Futurist and Business/Learning expert Elliott Masie recently visited Big Think to discuss the positive qualities of hacking. No, not  the sort of hacking that just this week brought Sony Pictures to its knees. Masie's talking about hackathons:

                                                                                               

       

The focus of a hackathon is on getting a wide array of folks into the same room for hours or days at a time. They then "hack" together innovative solutions to tough everyday problems or even sometimes lay the foundation for the development of a new product. Hackathons have been used for everything from recruiting events to birthday parties to memorials. They're an integral part of tech culture and also usually a ton of fun. For many companies, they represent a way to vacuum-pack months of R&D into a single event.

"Right now some of the leading medical device companies like Boston Scientific are using Hackathons as ways of saying what’s an out of the box approach to solving a problem that traditional research never got us to. We believe that Hackathons are part of tapping the wisdom of the crowd and increasingly we’re going to see Hackathons that aren’t about physically getting into a room together but are, in fact, diverse and distributed around the world linked by technology."