Paper: Hackathons, entrepreneurship and the passionate making of smart cities
Sung-Yueh Perng, Robk Kitchin and Darach Mac Donncha draw on their various hackathon experiences to present you a close-up look of these tech and ‘innovation’ events. The working paper examines how these events extend the passions for digital innovation and entrepreneurship and act as sites of social learning for the development of smart urbanism.
Hackathons – quick prototyping events for commercial purposes – have become an important means to foster innovation, entrepreneurship and the start-up economy in smart cities. Smart and entrepreneurial cities have been critiqued with respect to the neoliberalization of governance and statecraft. We consider the passions, inventions and imitations in the assemblage of practices – alongside neoliberalizing and capitalist operations – that shape the economy and governance of smart cities. The paper examines hackathons as tech events that extend the passions for digital innovation and entrepreneurship and act as sites of social learning for the development of smart urbanism. We argue that passionate and imitative practices energize the desire and belief in entrepreneurial life and technocratic governance, and also engender precarious, ambiguous and uncertain future for participants and prototypes.