Ten teams, 11 coaches, four judges, three prizes, one theme and one goal. That's the formula for the LeadingAge HackFest to be held Oct. 17 to 20 in conjunction with this year's LeadingAge annual meeting. The event, with the theme “Engage With Age,” challenges teams of four to six participants each to create a technology-driven tool—an app, website, interactive online experience or device—to improve the lives of older adults and their families.
Teams—including one with many members from Australia—are made up of college students and information technology (IT) professionals as well as people from various fields in medicine and services for the aging, such as gerontology, sociology and marketing. Teams could enter the competition already formed or could be put together from individual applicants by LeadingAge. All teams are matched with coaches—people who work in or around the field of aging services—as well as members of the LeadingAge Council of Elders—members of which live or have lived in a senior living enviroment or who have received senior services at home—to provide context and answer questions from team members.
The tools resulting from the team's efforts will be judged based on originality, usability, feasibility, design relevance and on being ‘most developed’ by the end of the session. The grand prize is $5,000, two runners up will receive $2,000 each, and the People's Choice Award-winning team will receive $1,000.
Most HackFest activities will take place at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel. The on-site activity will start with a social gathering Friday night. Then, teams will work all day Saturday and will make their presentations on Sunday, wrapping up with a reception.
Annual meeting attendees will be able to hear about the projects during Monday's general session, 10:15 a.m. to noon in the Music City Center grand ballroom, fourth floor, when teams will be introduced, winners will be announced and awards will be presented. Immediately afterward, teams will display and discuss their projects in the HackFest area of the exhibit hall, booths 215 to 228, until 3:30 p.m.; at the booth, meeting attendees will be able to vote for a People's Choice award winner.
Coaches for the competition:
- Robert E. Burke, PhD, a professor in the Department of Health Services Management and Leadership and the Gordon A. Friesen Professor of Health Care Administration at George Washington University;
- Curt Frisch, IT director of It's Never Too Late;
- Kim Golly, director of community relations/marketing a of Asbury Place; Lola Rain, director of social media at Eskaton;
- Lynette Jagels, vice president of IT and chief information officer of Otterbein Senior Lifestyle Choices;
- Betsy Jones of Bleon and The Countdown Group;
- Lynette Ladenburg, MBA, LNHA, chief strategic and financial officer of LeadingAge Washington;
- Doug Leidig, LNHA, chief operating officer of Asbury Communities;
- Zane Schott, vice president of business development for BridgeGate International;
- Tara Shaver, associate state director for community outreach, AARP Tennessee; and
- lead coach Carrie McGlaughlin, director of information systems at Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services/Ohio Eastern Star Home.
Judges for the competition:
- Majd Alwan, PhD, executive director of LeadingAge Center for Aging Services Technologies and Long-Term Living editorial board member;
- Neil Borg, managing director of corporate finance, Ziegler;
- Kristin Harkness, chief tech wrangler at Wheeling City Tours; and
- Randy Kirk, executive vice president and chief scientist at Direct Supply.
Long-Term Living is a media sponsor of LeadingAge HackFest.