Designing Culturally Sensitive Hackathons

I am happy to report that a paper written with colleagues, Janaina Aniceto and Alex Chung, has been accepted for presentation and publication at the 2023 Americas Conference on Information Systems to be held in Panama City in August.

The paper, titled “Designing Culturally Appropriate Hackathons to Increase Data Literacy in Indigenous Communities” is part of the Emergent Research Forum.

In the digital age, data literacy skills are extremely important. Data literacy is the the ability to read, work with, analyze, and argue with data. However, these skills are still underdeveloped in many Indigenous communities across Canada due to systemic barriers they have faced.

Hackathons are usually short design or coding competitions, used as a way to promote data literacy as well as develop potential solutions to complex problems. Various organizations, from governments to businesses organize hackathons on a variety of topics. Hackathons are socio-technical innovation processes in which local cultures and values play a role in their conduct and outcomes.

Our research suggests that hackathons that are designed with Indigenous cultures and values in mind can be more effective at promoting data literacy for Indigenous peoples, yet there is limited guidance on how to do so. With this research we aim to fill this knowledge gap. We will use an Action Design Research approach and Indigenous research methods to collaboratively develop and deliver culturally appropriate hackathons to increase data literacy within Indigenous communities. During this process we will also co-develop a suite of design principles to guide the design of these hackathons.

Stay tuned for more information on this research project!