Hacking the Way to a Better Future: How Major League Hacking is Using Technology for Good, One Student at a Time

When you think of hacking, you might still think of the old stereotype of a pallid, antisocial computer genius wearing a hooded sweatshirt while trying to break down firewalls and access confidential government secrets. Take, for example, Lisbeth Salander of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Or Rami Malek’s character, Elliot Alderson, in Mr. Robot. It’s clear from the introduction of each “hacker” character that they don’t get out much, and “teamwork” might not be a skill they put on their resumes.

But the emergence of hackathons has turned the connotation of a “hacker” on its head, re-framing unparalleled technical prowess as a tool for good and “hacking” as a group activity.

Amongst the many hackathon organizations out there today is Major League Hacking, “the official student hackathon league,” according to their website. Major League Hacking (or MLH for short), aims to inspire students through the many ways they can change the world with technology, turning coding and product development into a fun, game-like team activity and building a community around honing these technological skills.

So what inspired the creation of Major League Hacking? And how are they fostering hands-on learning for students today? To find out, we interviewed Jonathan Gottfried, co-founder of Major League Hacking.

Play the podcast episode above, or download it on iTunes to learn more.

This past October, at the 2017 Forbes Under 30 Summit, Major League Hacking joined forces with Forbes Media and JP Morgan Chase for a Hackathon for Good. During the hackathon, a group of select students, called Under 30 Scholars, joined together to solve a major problem facing the community today.

This year, the focus was disaster relief. With record-breaking hurricane devastation wreaking havoc across the U.S. and the Caribbean in 2017, it’s no wonder that the orgnanizers thought that solving this problem was crucial to the economic success of the United States.

To learn more about the motivation behind the hackathon and the solutions the Under 30 Scholars brought to the table, we spoke to event organizer Taylor Culliver, from Forbes Media.

Play the podcast episode below, or download it on iTunes to learn more.

Hannah Nyren

Hannah Nyren

Hannah Nyren is the General Manager of EdTech Times. A Texan by birth but a Bostonian at heart, Hannah is an educational writer, AmeriCorps alum, and one-time StartupWeekend EDU (SWEDU) winning team member. She started her career at a Pearson-incubated edtech startup, but has since covered travel, food & culture, and even stonemasonry in addition to education.