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BIAC/OECD Hackathon in Cancun

Laurie Pattison
Senior Director

I'm honored to be one of the organizers for the BIAC (Business and Industry Advisory Committee) Hackathon taking place in conjunction with the 2016 OECD Ministerial on the Digital Economy in Cancun, Mexico next week.  As I put my final list of to do's together, I can't help but thinking "this is a big deal". 

The OECD 2016 Ministerial meeting on the Digital Economy builds on two previous meetings in 1998 and 2008 in Ottawa and Seoul, respectively.   Delegates from around the world are meeting in Cancún next week for the next meeting that is widely accepted to mark a point in the evolution of the digital economy, one in which the economy is in fact becoming fully digital.

Somewhere along the way in the Ministerial meeting planning, the idea was developed that a hackathon would showcase how digital, fast-moving and innovative the digital economy really is, and provide an opportunity for the Ministerial participants to see first-hand the talent and drive of young people driving this economy. 

The Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD (BIAC), in partnership with the Mexican Ministry of Economy, and with the sponsorship of members from the United States Council for International Business (USCIB) and La Confederación
Patronal de la República Mexicana (Coparmex) have created this unique opportunity for Ministers and other high level government officials, as well as stakeholders from the business, trade, civil society and technical communities
to observe the creative process of youth as they
cultivate their digital skills and develop apps to address a particular local or global challenge.

Oracle, along with AT&T, Disney, Google, Cisco, Intel, Microsoft, Verisign and the Internet Technical Advisory Committee to the OECD (ITAC) are sponsoring the hackathon for young developers between 18 to 29 years. 

Working under the theme “Connected Communities, Connected Lives,” developers will compete to win over 20,000 USD in cash awards, mentorship opportunities and other prizes, for apps targeted towards the categories of Cultural Heritage; Smart Cities; Social Inclusion; and, Entrepreneurship.

In addition to sponsoring and organizing the event, Oracle is providing an Excellence Award for the best application with Enterprise Applicability; an all-expense paid trip to our Oracle Mexico Developer Center in Guadalajara for up to 4 team members; and interviews with senior management.

This has certainly been a learning experience.  My team and I normally organize hackathons on our own, so this has been quite the experience with managing different levels of experience and expectations, all in the context of a huge, strategic conference.  I've been honored to be part of the core planning team of the hackathon along with the hackathon gurus at AT&T, the Business and Industry Advisory Council to the OECD (BIAC), the US Council for International Business, and Software Guru, who has managed all the participants and worked directly with the Ministry of Economy for their sponsorship of approximately 150 students and young developers from Mexico.

Oracle has a lot of skin in the game. In addition to organizing and sponsoring the event, we are also sending technical and design support for participants.  Noel Portugal, Rafael Belloni, Eduardo Lopez, Osvaldo Villagrana and Serguei Orozco are joining me to mentor participants as they develop their apps.  These guys are not only technical rockstars in their own right, but they have all demonstrated their eagerness to help the next generation of developers.  Erik Peterson, Vice President and General Manager of the Oracle Mexico Development Center (MDC) will serve as a judge.

Those of us who are Mexico-based, or work regularly with MDC feel particularly proud that this event is an opportunity to showcase what we already know: the amazing innovative talent coming out of Mexican universities that is helping drive the fast growth of the Mexican economy. Mexico has already become a preferred location for IT outsourcing, and more and more US companies are investing in their own development centers of excellence there.

Follow the conversation #HackathonCancun and @BIACOECD and these accounts for real time updates on the event @lsptahoe, @InnovateOracle,  @Oracle_MX, Facebook Oracle Latin America, @OECDdigitalMX, @OECDInnovation.

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