This coming Friday, a special Hackathon will be held at Kibbutz Nir Am in the Negev, to solicit ideas for fighting the firebomb kites and balloons from Gaza which have set fire to close to 7,000 acres of agricultural land and preserves in all the Israeli communities surrounding the Gaza Strip.
A Hackathon (a.k.a. hack day, hackfest, or codefest) is a design sprint-like event in which folks involved in software development, including programmers, graphic designers, interface designers, and project managers and other experts collaborate intensively to create usable software.
The idea for Friday’s Hackathon was conceived by Shahar Belkin, chairman of the SouthUp Association, which established after the 2014 Gaza war to turn the Negev into a center of innovation and high-tech.
“It is inconceivable that 150 people will sit for a full day to think about solutions and not come up with an idea that will help stop the burning of our fields,” Belkin, a resident of Kibbutz Brur Hayil near the Strip, told PC.co.il. “We are a country that has found solutions to the tunnels, the missiles – much more complex kinds of terrorism – how can we not know how to deal with something as simple as a kite,” Belkin said.
He noted with satisfaction the great response the event has been receiving and calls on everyone who can to show up Friday (click here to register). Among those who have already confirmed are experts in agriculture, engineers working for security outfits, weather experts and, of course, programmers.
“The participants will be divided into groups and will work together. This is not a competition,” Belkin explained, adding, “At the end of the day, we will formulate ideas and present them to the powers that be, in the hope that they would implement them swiftly.”
“We don’t believe the IDF or others in the various frameworks aren’t thinking about solutions, but the framework we offer, combining experts from different disciplines, is unique, which is why I’m optimistic about our ability to crack this.”
Belkin stressed the Hackathon is open to every company and entrepreneur from all over the country, not just from the South. Click here to register.