Changing the World from 30,000 Feet: British Airways to Host Transatlantic Hackathon Flight
British Airways has partnered with the United Nations and DNA Summit to bring technology innovators together for a first-of-its-kind hackathon in the sky called UnGrounded.
The participants, 100 hand-picked executives and investors from companies such as search giant Google and venture capital firm Andreesen Horowitz, will embark on a private transatlantic flight on June 12 from San Francisco to London, an 11-hour trip. During the flight, they will develop ways to connect with talented individuals in parts of the world lacking technological resources.
“As one of the world’s leading airlines, British Airways deeply believes in the power of face-to-face engagement to ignite new ideas, co-create and accelerate innovation,” said EVP of the Americas for British Airways, Simon Talling-Smith. “We are focused on how we can bring people together to affect change within global society as well as within our own business.”
Once in London, the UnGrounded participants will present their solutions to a group of fellow technology innovators at the Decide Act Now (DNA) Summit, a conference that brings leaders in various industries together to collaborate on social change. An agreed-upon strategy will be presented to the Secretary-General of the United Nations’ International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
“Our understanding is that the talent crunch is a real issue for companies and organizations in major tech hubs around the world,” said Special Representative for the Secretary-General of the UN’s ITU agency, Amir Dossal. “We need to give people the opportunity to discover and be discovered, to grow skills, provide experience and uncover new ideas globally.”
This initiative fits the United Nations Broadband Commission’s hope that all people will one day have affordable access to the internet, which the organization has deemed a basic human right.
Image: François Roche