News & Events

(Un)Hacking Downstream Consequences

Event Details


Location: Online

Date: February 22, 2022

Time: 9:00am - 12:00am

Event Dates: February 22 – March 3, 2022


The McDonald Institute is pleased to partner with Experience Ventures for unique virtual student placements that focus on building innovation networks, future preparedness, and making an impact. This is a paid opportunity for up to 35 full- or part-time undergraduate students enrolled from 2nd year and above in any discipline at Queen’s University. Students will receive a $325 honorarium for their 16 hours of participation.

(Un)Hacking Downstream Consequences is a deconstruction of the typical hackathon. The event will occur online over 10 days between February 22, 2022 to March 3, 2022 with both synchronous and asynchronous pieces. The goal of the experience is to develop and apply entrepreneurial thinking and skillsets for resiliency, opportunity recognition, action orientation, risk management, systems thinking, and trans-disciplinary thinking.


Why should you participate in this event?


This is a non-competitive event, and is focused on championing collaboration and good-will amongst participants. Unlike a traditional hackathon, this event encourages solutions of any type, such as policy changes or product design. Computing experience and skills are not a requirement for this event, and students from all programs are encouraged to apply.

Students will apply as individuals, and will be grouped into cross-disciplinary teams once accepted. Teams will work together to create a policy or product based solution that will target a thesis stream within one of three problem sets:


Megaconstellations of Satellites (SATCON)

How can we ensure access to the night sky with rapid increases in satellite launches and satellites in low Earth orbit? How can we mitigate unforeseen downstream consequences of megaconstellations of artificial satellites?

The archiving, preservation, and creation of datasets for audio/visual media

How does access and preservation of art created by marginalized people affect marginalized groups? How can we address unforeseen downstream consequences of maintaining and characterizing art media?

PPE and clean room requirements for physics experiments at SNOLAB

How does increased use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) affect people, cultures, the planet, and science? How can we address unforeseen downstream consequences of current and future PPE needs and use?

Thesis streams will be revealed during the event, and include focuses on downstream consequences for the environment, culture, quality of life, and specific research fields.