09 March 2018

Marathon of the minds at the Vatican Hackathon

This event is being described as a “marathon of the minds” to propose technological solutions to one of the biggest problems of our day.

Emanuela Campanile - Città del Vaticano


Secretary for the Secretariat for Communication, Msgr Lucio Adrian Ruiz explains how this initiative began and how it is being followed by Pope Francis.

Two more days to go for this “marathon” in which young talented people are participating in order to offer solutions to a global problem. This is how the “Vatican Hackathon” event was described today in the Sala Marconi in the headquarters of Vatican Media in Rome. Software developers, programmers, graphic artists, and project managers from all over the world participated in the presentation. Msgr Ruiz explains that this is also one of the problems that is close to the Pope’s heart, along with that of migrants and refugees.

The Pope’s Encyclical and technology

It is not on a whim that Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si’ refers to technology and to their responsible use so that that might be beneficial even to the poorest and most disadvantaged. “Hackathon is a reality that puts people in dialogue, it is a contest, certainly,” says Msgr Ruiz, “but it is interested along the trajectory of dialogue between science and faith, technology and faith, which is always present in the Church. In this dialogue, there have been difficult moments, nevertheless, the relationship between science and faith is a relationship that has always been sought to be maintained. Therefore, for us, the Hackathon is a cultural event. It is new but not certainly new in the area of dialogue.”

The organizers

The Vatican Hackathon is organized by OPTIC, a think tank dedicated to the questions of ethics in technology, of the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Section of Migrants and Refugees of the Dicastery for Integral Human Development. It is a project whose task it is to create a bridge between technology and core human values. This “marathon of the minds” which began today, will continue for two more days.


Vatican Hackathon underway