Hack It 2023 was launched with a resounding success in March. This Student Hackathon Challenge is the first of its kind in the region and brought together 50 bright young minds from diverse backgrounds and schools across Mid Ulster, including Sperrin Integrated College, Drumglass High School, St Joseph’s Donaghmore, St Patrick’s College, Dungannon and Cookstown High School.

The young people participating worked at a record pace to generate lots of amazing ideas on how to tackle environmental and waste problems on the Blackwater River. On the day, the judges selected the Year 9 team from St Joseph’s, Donaghmore as the 2023 Hackathon winners.

The project is a great example of cultural and social innovation in practice and supports young people to develop their resilience, communication skills and teamwork to support their path to employability. Cultural and social innovation can bring about significant positive change by creating new ideas, practices, and norms that benefit society as a whole. By promoting diversity, inclusion, and sustainability, cultural and social innovation can help address social, economic, and environmental challenges.