developed skills that allowed people do things like ask Alexa to book a conference room or for advice on the age-old dilemma of what to get for lunch. “Now we know these things can be done,” says Slalom Boston’s Justin Lee, “so when developing software for clients, we can say, ‘With Echo, I was able to work around a limitation of being able to talk to something directly – and that might work here.'”