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Hacking for Diplomacy at James Madison University

At a time of significant global uncertainty, government agencies, nonprofit organizations and companies are grappling with problems that defy territorial boundaries and resist quick and effective resolution. “Hacking for Diplomacy” is a multidisciplinary course at James Madison University that prepares students  to respond to such challenges. It does so by applying innovative design methods to real and pressing problems faced by organizations in the public and private sectors. Our collaborating partners for this course are USSOCOM, the Financial Security Program at the Aspen Institute, the nonprofit organization Peacetech Lab, and the technology company Endgame. The course is sponsored by 4-VA and takes place in JMU’s X-Labs.

About Hacking for Diplomacy

Hacking for Diplomacy is one of a suite of courses that include Hacking for Defense” developed by the nonprofit H4Di in collaboration with Stanford University. The goals of these courses are to allow

students to develop a deep understanding of the problems and needs of government sponsors in the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community. In a short time, students rapidly iterate prototypes and produce solutions to sponsors’ needs. For universities, it keeps their programs attached to real-world problems and provides students with an experiential opportunity to become more effective in their chosen field, with a body of work to back it up. For government agencies, it allows problem sponsors to increase the speed at which their organization solves specific, mission-critical problems.

The program has garnered a lot of attention nationally, including publications such as The Washington Post and Wired magazine.  JMU is the first university in the country to offer “Hacking for” courses to exclusively undergraduate students. Read more about the Spring 2017 Hacking for Defense class here

Meet the Teams