ImpactHack Participants Explore Tech and Diplomacy in Virtual Interactive Event

ImpactHack Participants Explore Tech and Diplomacy in Virtual Interactive Event 150 150

On July 29, 2020 NMAD hosted a virtual interactive feedback session for participants in this year’s NMAD hackathon, ImpactHack2020. Stephen Rose from Microsoft, Faisal Khan from Department of State Specialist Recruitment, and Patrick Sheard from Diplomatic Security joined to discuss opportunities in tech and diplomacy. ImpactHack2020 is a five-week virtual hackathon to prototype interactives for the upcoming museum, including an embassy world map and a tool that assists visitors to match their skills and interests with careers in diplomacy. 

Mary Kane, NMAD’s director, kicked off the event with a special introduction and then passed it to Khan and Sheard, who discussed career opportunities with the State Department for specialized skills. Rose, representing Microsoft, brought a unique private sector perspective, exploring the future of software and burgeoning sectors of tech, as well as the creativity crucial to thrive in the industry. Reva Gupta, a Foreign Service Officer and NMAD’s Public Affairs Officer discussed her experience, before the event broke for a participatory session where the participants could visit five separate virtual “rooms,” including two rooms for feedback and asking questions about their ImpactHack2020 projects, a room for advice on how to pursue a career in diplomacy, a room for connecting with volunteer mentors, and a room for Q&A with Gupta on the Foreign Service. Rose also stayed to answer questions and demo technology applicable to both the museum and international diplomacy, such as potential uses of live auto-translation.

Over 70 hackathon participants joined the event. A follow-up event for ImpactHack participants who could not join on July 29 occurred the following week.