IJ to Host Sunday Hackathon to Shake Up Presidential Debates

#HackTheDebate

IJ.com and the Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service are hosting a hackathon this Sunday, merging the tech and political science spheres in the service of pulling more people, specifically millennial people, into the presidential debates.

The hackathon, called, appropriately, Hack the Debate, is a daylong event that begins Sunday at 8 a.m. ET at Georgetown University and includes a competition, panels, a pitching session and award ceremony. Almost 100 hackers have signed up so far.

The idea comes out of a big first for the social-media focused publication, founded in 2012 by Alex Skatell: in February 2016, IJ.com will partner with ABC News for the network’s GOP primary debate. With its role as digital partner for that debate in mind, IJ “wanted to do something that would help promote newer and more innovative ideas to bring millennials and more Americans into the debate process. As a tech and new media company, IJ.com thought a hackathon with Georgetown’s IPPS was the perfect idea,” IJ CTO Carl Sceusa told FishbowlDC.

Throughout the day, Sceusa told FBDC, “Teams will work towards [engagement] from concept and development, through completion–or at least as close as they can get–and there’s really no limit.” Participating teams could see their products end up being showcased during the debate.

Sceusa, who is spearheading the project, added, “It’s going to be a fun day, with some fantastic guest speakers and judges, and we’re really excited to be partnering with Georgetown IPPS.”

Guest speakers include: Matt Compton and Gerrit Lansing, digital directors of the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee, respectively; Digital Content Next CEO Jason Kint; Steve Johnston, account executive on Google’s U.S. politics team; Twitter’s Sean Evins, a member of its government and politics team; and USA Today politics editor Paul Singer.

To register, go here.

Editor’s note: an earlier version of this post listed Philip Musser as co-founder of IJ.com. Musser is co-founder, along with Skatell, of Media Group of America, the parent company of International Journal.