A HACKATHON AT THE VATICAN: BUILDING AWARENESS OF CURRENT GLOBAL ISSUES – THE PONTIFICAL SWISS GUARD FEATURES AT LISBON FILM FESTIVAL (FESTIN)

A HACKATHON AT THE VATICAN: BUILDING AWARENESS OF CURRENT GLOBAL ISSUES

“How wonderful would it be if the growth of scientific and technological innovation would come along with more equality and social inclusion.” – Pope Francis

In 2018, the first-ever hackathon at the Vatican, known as VHacks, will take place from March 8th to the 11th. Combining the words “hacking” and “marathon”, a hackathon is a sprint-like event in which multi-disciplinary teams (including computer programmers, graphic designers, project managers, etc.) collaborate to create solutions under a time constraint.

For the first time in history, VHacks brings the concept of a hackathon to the Vatican. Organized by OPTIC, a global think-tank dedicated to ethical issues of disruptive technologies and the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communication, this global event will bring together innovators of all faiths and ethnicities.

The Pontifical Council for Culture and Migrants & Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Integral Human Development are co-organizing the event.

Combined with the support of student volunteers from Harvard and MIT, VHacks is committed to bridging technology with human-centered values.

VHacks will target important global issues, including social inclusion, interfaith dialogue, and the migrant & refugee crisis.

Specifically, the mission of VHacks is to:
1. Leverage technology to address current global problems centered on hackathon themes. The 2018 Hackathon themes center on 3 key issues: a. Social Inclusion: Encourage solidarity by restoring human-centric thinking and values in our increasingly digital world. b. Interfaith Dialogue: Support open communication between individuals and organizations representing differing faiths to create mutual understanding and constructive cooperation. c. Migrants & Refugees: Strengthen, support, and mobilize resources for migrants and refugees to assist them with relocation and integration.
2. Promote collaboration among youth leaders across diverse academic, ethnic, and religious backgrounds.
3.Encourage value-based institutions to embrace technology to further their missions.

The event will be a true celebration of all cultures and beliefs, bringing together the world’s brightest students with diverse academic, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. Participants will be selected through a combination of top-tier partner universities providing teams and an open, online application process where any student enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program is eligible to apply. 120 participants are chosen based on academic accomplishments, innovative thinking, and alignment with our mission statement.

The capstone to the event will include panels exploring the implications of technological advancement on human development and a post-hackathon virtual expo. Speakers will hail from leading tech firms and Vatican institutions. Selected hackathon participants, corporate partners, and institutions will showcase their innovations in the virtual VHacks Expo.

More information about the event can be found on our:
● Website: http://www.VHacks.org
● Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/VHacks2018
● Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/vhacks2018/
● Twitter account: https://twitter.com/VHacks2018

THE PONTIFICAL SWISS GUARD FEATURES AT LISBON FILM FESTIVAL (FESTIN)

Among the entries at the Lisbon festival this year is the documentary “L’esercito più piccolo del mondo”, (The World’s Smallest Army), by Italian director Gianfranco Pannone.

The Itinerant Portuguese-Language Film Festival (FESTin) is being hosted in Lisbon this year from 27 February to March 6. Among the entries at the film festival is the documentary, “L’esercito più piccolo del mondo” (The World’s Smallest Army) by renowned Italian film and television director Gianfranco Pannone.

(photos by JFL)

The film is on the famed Pontifical Swiss Guard, a centuries-old military unit comprised of young Swiss soldiers who are stationed at the Vatican and tasked with guarding the Pope.

In his 80-minute long documentary, Pannone follows Leo and René with great sensitivity, as they bid farewell to their families in Switzerland and embark on the first months of their assignment in the Vatican.

Click here to see film trailer: http://www.vaticannews.va/en/vatican-city/news/2018-03/festin-lisbon-film-festival-pontifical-swiss-guard-pannone.html#play

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