Gartner Research

NASA's Space Apps Challenge: Earth's Biggest Hackathon

Published: 28 March 2014

ID: G00261967

Analyst(s): Mary Mesaglio


How do you get 9,000 people in 83 cities to tackle some of the thorniest earth and space problems? Run a two-day innovation hackathon and invite the world to participate, as NASA did in April 2013. CIOs and IT leaders can use the approaches and results in this case study to plan their own hackathon.

Table Of Contents
  • Key Challenges



  • Consider NASA's Three Key Steps to a Successful Hackathon
    • 1. NASA Created a Consistent, Global Infrastructure
    • 2. NASA Chose SMEs to Shape Each Challenge
    • 3. NASA Identified Local Organizers
  • Results
  • Lessons Learned
    • When — and When Not — to Use Hackathons
    • How to Design a Great Challenge
    • Who Participates in Hackathons, and Why?
    • The Benefits of Hackathons to the Enterprise and IT
    • Lessons for CIOs From NASA's Experience
  • What's Next for the Space Apps Challenge?

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