Taipei American School Students Plan Economics Hackathon

Taipei American School Students Plan Economics Hackathon
Photo Credit: Shutterstock / TPG Images

What you need to know

EconHacks is a 24-hour online financial literacy hackathon organized by students at the Taipei American School. It will be held across the world beginning at 12 p.m. Taipei time on February 13.

By Benjamin C., student at the Taipei American School and lead director of EconHacks

Despite the ongoing pandemic, the financial sector has continued its rapid expansion into all aspects of our lives. Yet there’s good reason to believe that many of us are not quite ready to live in this increasingly financialized world. According to a 2014 study from the National Endowment for Financial Education, only 24% of millennials could answer four out of five questions on a basic financial literacy test. The need for citizens in all countries, especially youth, to know how to confront and manage the new terms on which the economy functions has never been greater. 

In hope of bridging this gap, five students from around the world who met on Discord started brainstorming for a hackathon to spur new thinking on problems in economics and technology. We conceived an idea for an event, EconHacks, which will be a 24-hour online hackathon to be held across the world from 12 p.m. Taipei time on February 13, 2021 to 12 p.m. on February 14, 2021. To make the event accessible for as many students as possible, it is free to enter for all in grades eight to twelve. 

“We wanted to make sure that secondary school kids could access and learn about the uses of financial technology with no restrictions whatsoever,” said director Ashley P. The hackathon will feature lectures from world renowned professors from universities such as Stanford Business School, as well as entrepreneurs in the finance field. “Getting taught from the best can be a transformative experience for a lot of people, and we want as many people to discover their passions in the areas of economics and computer science,” said director Ishan P. 

Participants will have 24 hours to create an innovative project that aims to improve an aspect of the financial sector or helps solve a current economic problem. To promote education beyond the hackathon, EconHacks is also planning on holding biweekly lectures about different fields in economics, from behavioral economics to basic quantitative trading. “We really want to make sure that people gain access to as many resources as they can get to understand how economics works in the real world,” said director Rishabh V. We already plan to hold a second in-person hackathon in fall 2021 with international students competing via video chat.


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TNL Editor: Nicholas Haggerty (@thenewslensintl)

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