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What is a Hackathon?

A hackathon is a time-bound competitive event, where diverse individuals collaborate to create a new product or solve a critical problem.

Hackathon is a blend of two words: “hack” and “marathon” - taking apart a difficult problem and prototyping a solution in a specific period of time.

The goal of a community hackathon is to expand on the group's collective imagination, network, access, and expertise in order to find new solutions to a real world challenge.

Hack for global good

By Students. For Students.

Hack For Global Good was created in 2017 by two high school students from Rocky Hill Country Day School, Cortlandt Meyerson ‘20 and Ben Pogacar ‘20. Their goal was to unite public and private schools across Rhode Island to solve local and global problems while incorporating innovation and entrepreneurship in a real world scenario.

The purpose of this hackathon is to offer high school students throughout the state the opportunity to experience education, citizenship, innovation, and entrepreneurship in a real-world scenario. Each year, student organizers from Rocky Hill Country Day designate a new global problem.

Students are placed into teams for this 24-hour event to brainstorm a bold solution to a U.N. Global Challenge and ‘pitch’ their novel idea to industry Judges. 


A social good hackathon is a gathering event for all doers committed to solving important problems in the world. The event is limited in time and scope, with the ultimate purpose to discover new and effective ways to overcome an existing hurdle.


Rhode Island high school students in grades 9-12. All expertise needed: creatives, writers, techies and athletes—all working together to identify a Solution2Pollution. No coding or prior Hackathon experience required!


Friday, November 15th 4:30-9:00 p.m. & Saturday, November 16th doors open 7:30 and pitch presentations kicking off at 5:00 p.m.

Registration opens August 15, 2019

Rhode Island Statewide Hackathon


To launch a statewide initiative that exposes high school students to 21st Century skills during a real world scenario.

To develop learning modules that incorporate innovation and entrepreneurship exposing RI students to new ideas, opportunities, and an innovator's mindset.

How to prepare

Your job is to read, learn, and understand as much information as you’d like to know about the subject matter .

  • Learn why the topic is critical, both in Rhode Island and around the world. Understand the organizations currently working on solutions. 
  • Feel free to discuss with your parents, teachers, friends. This is not a secret assignment but a community dialogue.
  • Read the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a resource.
  • The more information you bring to the hackathon the better you can help your team brainstorm a solution.

What to bring 

  • Laptop / phone / charger (We will provide a limited # of laptops on a first-come, first-served basis)
  • Friday Evening: dress for group photos with VIPs
  • Saturday: casual dress
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Sweatshirt/raincoat
  • Food items if special dietary needs/restrictions

What is not expected

  • You don’t have to know coding, programming or technology to participate. 
  • You don’t have to have the solution in advance. The goal is to discuss and brainstorm the problems and design solutions together with your team members. 
  • You don’t need to have participated in a hackathon before.
  • You don’t have to present a working prototype or product during the pitch. 


The Whova App is a free app that allows you to network with VIP’s, Mentors, Peers, and Industry Experts. You can check the app for regular updates from the Hack for Global Good community. News, questions, speakers, and workshops are posted regularly to keep you informed and allow you to connect throughout the hackathon.

The goal is to come up with the most creative and imaginative idea to solve a real-world global problem.

No more. No Less.
Go big. Go bold.

Then think even bigger!


Moonshot Idea

The “Moonshot Idea” award is given to the team with the most audacious and groundbreaking idea, impacting RI and the world (does not have to be possible in the immediate present). This teams shoots for the moon!

Global Impact

The “Global Impact” award is given to the team that presents a bold and broad solution, capable of impacting the most amount of people on planet earth.

Best Pitch

The “Best Pitch” award goes to the team that best articulates the problem, identifies a clear solution, and delivers a powerful presentation or “pitch” to the Judges in Star-like fashion.

The pitch

Teams have just 5 minutes to present and share on stage using powerpoint, video, posters, art, music, a physical prototype, a working model, 3D rendering, or any other method to explain their idea/solution.

Teams must be ready to clearly articulate the following before a panel of industry Judges:

  • The problem, the solution, and the impact (local/global reach)
  • A solution that qualifies as one of the following:
    1. Moonshot Idea (audacious, radical, inspiring, groundbreaking idea), 
    2. Global Impact (capable of helping the most amount of people), or
    3. Best Pitch (clearly articulated and powerfully delivered on-stage presentation)

Student Benefits

  • 24 hours real-world experience to discover and test your ideas
  • Entrepreneurial and leadership workshops
  • Access to global experts, mentors and judges to build your professional network
  • A digital badge or micro-credential to build your resume
  • A chance to pitch your idea to industry experts or prototype your solution
  • A chance to intern at a local company with a social good mission

Skills Developed

Based on feedback from participants, the Top 5 skills students developed during the hackathon were:

 Teamwork & Collaboration

 Problem Solving

 Presentation Skills




Hack Organizing Committee

Hack For Global Good was created by two Rhode Island high school students focused on bringing together diverse teams from across the state to help solve a Global Challenge.

Cortlandt Meyerson ‘20
Hackathon Founder

Ben Pogacar ‘20
Hackathon Founder

Alexey Greim
Co-Chair Business Development

Lucia Caito
Chair Marketing

Chair Production Committee

Willa Geoghegan

Drew Tamburini

Garrett Corsi
Business Development

Santino Izzi

Jayci Izzi

Elsa Block

Alexis Cote

Alejandro Wu

George Gabro

Diane Rich
Head of School

Susan Fonseca Lanham
Global Impact Advisor

Meg Stowe
Director of Innovation

student goals
To have fun and learn something new
To meet student peers and industry leaders
To work on things that matter

Hack for Global Good

Hosted by

530 Ives Rd.
East Greenwich, RI 02818

Contact Us

401.884.9070 x182