The city of Turku and the Finnish telecommunications company Elisa are organizing a 5G Hackathon for teams of 2 to 4 people as an official side event of SHIFT Business Festival on Wednesday, August 28. The hackathon participants will use 5G technology to create solutions to loneliness and social isolation. An expert jury will select the top three teams to compete in the final, part of the festival program the following day.
“The hackathon by the city of Turku and Elisa was chosen as an official side event because it seeks solutions from new technologies to one of society’s big problems,” says SHIFT CEO Mari Männistö. SHIFT Business Festival is in a key position in bringing together forward-thinking individuals and organizations with an interest in new technologies and their business potential.
“Artificial intelligence has already improved many day-to-day routines, but there is still huge potential for more. Elisa wants to be a part of all these innovations,” Elisa Regional Director Juha Laukkanen comments. 5G technology allows for even faster data transfer than before, which in turn enhances the potential of many new technologies. It can even be used to develop completely new business models, service solutions and structures using, for instance, virtual reality.
Männistö reminds us that 5G technology alone will not yield growth or solve problems in our society. “New technologies are tools to be used for specific purposes. Implementing them is first and foremost about a change in mindset: socially and ecologically sustainable business no longer means diminishing profits and productivity. Building a better future and solving big social issues like loneliness is possible by doing profitable business intelligently, with the assistance of new technologies.”
Loneliness and social isolation are significant public health problems that affect people of nearly all ages. People with disabilities, severely limited mobility or depression, single parents or socially excluded individuals may experience difficulties in expanding their scope of life beyond the home, thus lacking experiences of inclusion.
The hackathon organizers hope the competition will produce new service ideas and product or activity concepts that utilize 5G to reduce loneliness and isolation. After the hackathon, the solutions can be further developed for testing with the 5G network Elisa is building in Turku. The winner of the final at SHIFT will also receive a prize of 10,000 euro.