MURAL - Maynooth University Research Archive Library

    Hackathons, entrepreneurial life and the making of smart cities

    Perng, Sung-Yueh and Kitchin, Rob and Mac Donncha, Darach (2018) Hackathons, entrepreneurial life and the making of smart cities. Geoforum, 97. pp. 189-197. ISSN 0016-7185

    Download (1MB) | Preview

    Share your research

    Twitter Facebook LinkedIn GooglePlus Email more...

    Add this article to your Mendeley library


    Hackathons – quick prototyping events to create technical innovations for perceived challenges – have become an important means to foster innovation, entrepreneurship and the start-up economy in smart cities. Typically such events are organized by companies working in partnership with city administrations, and are predominately attended by technically literate participants who work in the tech sector. In this paper, we consider and critique the rationalities and practices of commercially-oriented hackathons. Drawing on Gabriel Tarde and recent re-engagement of his ideas, we analyse the spatiotemporal practices that modulate the passion and imitation in and around hackathons. We document how hackathon schedules and spaces are arranged in ways to extend but also exploit participants’ passions for digital innovation and entrepreneurship, act as sites of upskilling and career progression, but also reproduce neoliberal and entrepreneurial labour and urban development. We argue that hackathons interpellate by attracting participants to desire and believe in entrepreneurial life and technocratic rationality to the effect of furthering the precarity of work and life and intensifying the corporatisation of cities. As such, hackathons reinforce the neoliberal underpinnings and ethos of entrepreneurial and smart urbanism.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Spatiotemporal practices; Hackathon; Imitation; Passion; Smart city;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
    Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute, MUSSI
    Item ID: 12747
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Prof. Rob Kitchin
    Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2020 14:24
    Journal or Publication Title: Geoforum
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Refereed: Yes
    Funders: European Research Council
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

    Repository Staff Only(login required)

    View Item Item control page


    Downloads per month over past year

    Origin of downloads