Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The Manchester Hackademia Festival: Wednesday 14th to 20th September

The first ever Hackademia Festival is launching in Manchester and will run from Wednesday 14th to Tuesday 20th of September.

Though ‘hacking’ has commonly a negative connotation to do with breaking into computers, a little digging reveals mainly levels of meaning.

According to the Urban Dictionary,

Hack - 1. To program a computer in a clever, virtuosic, and wizardly manner. Ordinary computer jockeys merely write programs; hacking is the domain of digital poets. Hacking is a subtle and arguably mystical art, equal parts wit and technical ability, that is rarely appreciated by non-hackers. See hacker.

Hacker – 3. An individual capable of solving complex non-intuitive problems in a seemingly intuitive manner. The processes and techniques used are not necessarily methodical to the observer, but yet achieve results significantly and consistently faster than known experience would predict. A hacker is not defined in terms of intention or purpose, but rather by the talented single-mindedness of method. A hacker is not a hack. Hackers are not limited to computer hacking.

Academia – ‘is a collective term for the scientific and cultural community engaged in higher education and peer-reviewed research, taken as a whole." -Wikipedia

Why 'Hackademia'?

The majority of hackers make positive ideas and experiences happen from hacking things up and making them into other things....and right now this can mean some positive solutions.

Manchester Business School and MMU are allowing themselves to be 'hacked' them – developing positive relationships and dialogue and using some of their spaces. It create a spirit of openness and sharing and to make sure people who sometimes don't see the 'establishments' get an opportunity to share their ideas.

Amongst the main themes of the festival will be

· Community Empowerment

· Ethical Enterprise

· HackLabs

· EcoLabs

· PermaCulture

· Women and Innovation

The thinking behind the festival comes from hackerspace and free and open culture with people contributing for free, sharing ideas and the costs, if any are minimal. Much of the inspiration for the festival also comes from work in developing countries where people can achieve by making something out of nothing.

Organiser Vicky Sinclair says, “The recent riots showed that there are social problems that are not being addressed and that greater opportunities need to be made available not just for young people, but those out of work, with disability issues, migrations issues...the list goes on. At this time, soaring unemployment rates, uncertainty about education and provision for teens or people with worklessness, the festival is seeking to prove that great things are possible with a bit of knowledge sharing.”

Where and when?

Main dates: Wednesday 14th to Tuesday 20th September 2011.

Venues: It will be based mostly in Hulme, but also in venues in the city centre and on oxford road, including the universities who are opening their doors to the community and budding new local ideas creators who might not otherwise have a chance to work in these institutions.


For further information, please call 0161 820 6492 11am to 4pm Monday to Friday.

Updates will be found on and its agenda pages.


"Our partners come from Manchester Youth Village, MMU, St Wilfrid's Enterprise Centre, the Council, Manchester Business School, Envirolution, Manchester Youth Elements, Manchester Youth Voices, the Eco Health Clinic, Madlab to the EU and beyond. All giving time for free and that was far from the whole list of people who feel it is time to show how we can make legal, communal spaces open to all age groups to help inspire and realise new ideas and relationships. We will be linking up via webstreaming for people to talk to people about culture and ideas in places as distant from each other as the Amazon to Indonesia."

How to be involved?

"We are calling on local people and anybody who is interested to come along and deliver, participate in workshops, cook, watch films and generally to meet people and experience ideas that you might not have envisaged! We need some help with art materials, getting fabric, masks (for workshops), any spare food, assistance with community cooking and some stewards for activities. We also need help with promotion and telling people about this exciting free festival. Also if you know anyone who can assist us in getting some free food for our entrepreneur business lunch day (who we can promote) this would be amazing! And we also need some bayonet light bulbs (energy saving ones!) for the launch events at a new community venue in Hulme!"

Budding or existing local entrepreneurs are invited to come to our enterprise incubator and troubleshooting workshops (we only have limited spaces left) please email

Planning meetings at ArcSpace, St Wilfrid's Enterprise Centre, Royce Road, Hulme, M15 5BJ

Wednesday 7th - 4pm
Saturday 10th - 1pm to 4pm
Thursday 15th - 12pm to 5pm

If you would like to contibute an idea or some time please contact:

Press contact:

Vicky Sinclair

Telephone: ArcSpace 0161 820 6492, (11.30 am to 4.30pm mon to fri, no voicemails)


Skype: victoria.sinclair23

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