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Blog: The social side of robotics

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Last month I organised my first RSA event in the Netherlands which was hosted alongside an Ideathon with the purpose of enriching people’s lives through the use of robotics.

Last month I organised my first RSA event in the Netherlands which was hosted alongside an Ideathon with the purpose to enrich people’s lives through the use of robotics.

As the subject of Robotics is very broad and complex, we decided to focus our attention on the social side of robotics and organise the event in two parts: an ideathon to generate ideas around the use of robotics and a hackathon to bring these ideas to life.

Before we entered into the actual idea generation part of the ideathon, we started with a series of keynote speakers who provided their experience and know-how on the use of robotics in dealing with societal challenges such as dementia. This provided the crowd – an eclectic mix of scientists, creatives, developers and entrepreneurs – with a good foundation from which to engage in a collective brainstorm, through the World Café method.

More than 30 thoughts and ideas were mapped during this process that we compiled into about 10 basic concepts, which are currently going through an online crowd-rating exercise – a true collaborative process!

The best ideas that will come out of this process will be brought forward into the hackathon “Robots to the Rescue” where we will bring together a mix of multi-disciplinary people (i.e. hackers, developers, creatives, scientists and entrepreneurs) to collaboratively build solutions that have the capability to tackle one of the greatest social and economic challenges of the 21st century: the societal challenge of a Healthy Ageing.

The hackathon will be hosted in Amsterdam later this Summer and organised by The Hackitarians, which specialises in designing and running short term innovation events. 

Jurjen Söhne is an RSA Connector for Netherlands, and Founder – The Hackitarians

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