(Un)Hacking Downstream Consequences

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.


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 spanning research in astronomy, physics, art, and media.

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


The deadline to apply was 11:59pm EST on January 23, 2022. The application required identifying information such as name and email, academic information such as program and and major (GPA was NOT used for selection), and event specific information such as availability during February 22, 2022 through March 3, 2022, preference in problem set, and a written reflection on why the applicant was interested in participating.