A fortnight ago, Domain supported and participated in a hackathon organised by Vibewire – #hack4homelessness. Vibewire are a coworking space based close to Domain’s head office. Vibewire focus on equipping young people with various business skills – and from what we’ve sen this seems to include a social conscience. Vibewire focus on the youth, and homelessness disproportionately affects the youth so there’s a natural synergy there. At Domain we want to see everyone in a home they are happy to live in, and so we found real synergy with #hack4homelessness too.
When we got together to discuss how we might be able to help, one of the first ideas that came up was the sharing of our Public API with all hack teams. We launched our API recently and we’ve already signed up hundreds of users so we knew it would work well enough for the hackathon users. We also framed a challenge for the hackers to tackle – how do we try help supply of housing meet demand. We saw some very clever ideas emerge including requests for features our API’s don’t yet support.
One of the most inspiring things about the hackathon was seeing so many young people giving so much of their time and energy to work on problems that they do not stand to gain from solving. The energy in the hackathon was palpable and the participants worked with amazing zest. The pitch sessions at the end were fantastic as the participants spoke us through their lean canvases, occasionally showing that they’d learned a few new tricks out of the process themselves.
Most touchingly, the organisers had speakers talking about homelessness at the kickoff – but these were not merely presentations of statistics and charts. Participants got to engage with people who work directly with the homeless, and even with people who have first-hand experience of homelessness. This made the experience so much more palpable and real.
Domain were proud to support this amazing initiative – alongside several other supporters. We look forward to supporting #hack4homelessness again in the future, and a shout-out to the Domain team members who gave up their weekends to support!